Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What newspaper records are available?
A: The Archive Center maintains the Cash-Book Journal, the Deutscher Volksfreund (German language newspaper), the Cape County Post, and the Jackson Items. We have several others on microfilm. The Southeast Missourian is maintained at the Cape Girardeau Public Library in Cape Girardeau, MO.
Q: What maps are available?
A: We house several early maps of Cape Girardeau County including Spanish Land Grant maps. The 1901 Platt map of the county is the best example of an early map housed at the Archive. We also house the 1870 Brooks Map which does not have land plots marked. There are also early City of Cape and City of Jackson maps. Included in this is the 1910 City Subdivision map which does not cover the county, but only the towns in the county. Most of the maps available only include data for cities, and most of those pertain solely to Cape Girardeau City. We have some Sanborn maps as well.
Q: Can any of our records be put online?
A: That’s a big question. We have approximately 1 million pages of records, a small staff, and a few volunteers who are working to preserve and catalog the collection. We do not have the time or resources to scan and securely store digital copies of all of our records. We welcome researchers to our facility in person, or to call or email us with search requests, and we are happy to assist. Digitization is an expensive, time-consuming prospect, and while circumstances might change in the future, at the moment, we do not have the resources for it.
Q: Why is the county seat located in Jackson, MO, rather than the larger city of Cape Girardeau?
A: Originally Cape Girardeau was the County Seat, but it was moved to Jackson in 1814 because of a land dispute. When Louis Lorimier died in 1812 his Spanish Land Grant had still not been approved by the Federal Government. In 1813 Territorial Governor William Clark said that the seat of government needed to be on non-disputed land with clear title, so he told the County Court that the Seat of Justice had to be moved from Cape Girardeau. Most historians believe that the reason Lorimier’s Spanish land grant was not approved was, during the Revolutionary War, he sided with the British. All of the other Spanish Land Grants that were issued were approved at a much earlier time. Lorimier’s was finally approved but it was many years later, and the County Seat has remained at Jackson.