Morehouse 1880

The Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1879 and 1880 place the community of Little River (later became Morehouse) located on Little River in the northwest corner of New Madrid County on the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad. The population was 100 and had what they called a common school. Mail was received daily; U.L. Huggins was postmaster, physician, and station master. Business listed was Kerby and Malone , lumber manufacturers; E.J. Malone, general store; W.C Montgomery, hotel proprietor; Benjamin Richards, blacksmith: and M.J. Tickell, livestock  dealer.

Miller, Hunter, editor, Historical New Madrid County Mother of Southeast Missouri   A Project of the High School Department: New Madrid County Teachers Association, March 19, 1948. Reprinted in 1998 for the New Madrid Historical Museum.

River Gages on Little River

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at Memphis maintains river gauges on Little River. Some of these measure the height of the river for flood control and other just record the water flow for historical records.   Seven of the twenty forecasting station are in Missouri near Kennett at Hornersville. The Missouri gauges are manually read stations to only record historic data. The following tell the Little River Floodway Ditch, location, and record flood stage and date. Numbers on gauges are arbitrary with one gauge having no relationship to another gauge.

# 259 near Kennett  15.5    04/29/1927             # 251  near Kennett  21.8   03/11/1964 

# 066 near Kennett  21.8     03/11/1964            # 001 near Kennett  16.81  03/26/1958

# 081 near Kennett  15.11   04/21/1927            # 081 near Hornersville  45.95  01/27/1927

# 001 near Hornersville  45.1  04/25/1973        

Rivergages.com Providing River Gage Data for Rivers, Streams, and Tributaries

http://www2.mvr.usace..army.mil/WaterControl/new/layout.cfm

River Rerouted

At the south edge of the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport there are a range of small hill running north and south. This is an old shallow Mississippi River bed where until 10,000 years ago the rover turned west. During the first part of the ice ages, it flowed west past Advance, to the hills near Poplar Bluff before turning south.

During the latter part of the ice age the water broke through and flowed through Oran and Bell City locations on the eastern side of Crowley’s Ridge. A few hundred thousand years ago, a shallow slice of the Gulf of Mexico . . . Mississippi Embayment . . . came to this area. At which time the Gulf came up to mid-Arkansas.

Tour of New Madrid Seismic Zone        http://www.showme.net/-fkeller/quak/tour.htm

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Morehouse 1889

About 1889, Dr. E.J. Malone sold his saw mill and adjoining land, located where the Cairo, Arkansas, and Texas Railroad (later the Missouri Pacific that ran east and west from Sikeston) cross Little River to I. Himmelberger & Co. This was a partnership between Isaac Himmelberger and his son John Himmelberger.

The Himmelbergers had operated a saw mill at Buffington in Stoddard County. Buffington exist not only as a name place east of Gray Ridge and west of Morehouse. They moved this operation to Morehouse after the Malone purchase. It was several years before the village’s name was changed to Morehouse.

Miller, Hunter, editor, Historical New Madrid County Mother of Southeast Missouri   A Project of the High School Department: New Madrid County Teachers Association, March 19, 1948. Reprinted in 1998 for the New Madrid Historical Museum.

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Early Newspapers Cape Girardeau County

Jackson was the site of the first newspaper published in Southeast Missouri and the second published outside St. Louis. It was the Missouri Herald printed in 1819.

Cape Girardeau’s first newspaper was Whig by political philosophy. The Patriot was established in 1836. Other early news rags were the South Missouri, 1843, The Western Eagle, Democracy, and Marble City, all hitting the streets in 1866. Other early newspapers in the Cape area were The Censor, 1846, the Argus, 1869, Westliche Post 1871, the first German language weekly, The Courier , 1878, the Mississippi Valley Globe in 1875, The Cape Talk, short lived, in 1856, the Baptist Headlight in 1896, Southeast Gazette, a weekly, in 1896, and the New Era,  short lived, 1893

Name changes were frequent as in the Jackson Eagle had its name changed after four year to become Cape Girardeau’s Southern Advocate and State Journal in 1839. In 1845, it was back in Jackson published as The Jackson only to be moved back to Cape Girardeau to become the Southern Advocate in 1849. In 1850, as a Democratic paper, it was named Southern Democrat. The name was changed in 1852 to the Jeffersonian. One early newspaper that did not have a name change, even going through four owners between 1871 up to as least 1912. The Cash Book was a Democratic weekly. A German language newspaper, Deutscher Volks Freund established in 1886 was also still published in 1912.

Douglass, History of Southeast Missouri, 1912
 


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    Having grown up on Little River, I have been fascinated with it. Over the past several years, as a local historian, this area has been a special interest. 

     These areas have been treated much like step-children by Jefferson City and Little Rock. They seem to believe nothing has ever happened here.  Our history has been long and varied. Hope you enjoy my trip.  

    Near Puxico is the swampy Mingo Wildlife Refuge. One hundred and fifty year ago, most of the Little River Valley appeared that way. This valley covering two million acres was part of the largest wetland in America.

    Floods frequently intimated the Valley. Between 1815 and 2011, 15 major floods covered or threatened the area.

    Timber companies came in at the end of the 19th Century to clean cut the forest. Louis Houck, a Cape Girardeau lawyer and railroad builder, envisioned a rail network that covered the wetlands.

    Little River Drainage District (LRDD) Corporation was established in 1907 by an act of the Butler County (MO) Circuit Court. 

    Between 1909 and 1928 the LRDD dug nearly 1000 miles of ditches and constructed 30 miles of levees to drain 1.2 million acres of swamp and overflow land in Southeast Missouri. More dirt was moved than in building the Panama Canal.

    One surprise I had was the number of settlements in the area before 1811-1812. Another was the water connection between the Mississippi River and the St. Francis and I had no idea that Little River had enough current to run a grist mill.

    Norman Vickers

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