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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

Santa Visits Illmo-Scott City

The caption under this photo in the Dec. 17, 1966, Missourian said “Santa Claus – particularly his beard – proved almost as interesting as the gifts he distributed to the children at the annual Christmas party given Friday night by the Illmo-Scott City Junior Wives for children of that community. In the picture above, Kim just can’t keep her hands off Santa’s beard. Her little friends watch in fascination, waiting for their chance to steal a stroke of the silky hair. The party, given at the junior high school gymnasium in Illmo, was attended by 124 special guests.

That’s the only photo that ran in the paper, but here are some that didn’t make it into print.

Wide-eyed wonder

I think I know why the kids have these expressions. That’s the scariest Santa Claus I think I’ve ever seen.

Beard, not face, gets the attention

Fortunately, Santa’s beard got all of the attention. I don’t know that I ever shot another Santa that wore a full-face mask,.

Santa has great personality

Despite his scary appearance, Santa had a great rapport with the kids. The 124 children were guests of the 15 Junior Wives Club and their children.

The story said that a decorated Christmas tree flanked by large candles appointed the room. A film, “The Littlest Angel,” obtained from the Riverside Regional Library was shown, games were played and carols sung.

Gift boxes as large as the children

Some of the children received gifts almost as large as they were. In addition to the gifts, the children also received bags of candy, fruit and gum.

Club members said about $350 was spent on the party. The money was raised at the Junior Wives annual benefit social, held in October, and other club projects during the year.

Photo gallery

Here’s a collection of photos from the event. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

6 comments to Santa Visits Illmo-Scott City

  • Paul Stein

    I still think of Fornfelt as the name of Scott City and remember the great basketball teams of Illmo-Fornfelt back in the 1950s. When was the name changed and why the name “Scott” come from?

  • Judi Coleman


  • Was the full-face Santa mask typical of the times? It looks very creepy.

    We’re lucky to have a great Santa at our local mall. He has been this mall’s Santa for more than a decade. The guy rides a Harley, lives in North Dakota and has a real beard. He, his wife and their recreational vehicle come down for the winter and he makes a little extra green at the mall for the season.


  • Crites

    Pop Crites came up with the name “Scott City”.

  • Leanis Collier

    The lady in the pic with the earring worked in the office at the high school office,I would have to look her up in my yearbook! If anyone really wants to know,Let me know!

  • Nancy Caldwell

    Think it was Shirley Eifert with the earring. Those were some parties. And the “social” fundraiser was a bingo before bingos were legal but the powers-to-be realized what was going on & just overlooked it. Lots of kids benefited from the effort. The Junior Wives were renamed later to the Women’s Club and still exists and continues with their Christmas project much as it was done 50 years ago.

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