Music and Social Mores in Swamp-east Missouri

Eighteenth in a Series

By Matt Chaney, for

Posted Saturday, January 13, 2018

Copyright ©2018 for historical arrangement by Matthew L. Chaney

Flat, soggy southeastern Missouri was a reputed no-man’s-land in 1860, with scant population across 4,000 square miles: “Financially a dead country,” described W.B. Wood of Sikeston settlement, west of the Mississippi River.

The Missouri delta, of little elevation and comprised largely of the state’s Bootheel corner, stood as “tangled wildwood whose grounds seldom or never saw the light, being covered in summer with the growth peculiar to swamps, and in winter with water from 6-inches to 6-feet deep,” Wood wrote. Quinine with coffee or food was the daily dose to prevent malaria in this region, “one of the most unhealthy climates in the United States… with many physical difficulties to meet.”

“Surely no country could have been much worse.”

But settlers came, nonetheless, struggling mightily to clear forests for the rich alluvium underneath, sediments washed-in from the continent over time. American “Swamp-east Missouri” developed slowly for habitation and commerce. Modest farms and communities congregated along higher points of sand ridges arcing north-south through the plain.

Sikeston occupied Big Ridge, sandy bank of legend spanning a few miles wide, a hundred long in southeast Missouri, standing perhaps 20 feet above water in driest conditions. The fertile uplift carried south from Cape Girardeau through Scott and New Madrid counties, to the Mississippi River, then in broken segments through Pemiscot County into Arkansas.

Big Ridge had been traversed for thousands of years, by beings running, walking, crawling, slithering.  Wildlife forged trails and humans followed, bringing their wheeled contraptions. In 1541 explorer Hernando De Soto followed the sand bridge and Spaniards later named its trace path “El Camino Real.” Ultimately, this “King’s Highway” became delta roadbed for U.S. Highway 61 through southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas.

Railroad tracks pushed into the great delta jungle at outset of the Civil War. The line from Bird’s Point, Mo., river landing opposite Cairo, Ill., was laid 12 miles westward to Charleston settlement then 14 more to Sikeston. Cairo was river-and-rail hub of the American West, at mouth of the Ohio, and transfer steamers ferried train cars across the Mississippi to and from Bird’s Point.

By 1880 Charleston and Sikeston were established railroad towns, humming on agribusiness, if just clinging to parallel sand ridges, yet imperiled of riverine wilderness and human elements.

John B. Huffman arrived at Sikeston as a child in 1884, when his family relocated from Kentucky. The term Swamp-east Missouri was accurate, Huffman later affirmed. “There was that old saying, as [the climate] was very unhealthy then—chills and fever and malaria so prevalent—[that] ‘It required two bull frogs to exist during one summer, and one must be a doctor.’  There were no good roads [and] almost impassable streets when there was rain, snow or sleet.”

Sikeston was industrious though, maintaining population around 500 despite frequent flooding, Huffman recalled. The railroad levee and rickety bridges, linking the outside world, sometimes washed away. But rail bed, bridge and track were always replaced and commerce continued at Sikeston, led by shipments of corn and lumber.

Extra trains were required to haul corn from “Sikeston Ridge,” as the area was increasingly known, and sawmills processed an array of hardwoods, including white oak, beech and cypress in premium demand. Other local business included banking, medicine, newspapering, butchering, bakery, dry goods, poultry, general merchandise, millinery, furs and hides, blacksmithing, saddle and harness, livery and stable, and hostelry.

Most Sikeston youths attended church regularly while the school prepped them for higher education, according to Huffman. “Boys and girls did not graduate in baseball, football and basketball in the [1880s],” he wrote decades later, chronicling local history and families for The Sikeston Standard. “There was such strict discipline at school, they were compelled to learn.”

For fun boys did play baseball, filling vacant lots, among activities, and girls joined them at the local roller-skating rink. Sikeston youths enjoyed milkshakes, lemonade, candy, and churned ice cream at the drug store. But adults forbade them to enter a saloon or pool hall, unlike at bustling Cairo. Sikeston parents kept watch on anyone’s kid, in a place “so small that everybody knew everyone—and his dog,” Huffman recalled.

Unforgiving nature loomed everywhere about the sand ridge. Bears and panthers stalked people in the timber, where a big cat chased a woman to her home. Chicken coops on Sikeston’s fringes were raided by wolves, coyotes, cats and minks. “The woods were from Main Street near the Methodist Church building and ran north… I was bitten by a snake in the woods in 1884 or 1885,” Huffman wrote, adding the story of his brother’s brush with a serpent.

