Cape Girardeau County, Missouri
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Genealogy and History

Cape Girardeau County
Accidents, Tragedies,
Disasters and Fires


J.B. Allens family
At the beginning of the rain on last Monday night J.B. Allen and wife and little son were sitting in front of their house, and there came a very vivid flash of lightening, striking near the house.  The shock stunned all three persons, but the shock was so great on Mrs. Allen that she did not fully recover from it until the next morning.
Source: The Jackson Herald, Jackson MO., Aug. 1, 1901

Mr. Davis
We ...learn that an unfortunate accident occurred a few days since, on board of a keel-boat which was bound up this river, whilst passing thro' the cut-off between the Arkansas and White rivers.  A young man by the name of Davis, of Cape Girardeau county, Mo. accidentlly fell overboard, and not being able to swim, one of the boatmen immediately plunged into the water to his relief, when he was caught by the drowning man, and they both sank into a watery grave.  We have not been able to ascertain the name of the heroic young man, who has thus unfortunately lost his life in attempting to save that of a struggling fellow-creature.
Source: The Arkansas Gazette, July 30, 1822
Cape Girardeau, MO., March 14--The Lorimer roller flour mills, together with an elevator, were burned to the ground early yesterday morning.  Loss, $50,000; partially insured.  
Source: Omaha (NE) World Herald, March 15, 1892.

Phyllis GRAMMAR Taken From River

 Phyllis GRAMMAR, the woman who disappeared from the levee front house some few days ago, was taken from the river at Bird's Point, opposite Cairo, Ill., Friday.  The body was in such condition that there is an apparent difference between the description furnished by the ferryman who found it and the description known by the acquaintances of the woman in this city.

The one difference which at first seemed to indicate that the body was not that of Mrs. GRAMMAR was the age.  Those who took the body from the water estimated that the woman had been about 25 years of age. Mrs.GRAMMAR is known to have been at least 40 and possibly 45 years of age, although she looked younger.  The influence of the water in puffing the face and making it look younger is believed to have led the Mississippi County authorities in deciding that she was about 25.

In all other respects, the identification marks tally with those of Mrs. GRAMMAR.  The body had long black hair, a shirt waist, a black calico skirt, stockings but no shoes.  These particulars coincide with those of Mrs. GRAMMAR the day she disappeared.  She had raven black hair which was long and flowing.  The waist and the skirt she wore around the house were like those in the description and her stockings were missing from the room, but her shoes were found at the bed side.

 Mrs. GRAMMAR moved into the two-room apartment at the read of the third floor building, 107 Water Street several weeks ago and her son Robert lived with her.  Shortly after moving there, she became ill and was confined to her bed. Two other families living on the third floor saw her frequently and knew that she was suffering and that she was keeping to her bed most of the time.   She had a slight attack of dropsy, from which she had suffered before at times.  Then her son was taken down ill and was forced to stay in bed for several days.  She got up at times and waited on him.

 The family was apparently in very unfortunate circumstances and the woman grieved considerably.  The neighbors knew that she was despondent and after she disappeared, her son, in speaking about her, said that she had told him frequently that she felt like going to the river and jumping in and ending her suffering. Her threat was no idle vaporing of the half-ill or slightly afflicted, but the neighbors say that they believe she was sincere when she made it and really believe she was contemplating taking her life for sometime.  They are convinced that the body taken from the river opposite Cairo was that of Mrs. GRAMMAR.

 The morning she disappeared an inspection of her room was made by her son.  It was remarked then that the shoes were at the bedside while all her other daily-worn clothing was gone.  That seemed peculiar but the son made no comment to his neighbors of any fear that his mother had jumped in the river.   He said that she had never gone off and left him before in that manner and he could not understand her disappearance. No one thought at that time that she had jumped into the river.  No one saw her leaving the place but she is known to have been in the place as late as 4 o'clock in the morning.  That was about two weeks ago.  The body was taken from the river Friday by B. F. Bennett, a ferryman at Bird's Point.  He heard at Cairo that a woman was missing from this city and wrote to the police here, giving the description of the body.  He said that the body had been buried on the bank near where it was taken from the water.

