My parents and grandparents loved Cairo as did their parents before them. They were the primary archivists of this collection: My father, William Julius McGee; My mother, Betty Lou Roberts McGee; My grandmother, Francis Bouchet McGee; and My Aunt, Minnie Bouchet Kilmartin. Our ancestors were from Germany and France. ~ Deborah McGee Cox
This photo, possibly of the Cairo Police, belonged to my Aunt Minnie Kilmartin. My family moved to Cairo around the mid-1800s. She lived in the house her parents built, so it was a storehouse of memorabilia.
Photographed by Sloan, in Cairo
Inside Aydt's Grocery
This is a letter of recommendation written in 1887 on company stationary. It has an embossed seal and the entire document was tied together with a ribbon! Can you imagine this?
The only person I know is the man in the middle: John Girard Bouchet (b. 1854 St. Victor de Malcap France; d. 1922 Cairo Illinois).
Entry in the 1895-96 City Directory is as follows:
Teichman, Fred. Wholesale and retail tobacconist and cigar manufacturer 703 Commercial avenue, res 503 Washington ave.
This 48-page booklet was kind of a “State of the City” of Cairo.
Corodon R. Woodward,
Mayor of Cairo, Illinois, from May 1st, 1895, to May 1st, 1897.
Of the City of Cairo, Illinois, Since
Its Organization as a City.
One Year Terms.
Samuel Staats Taylor, March 9, 1857, 58, 59, 60, 61.
H. Watson Webb, 1862.
Samuel Staats Taylor, 1863.
David J. Baker, 1864.
Thomas Wilson, 1865-66.
John W. Trover, 1867.
Alex. G. Holden, 1868.
John H. Oberly, 1869.
Thomas Wilson, 1870.
John M. Lansden, 1871-72.
Organized under the Incorporation Act, Approved April 10th, 1872. Went into force July 1, 1872.
Two Year Terms.
John Wood, 1873-74.
Henry Winter, 1875-76, 77, 78.
N. B. Thistlewood, 1879-80, 81, 82.
Thos. W. Halliday, 1883-84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, and to September, 1893.
C. O. Patier, Sept. 1893-95.
C. R. Woodward, May 1st, 1895 to May 1st, 1897.
Capt. Billy Williams in Duncan Park, located at the corner of 8th Street & Jefferson Ave. This is actually a post card that was dated 1907.
1912? I really wish I knew more about this picture. Perhaps someone will have some idea.
My Aunt, Minnie Kilmartin, used to feed all the “hobos” who rode the rails. According to my father she cooked every day for anyone who came through Cairo looking for a meal and fed them on her back porch. Times were hard for so many, and she had a generous heart.
The Halliday & The IC Passenger Depot
Menu from dinner at the Halliday, a reprint from an advertisement.
This is the Halliday Hotel cookbook and a picture from the inside. My grandmother used this cookbook frequently, hence its poor condition.
These elevators are around 10th & Jefferson St. My Dad said he and his friends used to shoot pigeons off the top.
I always felt it was such a loss when they tore down this court house. On the back of the 1962 photo it states: A classic example of Civil War period architecture with iron balustraded balcony, and arched windows overlooking beautiful Magnolia trees. An artillery piece on the lawn was presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to the Servicemen of World War One.
My father clipped this out of the newspaper.
It certainly spoke to what life was like in a time we can only imagine.
My Dad etched his name and date in this brick on the side of the Gem Theater on 8th street. As you can see, he went back in ‘45 and added that date. I would love to have that brick when they tear down the building, which I am sure will happen someday.
Blood Bank Presented to St. Mary's Hospital by the Business & Professional Women's Club went into operation this morning with the first blood given by Mrs. Mary Lou Koontz, second from right in photo, who is President of the B. & P. W. Proof that it is not an ordeal to give blood which will save lives of those needing. It is presented by Mrs. Koontz who smiles beautifully after having given the first blood. With her in photo are left to right, Robert McGee, Laboratory Technician; Sister Leocaldia, Laboratory Supervisor; Mildred Swain, Medical Technician; Mrs. Koontz and Sister Superior Helen Frances.
(The gentleman on the left, Robert McGee, is my uncle.)
Photo of Safford Memorial Library on Washington Avenue taken 2010 by Deborah Cox
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