The carpenter brother was roused from sleep one night, while working on a “swamper house” out of town at water’s edge. The young man felt contact by something: “he struck a light and found that a big water moccasin had crawled in bed with him,” Huffman recounted. “Snakes were trying to creep into swampers’ homes.”

In boyhood Huffman and pals spied clusters of snakes along the railroad levee and likewise at their favorite lake to swim. “A snake den of at least 75 reptiles was on one side near the bank. We were in the channel, 200 feet [away],” he wrote.

Standing water was constant at Sikeston Ridge. “The swamps just below the hill east [of town] were so dense, and the water stood so deep on either side, it didn’t look like the land could ever be drained,” Huffman wrote.  “One could drive a pump [in earth] by hand in 30 minutes. Just a sledge and drive the pipe in about eight feet, [and] there was an ample stream of swamp water so foul that it was not fit for a hog to drink.”

“There was nothing but swamps north and south, except just a few cleared patches of land ranging from 40 to 160 acres. None near the railroad.”

The water bred a billion flying insects, giant mosquitoes in particular. When Morehouse sprang up along the railroad, a sawmill stop west of Sikeston, its namesake governor made a cursory appearance, drawing a crowd from miles around. But the celebration featuring Gov. Albert P. Morehouse didn’t go well because of swarming mosquitoes and itchy stings.  “Morehouse [settlement] was… just a wide swath cut out of the swamps,” Huffman recalled. The governor spoke but everyone “had to fight the mosquitoes all the time. It was difficult to eat the barbecue dinner on account of the mosquitoes.”

Human threats were dreaded most at Sikeston Ridge, amidst the delta outback. The violent Wild West began in Missouri, as America understood, and the Swamp-east sector was notorious, “a favorite hiding place for criminals and desperadoes,” per one account.

Anarchy reigned during the Civil War, with the region invaded by clashing armies under Union Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Confederates like Jeff “Swamp Fox” Thompson. Guerrillas attacked the founding family of Sikeston, robbing and lynching John Sikes. His wife cut down the rope as the hangmen departed, saving Sikes, but he was murdered in the postwar, late 1867, after a fight between drunks in his store.

Occasionally the James Gang rode down into southeast Missouri, committing robbery, ducking undercover in the hills and marshes. But while law and order were strengthened in northern Missouri, and Jesse James eventually assassinated, southeastern Missouri remained sanctuary for villains.

In May 1881 a band of marauders terrorized Big Ridge from New Madrid to Sikeston, on rampage some 20 miles. They shot multiple citizens, including a child and a sheriff’s deputy who died of wounds. Posses pursued the gang through swamps into the Ozark foothills, where another lawman succumbed to gunfire. The publicized manhunt attracted a thousand armed riders, and the rogues were finally cornered near Piedmont town. Gunshots killed two gang members while one was hung by vigilantes.

Police apprehended two surviving suspects and secreted them to St. Louis to avoid lynch mobs. The pair ended up hanging, anyway, executed by the state before a Bootheel crowd of 5,000 in July 1881, according to news reports.

Swamp-east Missouri continued to be regarded as “uninviting, ugly and defiant… with few to praise it and fewer optimistic enough to believe that its future might hold something of promise,” observed writer Louis La Cross. But closer consideration could teach differently, revealing beauty and bounty in a forsaken frontier. Conspicuous signs were giant trees, bright flowers and juicy berries in the wild, and crops of 90-pound watermelons, thick corn ears, and huge cotton bolls.

Aesthetics of nature shone in the Missouri delta, inspiring those who got beyond initial impression or shock. John James Audubon never forgot his unplanned indoctrination to Swamp-east topography during winter of 1810-11.

Ice buildup on the Mississippi halted Audubon’s keel-boat group on the Missouri shore between Cape Girardeau and future site of Cairo. Audubon, budding naturalist and painter, pitched camp with a dozen French Canadians in Missouri’s Tywappity Bottom, a formidable timberland interspersed with water, prairie and pathways.

“Everything around us seemed dreary and dismal,” Audubon recorded in journal, “and had we not been endowed with the faculty of deriving pleasure from the examination of nature, we should have made up our minds to pass the time in… hibernation.” The party found abundant game and wood supply, and unbridled land to explore.

