History of Cape Girardeau, Missouri: A Town Founded in 1793

Ryan Frazier - child sex abuse lawyer in Springfield, MO
Monsees Mayer: Ryan Frazier, Esq. Springfield, MO Abuse Guardian

Hi - I’m Ryan. I am an attorney that is licensed to practice law in Missouri and my office is located in Springfield. My team has helped numerous sex abuse survivors obtain the compensation they deserve. I am looking forward to helping you find justice.

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Our Cape Girardeau work abuse lawyer, Ryan Frazier, has sponsored this article outlining the history of the small town. We hop that as residents or visitors to the area that you learn something new!

Cape Girardeau 1793 - Today

The Missouri town, Cape Girardeau has history dating back to the early 1700s but was said to have first been settled in 1793. Before this, Jean Baptiste de Girardot established a temporary trading post in the area in 1733. There is a rock formation overlooking the Mississippi River, often referred to as the 'Cape'. Thus, when the Spanish government granted the establishment of a trading post in 1793, the are was referred to as Cape Girardeau.

Over the years following this, settlers would continue to move into the area. In 1799, the first English school west of the Mississippi was established, named Mount Tabor. A few years later, the town was incorporated in 1808, before Missouri received statehood. The town would grow to become the biggest port on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Memphis.

Continuing its growth, the city upgraded the use of ferry across the Mississippi River in favor for a bridge built in 1928. This bridge would eventually also be upgraded in 2003 to feature a four-lane cable bridge.


As of the 2010 census, Cape Girardeau had 37,941 residents lived within the city. About 1/4 of the 15,205 households had a child under the age of 18 wile approximately 39% of houses were married couples. The median age of the city is 32.1 years old, and 52.6% female vs 47.4% male. The racial makeup of the city in 2010 was 81.13% white, 12.75% Black, 1.89% Asian with 2.4% from two or more races.

Historic Landmarks Maintained

In 2008, First Lady Laura Bush recognized Cape Girardeau as a 'Preserve America Community" for the work done in protecting historic buildings and surveying. There are over 40 buildings on the cities historic landmarks register, including:

  • Old Lorimer Cemetary from 1808
  • Judith Ann Crow House
  • Freeman House

There are also eight historic districts in the city. These include the Cape Girardeau Commercial Historic District Broadway  Historic District and Warehouse Row District.

Things to Do

There are many parks and outdoor centers if historic landmarks aren't your thing. This includes:

  • Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center
  • Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center
  • Cape Girardeau Sports Plex
  • Lazy L Safari Park
  • Arena Park
  • Cape rock Park

The historic district also has many different museums like the Cape River Heritage Museum and the Crisp Museum. This area is also home ot the Southeast Missouri State University.

Learn about the nearby town of Oakville and all it has to offer.

Our Local Office

If you believe you have been abused at work in Cape Girardeau, call our local office today. Our experienced attorneys understand the traumatic experience may not be easy to talk about, but believe that by coming forward you can help find closure and help protect future victims. Call today to speak directly with one of our attorneys in a free, confidential, consultation.

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