Throwback Pictures from Facebook – 2020

#tbt Caruthersville cheerleaders in the 1950s take a break between leading cheers. Anyone recognize these pretty girls?

#tbt Does anyone remember the “River Ready Mix” man at the location of the former May Concrete yard on Turman? This is where the Carutherssville School District’s bus barn is now located.

#tbt On March 21, 1952, a tornado moved from Cooter to Cottonwood Point, killing 17 people and causing $14,250 in damage (because it mainly traveled over fields and farm areas). These photographs were in a photo book given to the Historical Society and taken by The Ward Studio at 510 Ward Avenue and an inscription inside the album reads Rebul Brunton, 221 Ward Avenue.

#tbt This photo was taken at an event on the riverfront at Reynolds Park, probably in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Note that Bunge had not yet been constructed. Possibly an auction? Does anyone have any memory of this event?

#tbt These pictures show the levee in Caruthersville during high water in 1913. It is obvious how much lower the levee was at this time and with the upcoming construction of the levee here, it will be even a foot higher than it is now.

#tbt In the 1980, Sheriff Thad Shelly and his department made quite a find of marijuana. He shows off the hidden field in this newspaper photo from the time.

#tbt The Standard Oil station was located at the corner of 11th and Ward, and the building still stands today (with cemetery monuments for sale in front). Albert Carson was the operator of the station for a number of years. This picture is from a Caruthersville High School yearbook in the early 1960s.

#tbt The quality of this photo is not good, but it does depict one of Caruthersville’s oldest landmarks being torn down in the late 1960s. Located on the northwest corner of Ward Avenue and East Seventh Street, and constructed around the turn of the century by the late J.C. and Maria E. Parks, this structure was originally built for a grocery and feed store and later made over into a residence. At the extreme left in the picture can be seen a corner of the large home Mr. and Mrs. Parks built later on Walker Avenue, where Mrs. Parks lived until her death and which later was the home of the Bill Hayden family. Also on the near left is the “old” fire station, fairly new at this time, which now houses the Medic One ambulance station.

#tbt Pictures of the Dean Funeral Home, which was located where the Pemiscot County Justice Center now sits in the 700 block of Ward Avenue.

#tbt Bob’s Daisy Queen in Hayti, located at the corner of the formerly very busy Highway 61 and Highway 84. (In later years, it was the home of Boudreax’s Cajun Cooking) As shown behind it on the right is the Dairy Serv, another ice cream place remembered by many around here.

#tbt These students were gathered on the front lawn of CHS in 1953. Recognize any of them? Also, note the building at the left rear – is that the famed “Milk Bar”?

#tbt With a new city hall coming in Hayti, it is a good time to look back at the 1909 City Hall in that city.

#tbt These young men long for the days when the city pool in Caruthersville was filled with water, as they lounge on the “island” in the middle of the pool area. Not long after this picture was taken, the basin of the pool was filled in and homes were constructed on the site.

#tbt Thomasson’s Shoe Shop was a Ward Avenue landmark for many years at the corner of Fourth Street.

Another photo featuring local funeral homes is of H.S. Smith Funeral Home showing a picture of their first air-conditioned ambulance in 1956, alongside their other two older vehicles.

#tbt One of the Kroger stores formerly located in Caruthersville, located at the corner of East 5th and Walker. (The other stores were downtown on Ward Avenue in the early days and near 7th and Ward, where the county justice center is now.) After Kroger moved to the final Ward Avenue location, this store became Ace Hardware and operated until the 90s. The building then stood vacant for many years but was torn down in more recent years.

#tbt This picture shows a bustling day in downtown Caruthersville in the early part of the 20th century. This view is going west on Third Street.

#tbt “Sew with Cotton” county winners in the 1960s were Bonnie Burns, Sharon Ruth Highley, Ronda Roberson, Linda Cantrell, and Bunny Shaeffer.

#tbt From an advertisement in the June 9, 1950 Missouri Herald: EL RANCHO HOTEL Hayti Missouri “An excellent place to eat and sleep. Tried and proven . Honeymooning couples are finding the hospitality of the El Rancho most enjoyable.”Here is an interesting piece of past – a partial list of draft registrations from October 31, 1940, as taken from the Caruthersville Journal newspaper. The list of over 800 names covered the entire front page of the newspaper that week, possibly in preparation for Veterans Day.

Old Cooter “The Wagster Block” pre 1920.
The buildings are identified, left to right, as: barber shop, Wilk’s office, general store, resturant, rental house and home of Quincy and Mary Jane Beeding Wagster.