Young Audubon was enchanted by the delta in snow cover—tree lines, surface contours bared in grey winter—and he spent six weeks “very pleasantly,” observed latter historian Louis Houck, for his account of the famed ornithologist in Tywapitty. “No white man’s cabin was within 20 miles of this camp. But for Audubon this was a delightful place,” Houck reported. “He rambled around in the woods, found the Indian trails and the lakes of the neighborhood.”

Audubon studied “habits of wild animals, the deer, the bears, cougars, raccoons, and turkeys and many other animals,” Houck noted, “and he also drew [illustrations] by the side of the great campfires.”

Audubon made music at fireside, too, playing flute in accompaniment of a comrade on violin, and men danced. Thereafter, on occasion, Audubon fondly mentioned “Tawapatee” and his winter sojourn in southeast Missouri.

Seventy years after Audubon at Tywappity Bottom, Maud Rittenhouse was a precocious teenager nearby at Cairo, river port that fostered arts and entertainment. Young Maud reveled in the Cairo environment of 6,000 residents, thousands of visitors weekly. She scoffed at critics of her flatland home. “Every rickety old house looks familiar and sweet, every tree an old friend,” Rittenhouse wrote in diary, 1881. “I was born here and have lived here and can never do ought but love our dear ugly Cairo.”

Rittenhouse, someday to be a best-selling author, was touched by delta beauty in her youth. Even when the rivers flooded, threatening levees circling Cairo, forcing groundwater up into homes, the adolescent Maud saw positives. Cairo, for her, covered in seep water by day, assumed Venetian romance under moonlight. “I can scarcely express to you the lovely time we had last night. The moon full, the water just rippling lightly, the skiff large and light,” Maud recorded for a boat ride over submerged streets in March 1882.

“There was a barge of musicians floating, too, and the clear notes of the guitar and cithern [harp] rang dreamily over the water, and the singing was very sweet. It was delicious floating off under the locust trees, past the new white church with its tall spire reflected in the water.”

“Verily, we are a modern Venice.”

Cairo certainly verified human progress in the postwar delta, serving as commercial model and flagship for regional upstarts Charleston and Sikeston. “The rapid strides Cairo is now making towards her ultimate destiny—the vast central emporium of the United States—irresistibly enhances the importance of this part of the state,” a commentator declared in The Charleston Courier.

And Missouri folks heard sweet musical sounds same as Maud, none better in America, emanating from Cairo and the great rivers. The anti-rants of church preachers and congregations, condemning devilish melody and body movement, were often ineffective.

Mississippi County, Mo., embraced song and dance, especially the young people. Music performances began at river shoreline across from Cairo, a stretch of landings, ferry boats, railroads and structures collectively known as Bird’s Point, or Birdville, among names since the Europeans. Bird’s Point hosted huge gatherings with music, having done so since circus showboats and floating theaters prior to the war.

“There will be a barbecue and picnic at Bird’s Point today,” the Cairo paper announced Friday morning, July 2, 1869. “The Missouri belles and beaux will be there in force, and wherever they assemble there is going to be first-class enjoyment.”

Big parties occurred regularly in Mississippi County from Bird’s Point west to Charleston, Mo., across bottoms like Tywappity of Audubon yore. People from multiple states were drawn to Deal’s Grove at Charleston, where publicized picnics and barbecues featured sport, music, dancing and alcohol. Excursion steamboats and trains transported crowds to and from the Swamp-east wilds, for shindigs in clearings like Deal’s. Revelers heard touted “party music” and “charms for the savage ear” from exceptional local players, white and black, on cornet, fiddle (violin), banjo, guitar, piano and more. The vocal talent, so good, could startle listeners.

Indoor music venues increased around southeast Missouri during the latter 19th century, across hills and flatland. The trend was so-called opera houses, opening in various form at communities such as Cape Girardeau, Commerce, Benton, Sikeston, Charleston, New Madrid, Malden, Caruthersville, Kennett, Poplar Bluff and Doniphan.

Expansion of saloons and dance halls in Charleston spurred rise in illicit gambling and alcohol-related problems, including peace disturbance, injurious accidents, and murder. Sikeston saw similar developments, farther west on the railroad and further isolated than Charleston. And thus a pious Sikeston government, national evangelism and temperance movement converged to stamp out local sin in the 1880s.

Revivalist fervor swept the town, led by “shouting Sikeston Methodists,” Huffman recalled. “About 11 or 11:30 o’clock one night they made such a terrible noise, shouting, screaming and hollering, that this writer, the little 6- or 7-year-old boy, fell out of bed, scared almost out of [my] senses, and my father had to dress and take me over to see the sights.”