  Mrs. GRAMMER was born and raised on the north of the county on Indian Creek and later moved to Jackson and then to this city.  She wandered around at times, living in one place and then another.  Since her disappearance, her son is supposed to have gone to Caruthersville.  A daughter is the wife of Quincy GRAY of Illinois, formerly a policeman of this city.
Source: Monday, June 3, 1911,The Republican Newspaper Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Transcribed by: Kim Thorp 

Joe Johnson, Mrs. Bugg and Miss Frazier
In Trying to Ford a Stream A Wagon Is Caught In the Current
Jackson, Mo., April 27-An accident occurred here yesterday afternoon, resulting in the drowning of four persons. Mr. Joe Johnson was coming to town in a covered wagon, and with him were Mrs. Bugg, her son, five years old, and her baby and Miss Minnie Frazier. The creek just east of this city was swollen from the heavy rain of yesterday. Johnson attempted to cross at the ford, but the wagon was swept away by the swift current. Johnson swam to the bank, but the two women, the little boy and the baby were drowned. The bodies of the baby and of Miss Frazier have been recovered, but the other two have not been found. The parties resided near Cousinville.
--Indian Chieftain; Vinita. I. T. (OK); April 29, 1897; transcribed by Dale Donlon.

Fay Irene Medley, and Bradley Eugene Sides
Cape Girardeau, MO--Two persons from southeast Missouri died of injuries from a collision in Cape Girardeau early Sunday.  Fay Irene Medley, 41, of Chaffee, Missouri was killed outright.  A 14-year-old passenger in the second car, Bradley Eugene Sides of Jackson, Mo., died at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau.  In critical condition was Roland Bruce Schoenbeck, 22, of Jackson, driver of the second car.  --Louisana Times Picayune, May 24, 1965, transcribed by A. Newell.

Eugene Woods
Employe of McBride Mills victim of Heart Disease this morning.
EUGENE WOODS, about 27 years old, a timber cutter in the Illinois bottoms, across the river, for the Goerge McBride stave mills, died suddenly Wednesday morning just after pushing out from the Illinois shore, coming to this city for supplies.
Woods and his brother, Al, with a young son of Al's are timber cutters and during the week camp in the woods where they are at work.  Al Woods resides with his family in Cape Girardeau, in the southern part of the city, and his brother Eugene has made his home with him.
Needing some provisions at their camp, Eugene and his young nephew got in a boat to row across to the Cape, and had only gone a few strokes from the shore when Eugene ceased rowing to take a chew of tobacco, when his nephew was startled to see him thow up his hands and fall backwards, dead.
The boy returned to the shore with his uncle's body and then hurried to the camp to notify his father, who immediately came to the Cape to phone the coroner of Alexander county at Thebes, of the death of his brother.  The dead man had no family.
Source: Cape Girardeau Weekly Republican, March 10, 1911

Cape Girardeau, Mo., Sept. 1--(By The Associated Press)--A verdict of accident was returned by a coroner's jury late tonight following the inquest into the death of the two men known to have been killed in a wreck of fast train No. 805 of the St. Louis and San Francisco railroad near Wittenberg, 35 miles north of here, early this morning when part of the train crashed through a bridge.
About 50 passengers are reported to be injured.
Several of the injured were members of the Missouri National Guard, who have been stationed at Moberly, Mo., on strike duty.  Several of the coaches crashed into a creek, and the men killed were passengers in the chair car.
Source: San Jose (CA) Mercury Herald, Sept. 2, 1922
Cape Girardeau, Mo., Sept. 1--(By the Associated Press)--Two persons were killed and several injured today when a St. Louis and San Francisco railway passenger train enroute from St. Louis to Memphis, was wrecked near here when a trestle it was crossing gave way.
Source: The Charlotte Observer, Sept. 2, 1922

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