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Cape Girardeau County Missouri
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Cape Girardeau County
Source: A Project of the Bicentennial Commission
of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
HOW THE CITY GOT ITS NAME, by Jess E. Thilenius
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 "Red House."
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
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