“Old-time Methodist women and men were shouting and rejoicing and turning over benches, and [the church] looked like a battlefield. Two women fell out of the screen-less windows. They got hold of my younger sister Hattie… they beat her in the back so much, she was afraid to go back for two months.”

The debate led to merciless violence, typical of tempest in Swamp-east Missouri. In 1886 a saloon keeper at Sikeston, enraged over exorbitant tax on his business, beat-down a Methodist pastor in public. Angry citizens pondered “mob law” for the perpetrator, according to news reports and Huffman’s account. The hapless bar owner fled from Sikeston Ridge, returning home to Cairo.

John B. Huffman became a popular evangelist in the 20th century, speaking at Christian revivals, traveling worldwide from home in southeast Missouri. Huffman didn’t approve of sexy dancing and alcohol for anyone, much less young people, convinced these produced negative outcome.

But in 1946—about the time a boy named Elvis Presley began visiting relatives at Sikeston—the pastor known as Elder Huffman didn’t join modern crusaders against “lewd” music and dance.

“I never danced in my life… but I am just living my own life, and realize this is a big world, populated by all kinds of people,” Huffman wrote for the Sikeston paper, “and [Americans] have a right under the Constitution to live the kind of life they want. What any man or woman does is not my business.”

“I must attend to my own business, and let all others pursue their uneven tenor through this veil of tears.”

Select References

A Good Show. (1894, Sept. 1). Cape Girardeau Democrat MO, p. 5.

A Grand Moonlight Excursion. (1872, June 16). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

A New Madrid Sensation. (1881, May 13). St. Louis Post-Dispatch MO, p. 8.

A Prominent Sikeston Citizen. (1883, Aug. 23). Ironton County Register, Ironton MO, p. 4.

A Tragedy in Charleston. (1869, March 1). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 1.

A Waste of Water. (1890, March 9). St. Louis Post-Dispatch MO, p. 20.

An Expedition from Cairo! (1861, Nov. 8). Cleveland Daily Leader OH, p. 3.

Barbecue and Pic-Nic. (1869, July 2). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

Bill Lake’s Hippo-Olympiad. (1869, June 18). Charleston Courier MO, p. 3.

Bishop Faude. (1886, Aug. 25). Fort Wayne Daily News IN, p. 2.

Blaise, H.V. (1947, April 25). Sikeston, Mo.—Famous for Bulging Money Bags. Sikeston Standard MO, p. 1.

Boulder to Mark King’s Highway. (1916, March 28). Caruthersville Democrat-Argus MO, p. 2.

Briggs, Harold E. (1954, Autumn). Entertainment and Amusement in Cairo, 1848-1858. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 47, pp. 231-251.

Brevities. (1876, March 30). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

Cairo Branch of the Iron Mountain Railroad. (1871, May 4). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

Captain Falls. (1874, Dec. 13). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

Chaney, M. (1997). Legend in Missouri. Four Walls Publishing: Warrensburg MO.

Chapman, The Captain and Manager. (1839, Aug. 15). New Orleans Times-Picayune LA, p. 2.

Charleston Amateur Dramatic Club. (1870, July 2). Charleston Courier MO, p. 2.

Charleston Fair. (1877, Sept. 18). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

City News. (1878, Jan. 6). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

Completion of the Cairo, Arkansas and Texas Railroad. (1873, Sept. 28). Galveston Daily News TX, p. 1.

Condensed Telegrams. (1882, Jan. 18). St. Louis Post-Dispatch MO, p. 5.

Conservatory News. (1884, July 10). Rolla Herald MO, p. 3.

County Court Proceedings. (1871, Nov. 10). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 2.

Day Before Yesterday. (1872, Oct. 4). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

For the Louisiana Gazette. (1811, Feb. 14). Missouri Gazette and Public Advertiser, St. Louis MO, p. 2.

“Flint’s Recollections.” (1826, May 29). New York Post, p. 1.

From Cairo. (1861, July 30). Cleveland Daily Leader OH, p. 2.

From Commerce. (1865, Aug. 4). Charleston Courier MO, p. 1.

From Commerce. (1895, June 15). Benton News Boy MO, p. 1.

From Sikeston. (1895, Jan. 26). Benton News Boy MO, p. 1.

From the National Intelligencer. (1818, April 10). Missouri Gazette and Public Advertiser MO, p. 3.

Gates, Paul W. (1932, January). The Railroads of Missouri, 1850-1870. Missouri Historical Review, 26 (2), pp. 126-141.

