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BIOGRAPHY OF HISTORIC CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY
Source:  A Project of the Bicentennial Commission of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  No copyright.

HOW THE CITY GOT ITS NAME, by Jess E. Thilenius (excerpts)

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 "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 history)
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DATA

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Adjacent Counties

Surrounding Counties
Perry County (north)
Union County, Illinois (northeast)
Alexander County, Illinois (east)
Scott County (southeast)
Stoddard County (south)
Bollinger County (west)

Population

1821=7,852
1830=7,430
1840=9,359
1850=13,912
1860=15,547
1870=17,558
1880=20,998
1980=58,745
1990=61,633
2000=68,693

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