House at 213 South Middle

213 South Middle 03-25-2015The house at 213 South Middle is no stranger to fire. The fire department was called there at least three times between 1920 and March 4, 2015.

A November 28, 2005, Missourian story said the Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission selects buildings that illustrate important elements of the city’s culture and history. One of the selections for the fall and winter of 2005 was this house at 213 South Middle, which it called the “Lutz House.” It was built around 1900 and the owner in 2005 was Olivette Kassel.

I wonder if the Commission meant “Lutes House.” A Missourian brief on July 19, 1950, titled “Expendable” said “Mrs. Freeman Lutes, 213 South Middle street, said today she has two kittens of excellent appearance which she will give away. The cats, both solid yellow, are about two months old and Mrs. Lutes has no use for them.”

House is condemned

213 South Middle 03-25-2015The Missourian reported on March 5, 2015, that firefighters from three area departments battled a Cape Girardeau house fire early Wednesday morning. The paper said the occupant was out, and reported that no one else was inside. The owner / occupant wasn’t identified.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation, but the fire department said the fire started on the first floor near the water heater and is considered accidental.

Extensive damage estimated at $95,000

213 South Middle 03-25-2015A peek through a broken window exposed a family’s life turned upside down. I always hated to see the aftermath of a flood or fire. Family photos on the dresser, a cedar chest, a sports poster on the wall; those things meant something to someone at some time.

Fire hose too short in 1920

213 South Middle 03-25-2015Fire Laddies’ Hose Too Short; Flames Badly Damage a Home” read the May 1, 1920, headline in The Missourian.

“The home of Paul Lind, 213 South Middle street, was badly damaged at noon today when a fire, started from a defective flue, burned the upper part of the building and water soaked the walls and other parts of the house that the fire failed to reach.

“The fire department had insufficient hose to reach from the water hydrant to the house, [F.P.] Miles [a neighbor] said, and had to go after more. By the time the firemen then got to work, he stated, the flames had gotten considerable headway and much water had to be used.”

The Leader, Inc.

213 South Middle 03-25-2015The September 11, 1925, Missourian carried a long story about The Leader, Inc., a department store at the northwest corner of Good Hope and Sprigg handling dry goods, clothing, ladies’ read-to-wear, shoes, hosiery, notions, etc. The business, the paper said, was formerly conducted at the Hirsch Bros. Mercantile and Provision Company, established in 1897.

E.P. Lind was listed as the treasurer of the company. It noted that “Mr. Lind is not married and is living at the home of his father, at 213 South Middle. He is a member of the Lutheran Church.

It’s an interesting history of a company I had not heard of.

Lind and Vogel are engaged

213 South Middle 03-25-2015The September paper said that E.P. Lind wasn’t married, but the June 16, 1925 paper announced that “Miss Norma Vogel, attractive daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Vogel, 237 North Ellis street, who is soon to become the bride of Elmer Lind, was the honor guest at a kitchen shower given Monday night at the home of Mrs. Fred Atchison, 221 South Louisiana. Date for the wedding has not been definitely been set, friends of the couple say, but is expected to be in early Autumn.”

I guess Elmer hadn’t gotten around to getting actually married by the time the business story ran.

Burned again in 1928

213 South Middle 03-25-2015The October 25, 1928, Missourian reported two fire calls, one to the residence of Phil Lind, 213 South Middle street. Flames on the roof of a barn in the rear of the dwelling were extinguished.

Other stories

  • 213 South Middle 03-25-2015
  • November 7, 1944Mrs. Bertha Lind, 213 South Middle street, fell in a room in the home this morning but was not seriously injured. She was taken to St. Francis Hospital this afternoon for examination and rest. Mrs. Lind fell last Christmas and sustained a hip fracture and has been forced to use crutches since.
  • September 8, 1955 – Weighing 5 pounds 3 ounces, a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. James Flowers, 213 South Middle street, at 3:26 Wednesday afternoon at St. Francis Hospital.
  • March 26, 1957Freeman D. Lutes, 51 years old, 213 South Middle street, died Sunday. He was an employee of the Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. here.
  • April 13, 1972Mrs. Alonzo L. Rhodes, 54 years old, 213 South Middle street, died Thursday night.







5 Replies to “House at 213 South Middle”

  1. Love your stories about old homes in Cape. According to the abstract, the house I grew up in at 324 S Lorimer was bought by my great uncle Tom Gill in 1896 from the daughter of deceased Nicholas Maher who had bought the property from the heirs of Louis Lorimer in 1856. Tom was a conductor for the Houck railroad and a city councilman from 1908 until his death in 1918. through the years, the house was home to three generations of Gills until my mother sold it a few years after my dad’s death. It is so sad to see the house and street in ruins. It was a great neightborhood to grow up in. The McBrides lived next door (to the north) in a duplex shared with their grandparents. Mr. McBride (Brownie) was Parks Commisioner for many years in the 50’s and 60’s. Mrs. mcBride’s sister and her husband lived on the other side of us. The corner house (Lorimer and Morgan Oak) was the Huhn-Harrison home which was built by Rudolf Huhn for his bride, Cecilia in 1905. After Mrs Huhn’s death, their daughter Hazel and her husband Bill remained in the home. Upon his death, Bill Harrison left the house and a million $ endowment to the university. The school used the money to build the River Campus, but let the house fall into disrepair. It was eventually sold and became the West Bank Bistro. See the full story at
    Our house backed to the Glenn House, separated only by a vacant lot and alley before that nasty motel was built on Morgan Oak. That the city council or zoning board allowed a tacky, transient hotel to be built in what was then a very nice neighborhood was criminal and I’m sure lead to the demise of the homes it backed to on Lorimer. To the south of the Glenn House ( on Spanish) is the past home of Dr. Bunch (dentist) and currently for sale. Next door on the corner Of Spanish and Morgan Oak is the Feldon Miller house, which has been beautifully restored. Across the street facing the river is the old Osterloh home. At the opposite end of the block is the restored Shivelbine Victorian. All of these grande dames have a story to tell about cape’s early residents and business leaders. Thanks for keeping those stories alive Ken.

  2. My family lived in that house in 1968 and 1969. My aunt Betty Belle and uncle Bill Brannock lived next door in the brick house. They would rent a small cottage behind their house to college students.

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