General Local Items. (1882, Feb. 22). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

General Local News. (1880, Nov. 16). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

General Local News. (1882, Feb. 14). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

General Local News. (1882, Sept. 29). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

Godsey, R. (1924, Feb. 12). Southeast Missouri Agricultural Empire. Sikeston Standard MO, p. 3.

Graham, P. (1951). Showboats: The History of an American Institution. University of Texas Press: Austin TX.

Grand Pic-Nic. (1872, May 15). Jackson Cash-Book MO, p. 3.

Grant, U.S. (1885-1886). Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant: Volumes I & II. Charles L. Webster and Company: New York NY.

Great Central Emigrant Route. (1868, March 31). Stanford Banner KY, p. 3.

Greenfield Ferry. (1877, July 1). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

Houck, L. (1908). A History of Missouri: Volume I. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company: Chicago IL.

Huffman, J.B. (1945, Dec. 14). Pioneer Days of Sikeston, Mo. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 16-18

Huffman, J.B. (1945, Dec. 25). Pioneer Days of Sikeston, Mo. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 17-19, 23.

Huffman, J.B. (1946, Jan. 4). Pioneer Days of Sikeston, Mo. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 9, 12.

Huffman, J.B. (1946, Jan. 18). Pioneer Days of Sikeston, Mo. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 10-11.

Huffman, J.B. (1946, Feb. 1). Pioneer Days of Sikeston. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 12-13.

Huffman, J.B. (1946, March 1). Pioneer Days of Sikeston. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 17-18.

Huffman, J.B. (1946, March 29). Pioneer Days of Sikeston. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 19-21.

Huffman, J.B. (1946, April 30). Pioneer Days of Sikeston. Sikeston Standard MO, p. 9.

Huffman, J.B. (1946, May 10). Pioneer Days of Sikeston. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 4-5.

Huffman, J.B. (1949, July 25). Pioneer Days of Sikeston. Sikeston Standard MO, p. 12.

Huffman, J.B. (1950, March 30). Pioneer Days of Sikeston. Sikeston Standard MO, pp. 9, 15.

It Is Stated. (1881, July 15). Hickman Courier KY, p. 4.

Kelley, M.I. (1930, June 6). Southeast Missouri Conquered by Years of Toil. Blytheville Courier News AR, p. 3.

La Cross, L. (1924, Nov. 14). Reclamation Project Drains 1,800 Square Miles of Land. Caruthersville Democrat-Argus MO, p. 1.

Lansden, John McMurray. (1910). A History of the City of Cairo, Illinois. Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale IL.

Last Night’s Dispatches. (1864, Nov. 17). Zanesville Daily Recorder OH, p. 3.

Life Cheap. (1874, April 2). St. Louis Post-Dispatch MO, p. 2.

Local Melange. (1872, May 18). Charleston Courier MO, p. 3.

Local Notices. (1872, June 9). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

Mails of the United States. (1858, May 15). Louisville Daily Courier KY, p. 2.

Mayne, I.M. (1939). Maud. Macmillan & Company: New York NY.

Missouri Matters. (1882, Dec. 25). St. Louis Post-Dispatch MO, p. 7.

Missouri Matters. (1883, May 23). St. Louis Post-Dispatch MO, p. 7.

Missouri Quillings. (1872, Oct. 31). Ste. Genevieve Fair Play MO, p. 3.

Missouri State Items. (1877, Nov. 6). St. Louis Post-Dispatch MO, p. 2.

Mr. John Sikes. (1868, Jan. 13). Janesville Daily Gazette WI, p. 1.

New Railroad Route. (1859, March 18). Memphis Daily Appeal TN, p. 1.

News Items. (1869, Sept. 17). Charleston Courier MO, p. 2.

News Summary. (1881, July 21). Indiana Progress, Indiana PA, p. 9.

Old Memphis. (1875, March 24). Memphis Public Ledger TN, p. 3.

Patent Bell-Ringing Apparatus. (1869, April 30). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

Proposals for Carrying the Mail. (1850, Jan. 18). Washington Daily Republic DC, pp. 5-8.

Rader, P.S. (1907). Rader’s Revised History of Missouri. Hugh Stephens Printing Company: Jefferson City MO.

Railroad Notes. (1872, July 16). Daily Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock AR, p. 1.

Railroad Timetable. (1873, Aug. 20). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

Railroads Beginning to Suffer. (1898, March 31). Lawrence Daily Journal KS, p. 1.

Rev. A.T. Tidwell. (1886, Aug. 5). Rolla Herald MO, p. 3.

