Cape Girardeau County is a
county located in Southeast Missouri in the
As of the 2000 U.S. Census
, the county's population
was 68,693; a 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be
73,243. While the largest city in the county is
Girardeau, the county seat is
actually Jackson, which was
the first city named in honor of President Andrew Jackson .
The county was
officially organized on October 1, 1812.
Girardeau County is the central hub of the Cape
Girardeauâ€“Jackson, MO-IL Metropolitan
Girardeau County was organized on October 1, 1812, as one of five
original counties and is named after Ensign Sieur Jean Baptiste de
Girardot (also spelled Girardeau or Girardat), a French officer
originally stationed at Kaskaskia, Illinois from 1704-1720 who later developed a trading post
on the site on the present-day city of Cape Girardeau around
The "cape" in the county name was a rock promontory
overlooking the Mississippi River
the original cape rock was destroyed by railroad construction. The
county's name derives from a district located in the area when the
Spanish controlled the region.
The first Cape Girardeau County Courthouse was constructed in 1818
by John Davis. This courthouse burned in 1870. The present
courthouse in Jackson was completed in 1908 and was designed by
Of adults 25 years of age and older in Cape Girardeau County, 81.1%
possess a high school diploma
higher while 24.2% hold a bachelor's
as their highest educational attainment.
- Delta R-V School District - Delta
- Delta Elementary School (K-06)
- Delta High School (07-12)
- Oak Ridge R-VI School District - Oak
- Oak Ridge Elementary School (K-06)
- Oak Ridge High School (07-12)
- Nell Holcomb R-IV School District - Egypt Mills
- Nell Holcomb Elementary School (K-08)
- Jackson R-II School District - Jackson
- Gordonville Attendance Center (K-03) -
- Millersville Attendance Center (K-03) -
- North Elementary School (K-05)
- Orchard Drive Elementary School (K-03)
- South Elementary School (PK-05)
- West Lane Elementary School (03-05)
- Jackson Middle School (06-07)
- Russell Hawkins Jr. High School (08-09)
- Jackson High School (10-12)
Girardeau Public Schools No. 63 - Cape Girardeau
- Alma Schrader Elementary School (K-04)
- Blanchard Elementary School (K-04)
- Clippard Elementary School (K-04)
- Franklin Elementary School (K-04)
- Jefferson Elementary School (K-04)
- Cape Central Middle School (05-06)
- Cape Central Jr. High School (07-08)
- Cape Central High School (09-12)
- Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center (10-12)
Post Secondary Education
Cape Girardeau County is home to two public post-secondary
According to the U.S.
county has a total area of 586 square miles (1,518 kmÂ˛),
of which, 579 square miles (1,499 kmÂ˛) of it is land (68%
, 32% rural
and 8 square miles (20 kmÂ˛) of it (1.31%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 68,693
people, 26,980 households, and 17,941 families residing in the
county. The population density
was 119 people per square mile (46/kmÂ˛). There were 29,434 housing
units at an average density of 51 per square mile (20/kmÂ˛).
The racial makeup of the county was 92.13% White
, 5.28% Black
or African American
, 0.03% Pacific Islander
, 0.31% from
, and 1.15%
from two or more races. Approximately 0.91% of the population were
of any race.
There were 26,980 households out of which 31.20% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples
living together, 9.80% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 33.50% were non-families.
27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.40% under the
age of 18, 13.40% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 21.60% from
45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.20 males. For
every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $45,862, and
the median income for a family was $58,037. Males had a median
income of $32,371 versus $20,833 for females. The per capita income
for the county was
$24,303. About 6.70% of families and 11.10% of the population were
below the poverty line
11.40% of those under age 18 and 10.10% of those age 65 or
Politics at the local level in Cape Girardeau County is
predominantly controlled by the Republican Party
. In fact,
all but three of Cape Girardeau Countyâ€™s elected officials are
Past Gubernatorial Elections
Girardeau County is divided among four legislative districts in the
House of Representatives.
All four seats are held by Republicans.