(Credit for this photo. to Harold Hunt, son of Ellis and Opal Wagster Hunt. Opal was the daughter of Quincy and Mary J. “Mattie” Wagster)

#tbt In 1948 in the Cabinet Room of Tennessee Governor Gordon Browning, a local contingent met for discussion of the Mississippi Bridge project with representatives of the bridge commission and their attorney. Officials of the highway departments of Missouri and Tennessee also met with the group to make future plans for connecting roads to the planned bridge. General L. J. Sverdrup, bridge engineer of Sverdrup and Parcell from St. Louis, MO, and Congressman Paul C. Jones of Kennett met with the group in Tennessee. (The Mississippi River bridge was completed and opened on December 1, 1976.)

#tbt (In memory of long-time merchant, Jim Teroy) Located on West Fifth Street for many years, the place to go in Caruthersville for anything you might need was Teroy’s. This popular store later built a new location on HWY 84 west of C’ville. Does anyone recognize any of these pretty girls or the young man from CHS in the early 1960s?

#tbt Steele High School in 1954, before the days of consolidation to create South Pemiscot School District.

In 1960, Ralph Stone and Jiggs Adair inspect new stock for Adair’s IGA grocery, located at that time on the corner of West 13th and Laurant.

Hayden’s Pharmacy, which began as Peck Hayden’s Pharmacy to distinguish it from his brother Bill’s Hayden’s Drug Company in the 400 block of Ward Avenue, started as shown in these photos in the Mitchell block of buildings at 1113 Ward in the 1930s. (Later, this location became Baskin’s Drug Store.) In May of 1948, Peck moved across the street to the Robertson Building, where the store still operates to this day. (These wonderful pictures were donated to the PCHS by Kenny Lee, who received them from John Ed Pullam’s wife, Nancy. We appreciate the donation and ask anyone else with old pictures like these to consider giving them to the Society.)

#tbt Eastwood Memorial United Methodist Churchgoers are outside of the church previous to this present building at the same site. This building was constructed by U. S. Branson at a cost of $50,000 an#tbt Eastwood Memorial United Methodist Churchgoers are outside of the church previous to this present building at the same site. This building was constructed by U. S. Branson at a cost of $50,000 and was completed in early 1929. Those who served on the committee for the building of this church were C. H. Cunningham, R. L. Ward, Hugh A. Tisdadt, C. G. Sheppard, W. B. Bernard, E. G. Roland and B.O. Bennett. — with Lena Swift.d was completed in early 1929. Those who served on the committee for the building of this church were C. H. Cunningham, R. L. Ward, Hugh A. Tisdadt, C. G. Sheppard, W. B. Bernard, E. G. Roland and B.O. Bennett.

#tbt The Class of 1969 Who’s Who winners: (From left to right – back row) Wendell Stanfill – Most Talented; Ricky Davis – Wittiest; Don Smith – Most Intellectual; Denny Merideth – Best All -Around Student, Most School Spirited, Friendliest, and Most Likely to Succeed; Steve McKaskle, Handsomest; Most Popular; Danny Lantrip – Most Courteous. (Seated) Terry Pickens – Wittiest; Debbie JOnes – Most Intellectual and Most Likely to Succeed; Mary Dexter Tipton – Best all-Around Student, Prettiest, Most Popular, Neatest, Most Courteous, and Friendliest; Ellen Tipton – Most School-Spirited and Most Talented.

#tbt The New York Store, shown here, was begun by Philip Erlich of St. Louis. He settled in Caruthersville in 1893 when the population of the city was only 250. This store was first opened across the Frisco track (in the vicinity of our present-day city hall) but later he moved the store to Ward Avenue. He sold his interest in the store to his brother Louis and moved away. Years afterward, the store changed hands again when Louis Erlich sold to Lee Wolf, who moved the store to Third Street in 1922, where the size of the store was greatly expanded and a large range of stock was carried.
Cottonwood Point also had a store by this name in 1896.
#tbt This picture of the Dillman Apartments is from 1917. In the August 4, 1916 edition of the Democrat-Argus newspaper, a short article read as follows:
“Ground will be broken Monday, Mr. Dillman informs us, for the erection of his apartment house on Carleton Avenue, the lot being cleared in the meanwhile. It was necessary to remove two somewhat antiquated dwelling houses before work could be commenced.”

