A reader was kind enough to drop off a box of old Sagamores a few months ago. I offered to fill in gaps in the collection at the Cape County History Center, but I held back two that had surprising photos in them.
The 1939 issue had photos of Mother as a freshman. It identified her as being from Advance, and being in the Home Economics Club and the YWCA.
Book belonged to Milburn Lavelle Bess
A note in the front of the 1939 book said it belonged to Milburn Lavelle Bess of Cape Girardeau, who was a member of the Band, Orchestra, Pi Mu Omicron and A Cappella.
A number of the pages were autographed by friends who referred to him as Lavelle, instead of Milburn.
I’d be willing to pass the book on the Lavelle or any of his family members.
Albert and Leming Halls
Two of the dorms for women appeared on facing pages. I wasn’t sure if Mother was in either of them.
Mother may have been mistaken
She had two photos in a scrapbook that she labeled as being of Albert Hall, but the yearbook pictures show that Leming is the building with a screened porch.
Even as I consider saying that she was wrong, I’m looking at the sky expecting a bolt of lightning to come down.
She was a sophomore in 1940
She’s still listed as being from Advance, and of being in the Home Economics Club and the YWCA.
Secretary of Home Economics Club
I can’t be sure she’s in the group photo, but the text copy notes that she was secretary of the club.
War Department took notice
Maybe her election to the office of secretary was what caused the War Department to send her this telegram.
When Mother would tell the story, she always said, “I’d rather be married than type.”
Dad and Mother were in a movie theater when the word about the attack on Pearl Harbor broke. When they came out, my grandfather said, “If you kids are going to get married, you’d better do it right away.”
And, they did, exactly one month later, on January 7, 1942.
1940 Aerial photo of SEMO
The front of the 1940 yearbook had a double truck (printing-speak for a two-page layout made up as a single unit) aerial of the area around the college.
It’s amazing how many neighborhood homes have been gobbled up over the intervening years.
Free hospital care
There were interesting little nuggets scattered all though the books. The Medical Staff faculty page showed Dr. O.L. Seabaugh as college physician, and Rose Margaret Dewever, RN, as college nurse.
It said that “beginning with a complete physical examination upon entering school, students are offered competent medical attention through the services of a qualified physician and registered nurse.
“One week’s hospitalization in either of Cape Girardeau’s hospitals and the use of the x-ray are included in advantages offered by the Health Department free to the students on a co-operative basis.”
6 Replies to “Mother at SEMO 1939 & 1940”
What a treasure. And just in time for Mother’s Day.
“Year Book? What’s that?” said every Gen Z in the world…
Very interesting… the arial shot, well it is all filled in now!
I lived at 1414 Mississippi Street growing up and it is fields in 1940.
The Capaha Arrow has been rebranded The Arrow, and SEMO pulled the plug on The Sagamore just as it was going hit the century mark in 2012.
Gone are the last vestiges of the SEMO Indians: Capaha and Sagamore.
Getting rid of the Sagamore was a mistake, because the university lost the best historical record it ever had or ever will have again. I know the economics of it, but something valuable was lost.
Well, you know SEMO’s reputation for not giving two hoots in a hurricane about preserving history.