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Going Public: History of the Confederate Monument in Ivers Square

Clayton Hester

Cape Girardeau has been talking lately about its Confederate monument in Ivers Square, located on the lawn of the Common Pleas Courthouse, which is being renovated into the new city hall. The monument was discussed at the June city hall meeting and a petition was being shared on social media about the status’ removal.

The City Council will be discussing the issue at their July 6 meeting, with new input from the HIstoric Preservation Commission which recommends the removal of the monument. 

Local historian Denise Lincoln has researched the history of the monument. She was responsible for organizing the effort that led to the installation of the United States Colored Troop Memorial last year, but her research into the context of the Civil War memorials in Ivers Square began in 2017. 

She said if you want to know about the origin of the monument, you need to understand the historical efforts by the Daughters of the Confederacy in an attempt to preserve their heritage.

The monument was moved from its initial location at the east end of Morgan Oak street, at the foot of the Mississippi River Bridge that was in service in Cape Girardeau until the 1990s. When the bridge was slated for demolition, an effort was made to move the monument, with the concern it would be forgotten and possibly vandalized.