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Cape Girardeau County Missouri
Genealogy Trails Website
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Cape Girardeau County History
Source: A Project of the
Bicentennial Commission of Cape Girardeau,
HOW THE CITY GOT
ITS NAME, by Jess E. Thilenius
How Cape Girardeau received its
name stems from old records that show almost two
and a half centuries ago a young ensign named Jean
Baptiste Girardot (Girardeau) was with the "French
Royale Troupes de Marines" stationed at Kaskaskia
and crossed to west of the Mississippi River to
establish his trading post on a rock promontory,
now known as "Cape Rock Park." This picturesque
eminence with the current of the river striking
its base made a cove, or cape, that gave this
French soldier and trader extensive view and
shelter for his boats.
Don Louis Lorimer established Cape Girardeau as a
permanent settlement in 1793. He was a
Frenchman who traveled to the Upper Louisiana area
of the Louisiana Purchase. Lorimer was born
in 1748 in Etienne, Montreal, Canada.
Lorimer built a residence, which was called the
On January 1, 1807, Joseph McFerron was appointed
the first postmaster of the area by President
Thomas Jefferson. He was elected in 1808 one of
the five trustees of the new town. Jackson
was designated the county seat of the newly formed
Cape Girardeau County. (More county history).