Down by the river: Floodwall murals in Cape Girardeau

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO 2004008944

Whether you are a history buff, an artist, a dreamer or an engineer, the riverfront and its protective floodwall are a "must see" attraction in Cape Girardeau.


More than a mere floodwall, Cape Girardeau's concrete levy is home to a 550 foot mural dubbed the Missouri Wall of Fame. Informational plaques along the way give historical facts and add to the illustrations on the wall. In addition to several scenes that depict life and times along the river throughout history, the wall features portraits of famous Missourians, who were either born in the state or reached fame while living in the state. The list includes personalities from the famous to the infamous (you decide), but one notable missing person is Walt Disney--left off due to problems obtaining licensing permission from the Disney corporation.

Those depicted on the wall include:

Person Missouri Connection Origin of Fame
Burt Bacharach Kansas City pianist and composer
Josephine Baker St. Louis singer and dancer
Thomas Hart Benton (painter) Neosho painter, painted mural at Missouri State Capitol
Thomas Hart Benton (senator) St. Louis five term (1821-1851) United States Senator
Yogi Berra St. Louis Hall of Fame catcher with the New York Yankees
George Caleb Bingham St. Louis artist
Susan Elizabeth Blow St. Louis founder of the first public kindergarten
Omar Bradley Clark United States Army general in World War II, last person to hold the rank of 5-star general
George Brett Kansas City Hall of Fame third baseman with the Kansas City Royals
Lou Brock St. Louis Hall of Fame outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, former all-time leader in stolen bases
Jack Buck St. Louis long-time St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster
August Busch, Jr. St. Louis developed Anheuser-Busch into the world's largest brewery, also owned the St. Louis Cardinals
Calamity Jane Princeton frontierswoman and scout, friend of Wild Bill Hickok
Dale Carnegie Maryville writer and researcher, best known for the book How to Win Friends and Influence People
George Washington Carver Diamond inventor and researcher
Kate Chopin St. Louis author
Walter Cronkite St. Joseph long-time CBS evening news anchor
T. S. Eliot St. Louis poet, dramatist, and literary critic
Don Faurot Columbia former University of Missouri head football coach
Eugene Field St. Louis author
Redd Foxx St. Louis comedian, star of NBC hit show Sanford and Son
Joe Garagiola St. Louis Hall of Fame baseball player and baseball sportscaster
Linda M. Godwin Jackson scientist and NASA astronaut
Betty Grable St. Louis actress, singer, dancer
Jean Harlow Kansas City actress
Langston Hughes Joplin poet, novelist, and social activist
John Huston Nevada actor and film director
Jesse James and Frank James Kearney outlaws
Scott Joplin Sedalia composer and musician
Rush Limbaugh Cape Girardeau radio personality, acknowledged creator of the political radio talk-show format
Stan Musial St. Louis Hall of Fame outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals
Marie Elizabeth Oliver Cape Girardeau creator of the Missouri state flag
Rose O'Neill Taney County illustrator and creator of the Kewpie character
James Cash Penney Hamilton retailer and founder of J.C. Penney
Marlin Perkins Carthage host of Wild Kingdom
John J. Pershing Laclede United States Army general during World War I
Vincent Price St. Louis actor known for his work in horror films
Joseph Pulitzer St. Louis newspaper publisher and creator of the Pulitzer Prize
Ginger Rogers Independence dancer
Tom Sawyer Mississippi River fictional character portrayed in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Dred Scott St. Louis slave, plaintiff in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford case
Jess Stacy Bird's Point swing pianist
Harry S. Truman Independence 33rd President of the United States and the only Missourian to hold the office
Porter Wagoner West Plains country musician
Laura Ingalls Wilder Mansfield author of the famous Little House series
Tennessee Williams Columbus


(Chart is from Wikipedia, but it does not give credit to any source... )


The historical scenes and Wall of Fame are, of course, on the town side of the levy. The river side of the floodwall features a painting of the bridge and the town skyline. Periodic flooding means that the river side mural needs frequent touch up.

river side

river front park

Riverfront Park  provides benches and walkways for visitors who want to watch Old Man River flow by as well as commercial traffic. Touring passenger riverboats also tie up along the concrete dock several times each summer, allowing passengers to disembark and take walking tours of the city.



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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Liz, I am a lover of Art and History, so this is a double treat for me!

Jan 21, 2015 02:08 PM #1
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Bob Crane ~ To be a hit, these murals had to be both interesting and well done. They are.

Jan 21, 2015 10:59 PM #2
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Liz Lockhart

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