Bellefontaine Cemetery · Kate Brewington Bennett · St. Louis · Uncategorized

Kate Brewington Bennett

Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis is like the Hollywood Walk of Fame for history nerds. The list of notable people buried there is so long that the walking brochure can only spare room for a few words about each one. My friend and I went exploring the cemetery last summer, following the brochure from the… Continue reading Kate Brewington Bennett

Artist · Kewpie · Rose O'Neill · Taney County · Walnut Shade

Road Trip: Bonniebrook Historic Site & Museum

Driving on 65 toward Branson, it’s easy to miss the turnoff for Bonniebrook.  There are plenty of billboards to shock and distract and you with the news that Andy Williams is somehow still alive and that Yakov Smirnov is somehow still culturally relevant.  Bonniebrook’s signs aren’t as flashy.  But if you pass them, you’ll be… Continue reading Road Trip: Bonniebrook Historic Site & Museum

Florissant · Old Saint Ferdinand Shrine · Pioneer · Religious Leader · Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne · Shrine of St. Phillipine Duchesne · St. Charles · St. Louis County · Teacher

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

In the late 1780s, France sat perched on the edge of Revolution.  But the mind of schoolgirl Rose Philippine Duchesne was somewhere far, far away.  Returning missionaries regularly spoke at Philippine’s school, captivating her with tales of their adventures in North America. Philippine felt God was calling her to the American frontier, to save the… Continue reading Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

Calamity Jane · Mercer County · Pioneer · Princeton

Book Review – Calamity Jane: The Woman and the Legend

by James D. McLaird, University of Oklahoma Press, 2005  Most biographies of well-known figures tend to fall into two categories: those that build their subject up, and those that tear them down.  That makes it all the more refreshing to read a book like James D. McLaird’s Calamity Jane, which simply looks on in fascination… Continue reading Book Review – Calamity Jane: The Woman and the Legend

Cole County · Greene County · Hall of Famous Missourians · Jefferson City · Missouri State University

Women’s History Month

It's that time of year again!  There are so many great Women's History Month activities-- reading the 19th amendment aloud in front of a crackling fire, going to the mall to sit on Susan B. Anthony's lap--  that it's easy to get overwhelmed.  It's important to remember the true purpose of the season: coming out to support your local… Continue reading Women’s History Month

Candy · Clara Stover · Entrepreneur · Mt. Moriah Cemetery · Valentine's Day

Clara Stover

This Valentine’s Day, the odds are good that you’ll succumb to the temptations of a Missouri Woman.  And they’ll probably be in a heart-shaped box.  Starting from next to nothing, chocolate queen Clara Stover went on to redefine how the world says “I love you”.  She was born Clara Lewis, in rural Iowa in 1882. … Continue reading Clara Stover

Calamity Jane · Mercer County · Princeton

Calamity Jane

Martha Canary never set out to become a legend.  But when you're a boastful, fun-loving drunk, things... just sort of happen.  Canary, better known as Calamity Jane, is another Missouri woman whose fictional life overshadowed her real adventures.  She never served as an army scout, never fought Indians, and never rescued any stagecoaches.  What she did do was hold… Continue reading Calamity Jane

Downing House Museum · Ella Ewing · Giantess · Gorin · Harmony Grove Cemetery · La Grange · Lewis County · Memphis · Scotland County

Ella Ewing

Up until age 7, Ella Ewing was a perfectly ordinary farm girl from around La Grange, Missouri.  Then she started to grow.  By the time she was 14 years old, she was over six feet tall.  By 18, she was close to seven feet.  Her ultimate height, which she reached at age 22, is believed… Continue reading Ella Ewing

Arizona "Ma" Barker · Ash Grove · Greene County · Howell County · Oregon County · Outlaw · Shelley Winters · St. Louis · Thayer · West Plains

Arizona “Ma” Barker

Stop for a moment, and imagine Ma Barker.  Is she waving a Tommy gun, chawing a cigar, and plotting a bank robbery?  Is she brow-beating her weak-willed criminal sons, and generally being a role model for overbearing mothers everywhere?  We thought so. Well, you have two people to thank for that wildly inaccurate image: FBI founder… Continue reading Arizona “Ma” Barker

African American · Mary Price Walls · Missouri State University · Springfield

Mary Price Walls

From the Springfield News-Leader, June 28, 2010: First Black Applicant Gets Degree from MSU: Son's Curiosity Uncovers Walls' Place in MSU History and Prompts Honorary Degree by Didi Tang On July 30, Mary Price Walls, 78, will get an honorary degree from Missouri State University, 60 years after her hometown college refused to allow her… Continue reading Mary Price Walls