Now, in 2020, Kathy Ireland Investments is refurbishing this building and its next-door neighbor to be modern townhomes.

#tbt This photo from the very early 1900s was taken between 11th and 12th Street on Ward Avenue during a Shriners’ parade. At the rear center of the photo, you can catch of glimpse of the first Caruthersville Elementary school and its distinctive turret.

#tbt This photo is of the first Caruthersville High School, located in the same location on Ward Avenue as it is now. The building burned in October of 1923 and plans were immediately put in place to rebuild. An artist’s rendition of the planned building was in the Democrat-Argus in April of 1924 and the building was constructed soon after. It remained until 2008, when the building was taken down after tornado damage from 2006 and the present CHS was built in its place and opened in February of 2011.
With the recent opening downtown of Salad Express at the corner of 5th and Ward, this photo from the 1940s shows what that same corner looked like then, when the building housed a Standard Gas Station.
The post office in Caruthersville was still relatively new, based on the vehicles on Carleton in front of the building. Also, note the mailbox at the bottom of the steps.

In October of 1903, W. A. Ward, H. C. Schult, J. S. Wahl, J. E. Franklin, and C. B. Farris organized the Caruthersville Ice and Light Company and built a factory in the city. It is pictured here in 1913, along with a horse-drawn ice delivery wagon and three of the workers at the plant.

A quite famous, but little known, former resident of Caruthersville was Donna Hightower. She was an American R&B, soul and jazz singer and songwriter, who recorded and released albums for the Decca and Capitol labels. Later in her career she was based in Europe, where she had a hit in 1972 with “This World Today is a Mess.”

She was born in Caruthersville on December 28, 1926 to Carrie and Henry Hightower, Sr. who were sharecroppers for local farming operations. She listened to singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, but never planned to have a singing career and by the age of 23 had been married, had two children, and divorced. While working in a diner in Chicago, she was heard singing by Bob Tillman, a reporter with the Chicago Defender newspaper, who then won her a booking as a singer at the Strand Hotel. Initially billed as Little Donna Hightower, she won a recording contract with Decca Records and recorded her first single, “I Ain’t In The Mood”, in 1951.

During the mid 1950s she recorded R&B songs, for RPM Records, often accompanied by the Maxwell Davis Orchestra as on her 1955 version of “Hands Off”. She toured widely in the US, with Louis Jordan, B. B. King, Johnny Mathis, Della Reese and others. While none of her records made the pop or R&B charts, she received good reviews and her discs did perform well in Decca Record’s own sales guides, with her “I Ain’t In The Mood” ranking #1 on their Sepia (race) charts. By 1958, her career had slowed and she began working for a music publishing firm in New York City, recording demonstration records of new songs. Her version of “Light of Love” — later recorded by Peggy Lee — was heard by record producer Dave Cavanaugh, and as a result of his interest she was signed to Capitol Records. She recorded two albums for Capitol, including “Take One!” and “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You?”, both released in 1959. While noted for her “range and power, she was equally compelling doing sentimental, soft ballads.”

In 1959, she performed in England, France, Sweden and elsewhere in Europe, later performing with Quincy Jones, The Platters and Johnny Hallyday. She settled in France, then Belgium and finally in the late 1960s, in Madrid. In 1971 she won the Costa del Sol International Song Festival, following which she began recording in Spain for Columbia Records, although her songs were issued in much of Europe by Decca Records. She worked with singer Danny Daniel as a duo, Danny y Donna, and they had a hit in the country with “El Vals de las Mariposas”. She also recorded solo, and her most successful record, “This World Today Is A Mess” (“Este Mundo es un Conflicto”), which she co-wrote, was an international hit — though not in the US, where it was not released, or in the UK — in 1972, reportedly selling over one million copies worldwide. She is also known for the song “If You Hold My Hand”, which was later sampled for the UK 2007 hit single “Handsfree” by Sonny J.

She was also an actress, known for “Pro of Contra in 1963, “Der Komissar” in 1969, “The Harrad Experiment” in 1973.

She returned to the US to live in semi-retirement in Austin, Texas, in 1990. She was active in the Austin Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. She was a member of Calvary Baptist Church, and appeared on local radio programs. Her last performance in Spain was at a jazz festival in 2006. She died in Austin in 2013 at the age of 86.

#tbt This is a picture (from the side where the circular driveway is now) of what was then Pemiscot Memorial Hospital in Hayti. It was founded in 1949 and the building was constructed just afterwards, opening in 1951 for patients.