Peironnet Family Mausoleum

Peironnet Mausoleum 08-15-2014Whenever I go visit Dad’s grave in the New Lorimier Cemetery, I see the Perionnet family’s mausoleum just as I turn left to leave the graveyard. Missourian librarian Sharon Sanders wrote about the history of the structure in her December 5, 2013, blog. I’ll steal a few snippets from it, but if you want to get the whole story, you should go to her blog.

Harlan P. Peironnet was first resident

Peironnet Mausoleum 08-15-2014Harlan P. Peironnet was a prominent Cape Girardeau businessman when he died in St. Louis in 1912. He was first buried in New Lorimier Cemetery, but his wife and son-in-law spent $3,475 to have this mausoleum built by a St. Louis company. Newspaper accounts said some of the granite pieces weighed as much as 14 tons and had to be moved in special wagons pulled by “giant” horses brought in from St. Louis.

Mr. Peironnet’s remains were disinterred and moved into one of the eight crypts in the building in 1914. His wife, the paper reported, viewed his remains, “which were in nearly as perfect condition as the day he died, a year ago.”

Peironnet’s wife died in 1951

Peironnet Mausoleum 08-15-2014Mrs. Julia Moon Peironnet died in 1951, a few days short of her 96th birthday. She came to Cape when she was two, the daughter of one of the first practicing dentists west of the Mississippi, and was was one of the first students at Cape Girardeau Normal, which later became SEMO University. She taught school in Wayne County and in East Cape Girardeau, where she was ferried back and forth across the river in a skiff.

Lightning hit mausoleum in 1984

Peironnet Mausoleum 08-15-2014A cemetery worker making his rounds on a March morning in 1984 noticed damage to the mausoleum that he thought might have been caused by a bomb. A federal bomb squad that was called in determined that the building had been struck by lightning. The force of the bolt blew off a 2-foot by 2-foot chunk of granite, knocked off one of the double doors and shattered much of the marble slate that made up the eight biers inside.

The damage has since been repaired.

It’s interesting how much of the skyline on the right is dominated by Southeast Hospital. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

In a good neighborhood

Miller Family Plot 08-15-2014I was fascinated by the “Miller” tile work setting off the graves on the south side of the mausoleum. Had I stepped back a few more steps, I would have seen the stone marking the grave of I. Ben Miller, noted farmer and businessman.

The light-colored stone on the right belongs to Dr. Lila Miller, his daughter. Mr. Miller named his dairy farm on Sprigg Street the Lila Drew Farm in honor of his daughters, Miss Lila Miller and Miss Clara Drew Miller. Both daughters are buried in this section, along with son Edwin Miller and his wife.




Missing Tooth on Broadway

Corner of Broadway and Sunset 04-25-2014I’ve made a dozen or more trips down Broadway since I’ve been in town without noticing it, but some cleared land at the corner of Broadway and Sunset, just down the hill from Southeast Hospital, finally gave me that “missing tooth” feeling today.

The first person I asked said they hadn’t noticed anything missing, but they normally didn’t drive that way to work. Another said, “I saw something was gone, but I can’t remember what was there.”

While I was shooting this, some workmen showed up to handle erosion control. One of them said the building that was on the corner might have been a dentist’s office at one time, and had been used, he though, for the nursing school before it moved out on William.

Google Streetview showed a fairly large brick building with 1819 on the front of it. The 1968 City Directory lists Dr. Paul G. Wolff, physician and surgeon, at that address.

The worker thought the hospital was going to use the space to construct a new entrance. At least they spared the large tree to the right of the photo (for now). You can click on the photo to make it larger.

SEMO Through a Long Lens

SEMO Academic Hall

Cape was a Honeywell Pentax town. I’m not sure if Nowell’s Camera Shop even sold Nikon. When I left town, I had two or three camera bodies and at least three lenses: a 35mm wideangle, a 50mm normal lens, a 105mm telephoto and (I think) a 200 mm telephoto.

The 105mm magnified about two times and the 200, about four times.

This shot of Academic Hall taken from in front of Kent Library in 1966 or 1967 was probably done with the 200mm. Click on the photos to make them larger.

Closeup of dome

SEMO Academic HallIf you couldn’t afford a long lens, you could buy extenders that would effectively increase the length of the lens by two to three times. The tradeoff was that it made the lens a lot slower and there was some degradation in quality. I’m guessing I must have just gotten a 2X extender to make this shot of the dome. It would have converted my 200 into a 400mm lens, which would have magnified about eight times.

This caused some head scratching

SEMO Academic HallThis one had me calling in Wife Lila and Neighbor Jacqie for second and third opinions. This is south and west of SEMO. As best as I can figure it out, I must have shot it from one of the hills around Gordonville Road with the extender reaching out into the distance.

Academic Hall is easy to pick out in the middle. The water tower and smokestack to its left are at the university’s power plant north of Academic Hall. The white building at the top left is the Foreign Languages Building. The large building below and to the left of Academic hall is Southeast Hospital.

Jacqie and I thought the building on the left above the Riverside West sign was Central High School, but after looking at the photo more closely, I determined that Central is the dark, multistory building on the far right. That makes the building on the left a mystery. Anybody want to make a guess? Did Notre Dame have that shape?

Academic Hall links

Here are links to earlier stories about Academic Hall.


Cape Mattress and Triplets

It’s amazing how things in Cape are intertwined. Mother and I were driving down the de-fanged Snake Hill when I spotted a building at 1100 West Cape Rock Drive that brought back memories. It’s a nondescript building. I’ve never been in it, never took a photo of it that I know of, never so much as turned around in the parking lot. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

Located just west of Juden Creek

Still, I remember the building, located just before you cross the bridge eastbound over Juden Creek, as somehow always being there, a landmark of sorts. It’s pink these days, but it once was white.

Alice’s Wicker Wonderland today

Alice’s Wicker Wonderland is there today, but it was Cape Mattress in my youth. When I did a search for it, lots of standing ads in The Missourian’s Locals and Personals columns popped up from around 1944 through 1960. They generally said something like “Buy Mattresses direct from factory and save. Cape Mattress Cape Rock Drive. Phone 1486.”

The Beard Triplets

Now we’ll get to the intertwining part.

The Missourian’s front page on April 17, 1951, trumpeted the birth of triplets to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Beard of near Scopus. [Google Archives doesn’t have a link directly to the story. Scroll to the left and you’ll find it.] The family already had six children living in their four-room house. They were the first triplets born at Southeast Hospital.

Within days, the community rallied around the family, providing them with necessities, a year’s supply of milk and an additional room for their home. A May 18, 1951, story said Cape Mattress had supplied a mattress for a bed for one of the Beard Triplets.

Follow-up at 15

On April 16, 1966, I did a follow-up story on the Triplets when they were going to turn 15. It was written in a breezy and somewhat impertinent style that Editor JBlue didn’t really like. He didn’t chew me out, but he went over the story after it ran to point out the places he thought were inappropriate in a straight newspaper story. I recall I took that approach because the kids didn’t really have a lot to say and I had to stretch it. [That issue of the paper was microfilmed sideways, so I can’t give you a direct link.]

The triplets’ mother, Audrey Beard, died Oct. 6, 2006, at the age of 94. Walter Beard died March 27, 1977. Gilbert Beard, Gladys Glover and Gloria Hoxworth – the triplets – were listed as survivors in the obituary.

So, that’s how a random drive past a vaguely remembered building can twist back to a story that sorta, kinda ties in.