Publication: December 2014
Beginning with a 105-year-old house at 313 Themis Street in Cape Girardeau—and its mysterious inside arch that suggested a once-outside doorway—Kaye Smith Hamblin has created a book that charts not only the history of a magnificent home but the history of a region and a family that influenced that history.
A trip to the County Archives introduced Hamblin to family records of Julia E. Harris, who built the Themis home with her husband. Hamblin’s quest for Julia’s story stretches back to 1799 in southeast Missouri, when Julia Harris’s ancestor, George Frederick Bollinger, led German settlers to the area. The search then travels through the founding of Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and nearby settlements; the 1811 mighty earthquake; Missouri’s statehood; the Mormon Wars; slavery in the state; the Civil War and its division of Missouri; famous architect Jerome B. Legg; the amazing and progressive women of Bollinger; women’s rights; and desegregation in the area. Through it all, Hamblin weaves the personal stories and major influences of Julia’s indomitable family—Bollinger, Frizel, Daugherty, Russell, Williams, Sanford, Harris, Vandivort, and their many extended relatives.
Trade paperback, $15.00