River News. (1877, Sept. 23). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

River News, &c. (1858, Nov. 5). Vicksburg Daily Whig MS, p. 3.

Sadler, P. (1947, March 28). Phil Sadler Writes of Early History of Sikeston. Sikeston Standard MO, p. 17.

Schaaf, I.M. (1935, January). The First Roads West of The Mississippi. Missouri Historical Review, 29 (2), pp. 92-99.

Select Basket Picnic at Greenfield’s Landing. (1870, July 23). Charleston Courier MO, p. 3.

Sikeston Herself Again. (1873, May 1). Ste. Genevieve Fair Play MO, p. 2.

Sketches. (1811, Feb. 14). Missouri Gazette and Public Advertiser, St. Louis MO, p. 2.

Smyth-Davis, M.F. (1896). History of Dunklin County, Mo.: 1845-1895. Nixon-Jones Printing Company: St. Louis MO.

Sol. Smith Russell. (1882, Nov. 26). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

Southeast Lowlands Groundwater Province. (Accessed 2018, Jan. 6). Missouri Geological Survey,

Southeast News. (1896, April 10). Caruthersville Democrat-Argus MO, p. 1.

Southeast News Notes. (1896, March 14). Benton News Boy MO, p. 1.

Southeast Notes. (1894, June 2). Benton News Boy MO, p. 1.

Southeast Notes. (1895, Feb. 9). Benton News Boy MO, p. 4.

Southeast Notes. (1897, Jan. 9). Benton News Boy MO, p. 4.

Southeast Notes. (1897, Jan. 23). Benton News Boy MO, p. 1.

Spalding & Rogers. (1858, Nov. 19). [Advertisement.] Vicksburg Daily Whig MS, p. 2.

Special Local Items. (1880, March 25). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

Stallings, R. (1940). The Drama in Southern Illinois (1865-1900). Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 33, pp. 190-202.

Stephens, A.S. (1866). Pictorial History of the War for the Union: Volume I. James R. Hawley: Cincinnati OH.

Stiles, T.J. (2002). Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War. Random House: New York NY.

Street Fair Attractions. (1899, Oct. 7). Cape Girardeau Democrat MO, p. 1.

Stretched Hemp. (1881, July 16). Lawrence Daily Journal KS, p. 1.

Terrible Affair in New Madrid County. (1881, May 19). Iron County Register, Ironton MO, p. 4.

The Banjo En Route. (1859, May 28). New Orleans Times-Picayune LA, p. 3.

The Bulletin. (1872, June 8). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

The Circus has Come and Gone. (1868, Nov. 11). Charleston Courier MO, p. 3.

The Commercial Position of Cairo. (1865, Oct. 5). Cairo Evening Times IL, p. 3.

The Ferry Landing. (1874, Aug. 16). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 4.

The Fourth of July! (1871, July 8). Charleston Courier MO, p. 2.

The Grand Barbecue! (1866, July 6). Charleston Courier MO, p. 2.

The Great Circus of Nixon, Castello & Howe is Coming. (1868, Oct. 23). Charleston Courier MO, p. 3.

The Great Showboats. (1858, Aug. 5). Glasgow Weekly Times MO, p. 3.

The Greenfield’s Ferry. (1871, May 10). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

The New Central Hotel at Sikeston. (1882, May 12). Kirksville Weekly Gazette MO, p. 1.

The Sikeston Desperadoes. (1881, May 24). Chicago Tribune IL, p. 7.

Tisdel, F.W. (1923, July 20). “Discovering Missouri.” Caruthersville Democrat-Argus MO, p. 3.

To Heaven or Hades? (1881, July 19). Sedalia Weekly Bazoo MO, p. 4.

Two Monster Shows. (1870, Oct. 18). [Advertisement.] Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 2.

“Wait For The Wagon!” (1858, May 6). [Advertisement.] Glasgow Weekly Times MO, p. 1.

War With Desperadoes. (1881, May 23). Oshkosh Northwestern WI, p. 4.

West, Anne. (1940). It Happened In Cairo. The Rockledge Company: Flushing NY.

Wild Cats. (1876, April 15). Cairo Bulletin IL, p. 3.

Woman’s Gossip. (1895, Jan. 12). Benton News Boy MO, p. 1.

Wood, W.B. (1886, Sept. 17). A Country Developed by Railroads. Southern Sentinel, Winnfield LA, p. 1.

Matt Chaney is a writer and consultant in Missouri, USA. For more information visit Email: