Working for Extra Credit

When I spoke to Dr. Lily Santoro’s Local Techniques in History Class, I offered to help students find information for the topics they had been assigned on local landmarks. The first step was to compile a list of posts about their subjects.

Jennifer was first out of the box

1956 SEMO Homecoming courtesy Steve McKeownThere’s always one student in the class who starts work right away. Jennifer Baker emailed me early on: “My topic is the Wehking Alumni Building on Broadway.  From what I have been able to find, the building was previously occupied by the First Baptist Church. Construction on it began in 1926. So, my project will start with the First Baptist Church and end with the Wehking Alumni Center.”

I had to confess to her that the building had been on my to-do list for a long time, but the only photos I had were ones taken of the 1956 SEMO Homecoming parade by James D. McKeown III and passed on by his son, Steve McKeown.

I did suggest that she check out a story I had read that Louis Houck was so enamored by reproductions of classic sculptures he saw at the St. Louis World’s Fair that he bought them at the end of the fair and donated them to the college. I heard that they were being displayed in her building after being moved out of Academic Hall. I suggested she look for Joel P. Rhodes‘ book, A Missouri Railroad Pioneer: The Life of Louis Houck, to see if I remembered it correctly.

Bingo. “Wow!  I just found a copy of this book as an ebook on line. Within minutes, I was able to read this section of Dr. Rhodes’ book on Louis Houck.  Thanks again for the help!  You are pretty cool!” she gushed.

Thanks to Jennifer, I finally got around to shoot the statues and former church for a future post. (If Jennifer is a REAL digger, she will uncover a story about a bank loan and why the building looks like it does. That’s the only hint I’m going to give because I’m saving it for my future post.)

Fairmount Cemetery

Aerial Old Notre Dame HS - New Lorimier and Fairmont Cemeteries 04-17-2011_5226The deadline for the project must be coming quickly because I got a flurry of requests on Wednesday.

Crystal Haugsness wanted an aerial shot of Fairmount Cemetery and a photo of the cemetery with Bingo World in the background.

Beer on the first date at age 13

Myrtle (Schilling) Kuehnert in Trinity Lutheran Church 11-12-2013Lucas Greenwalt was fascinated by Myrtle Schilling Kuehnert, part of my Last Generation project. ” I was wondering, if by chance, you would give me permission to cite one of your works for a poster presentation.  It was from a video interview you did where an elderly lady discusses her first date with her husband and they casually grabbed a beer at the age of 13.  My project is on the Evangelical United Church of Christ here in cape.  As you may know the church has very deep German roots and I feel as though this would be a wonderful reference when giving the history of the building.”

St. James AME Church

NAACP 08-10-1967Scott Bates drew the St. James AME Church. “I want to know if you would allow me permission to use a photo from your website. The photo that I would like to use is the photo with Mr. Kaplan speaking and Rev. Ward smiling in the back. This was from the NAACP president’s visit to St. James AME Church in 1967.”

Luke Haun wanted Fair photos

SEMO Fair by Mary Steinhoff 09-08-2011Luke wanted six photos: four from the 1964 fair; one inside the Arena Building in 1966, and a color shot that Mother took in 2011. I liked his taste. He picked out some of my favorites.

I wonder if any other students will come skidding in tomorrow? They may be in trouble. I have to wrap up a bunch of loose ends before getting on the road to Ohio at the end of the week, so I may not be around to look up photos.

I hope Dr. Santoro gives me extra credit for my work. I could use some help pulling up my grade point average.

 

 

Preservation Homework: Churches & Cemeteries

Aerial Common Pleas Courthouse 04-14-1964Dr. Katy Beebe invited me to speak to her historical preservation class at Southeast Missouri State University last year. Dr. Lily Santora asked if I would come back April 8 to meet with her class.

Dr. Beebe’s class was researching Main Street, so I put together a list of the stories I had done about downtown. Dr. Santora gave her class a wide variety of local landmarks. I’ll spend the next couple of days helping her students by posting links to stories I’ve done about their topics. I’m going to concentrate on churches and cemeteries today. (Maybe I can make up for all those assignments I didn’t turn in when I was a student.)

[Hint to students: don’t just read what I’ve written. The comments are generally more interesting than my copy. Feel free to post questions and comments of your own. My readers are a friendly group who love to share Cape’s history. Click on the photos to make them larger.]

First Presbyterian Church

St. Mary’s Cathedral

Christ Episcopal Church

Christ Episcopol Church 04-16-2011The church and May Greene Garden

Evangelical United Church of Christ

Crash knocks over sign in front of Evangelical United Church of Christ c 1966Crash damages church sign

 St. James AME Church

NAACP 08-10-1967National NAACP president speaks at church

Fairmount Cemetery

 St. Mary’s Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery 04-17-2011_5233Aerial of St. Mary’s Cemetery

 

 

NAACP Comes to Cape

It was appropriate to have run across these photos with Martin Luther King Day coming up.

[Editor’s note: I’ve kept with the vernacular used by The Missourian, even though the language feels strange these days.]

Kivie Kaplan, national president of the NAACP, came to speak to the local chapter and the public in the St. James AME Church Aug. 9, 1967.

The Missourian’s story the next day identified the folks in the photo above as the Rev. Ben H. Cleaver, retired minister, left, and the Rev. Wallace Ward, pastor of the St. James AME Church. Behind them are members of the church’s junior choir, Misses Ruth Watson, Janis Jefferson, Olivia Johnson and Diane Mitchell.

[Editor’s note: The Missourian’s cutline has the woman on the left identified as Ruth Watson; Ron Bedell said it should be Ruth Wilson and I’m pretty sure he’s correct. Here’s where you can see a photo of Ruth at last summer’s reunion.]

NAACP “does not condone violence”

Kaplan went out of his way to assure the audience of about 100 that his organization does “not condone violence,” and stresses at all times the “peaceful and legal pursuit” of its objectives. He added that the NAACP has more than 500,000 members and represents 90 per cent of the Negro population.

Police present to “direct traffic”

He said Black Power leaders and others who advocate violence as a means to acquire civil liberties represent “only a fraction of one per cent of the Negro people.”

The city fathers may not have been as sure of that. The story went on to say that “About a dozen policemen were on hand at the church to direct the flow of traffic and presumably to halt any outbreak of disorder. No disturbance was reported, however.”

It was reported that there was applause at least two points and audible “amens” came from the crowd occasionally.

Kaplan was welcomed to the city by Mayor J. Hugh Logan, who expressed his interest in Mr. Kaplan’s address.

Kaplan implies local firms show bias

Cape school integrated early and peacefully. Classmate Gerald Love said at the reunion last summer, “There was no friction with the kids. There might have been some adults with problems, but not the kids.”  It’s worth going back to read Gerald Love’s story, though, of his introduction to racism in Cape.

Kaplan said he had been told that of the 400 persons employed by Marquette Cement Mfg. Co., only five are Negroes; out of 240 employees of Missouri Utilities, only four are Negroes. At Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., there is only one Negro out of a total of 200 employees.

Photo gallery of NAACP meeting

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.