- District 157 - Rep. Scott Lipke (R-Jackson). The 157th District
consists of the city of Jackson and most of the northern part of
the county and includes the towns of Fruitland, Oak Ridge, and Old Appleton. Lipke ran unopposed in 2008 and was
reelected with 84.31% of the vote over Jennifer Friedrich of the
Party who received 15.69%.
- District 158 - Rep. Clint Tracy (R-Cape Girardeau). The 158th
District consists of most of the city of Cape Girardeau. Tracy ran
unopposed in 2008 and was elected with 76.29% of the vote over
- District 159 - Rep. Billy Pat Wright (R-Dexter). The 159th District consists of the more
rural, western parts of the county and includes the towns of
Delta, Whitewater, Allenville, and Gordonville. In 2008, Wright defeated former U.S.
Representative Bill Burlison (D) with 61.83% of the vote
to Burlison's 38.17%.
- District 160 - Rep. Ellen Brandom (R-Sikeston. The 160th District consists of the south
central part of the county and includes the town of Dutchtown. Brandom ran unopposed in 2008 and was
reelected with 100% of the vote.
Cape Girardeau County is also a part of Missouri's 27th Senatorial
District and is currently represented by State Senator Jason Crowell
Crowell defeated Linda Sanders (D-Jackson) 64.2%-35.8%. Cape
Girardeau County backed Crowell with 67.87% of the vote to
Sanders's 32.18%. The 27th Senatorial District consists of
Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Mississippi, Perry, and Scott counties in Southeast Missouri.
gubernatorial election of 2008
, Governor Jay
(D) defeated former U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof
with 58.40 percent of the total
statewide vote. While Nixon performed extremely well and won many
of the rural counties in the state, Cape Girardeau County provided
the Governor with his worst performance in Southeast Missouri.
Hulshof carried Cape Girardeau County with 56.23 percent of the
vote while Nixon received 41.75 percent.
In the U.S.
, Cape Girardeau County is represented by
Jo Ann Emerson
(R-Cape Girardeau) who
also represents all of Southeast Missouri as part of Missouri's 8th Congressional District
Past Presidential Elections
At the presidential level, Cape Girardeau County is one of, if not
the, most reliably Republican strongholds in Southeast Missouri.
Although a predominantly urban
relatively affluent, upper-middle class county with a
college/university subplot, Cape Girardeau County is situated in
the Bible Belt
and is also the home of
conservative radio talk show host Rush
. The last Democratic presidential nominee to win Cape
Girardeau County was Lyndon B.
. Since then,
voters in the county have solidly backed the Republican
presidential nominees by convincing margins. George W. Bush
carried Cape Girardeau County by more than two-to-one margins in
most other counties in Southeast Missouri, voters in Cape Girardeau
County favored John McCain
over Barack Obama
. During the course of
the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican vice presidential
nominee Governor Sarah Palin made a campaign appearance at the
Show-Me Center on the campus of Southeast
Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau in October to reach out to the base of the
Republican Party, primarily evangelical Christians.
Obama also made a general election campaign appearance on May 13
following Hillary Rodham Clinton
enormous win in the West Virginia Democratic Primary at a factory
plant in Cape Girardeau alongside U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill
(D-MO) in attempts to
reach out to white, working-class voters, a voting bloc that often
strongly backed Clinton during the primaries.
Like most areas throughout Southeast Missouri, voters in Cape
Girardeau County generally adhere to socially and culturally
principles which tend to
influence their Republican leanings. In 2004, Missourians voted on
constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a
man and a woman
â€”it overwhelmingly passed Cape Girardeau County
with 83.19 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state
with 71 percent of support from voters as Missouri became the first
state to ban same-sex marriage
2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional
amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the
â€”it failed in Cape Girardeau County with 63.12 percent
voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the
state with 51 percent of support from voters as Missouri became one
of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research
Cape Girardeau Countyâ€™s longstanding tradition of supporting
socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a
penchant for advancing populist
increasing the minimum wage
. In 2006,
Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the
minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hourâ€”it passed Cape Girardeau
County with 60.04 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly
passed every single county in Missouri with 75.94 percent voting in
favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the
state. During the same election, voters in five other states also
strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.
2008 Missouri Presidential Primary
Girardeau County was the only county in Missouri's 8th
Congressional District to be won by former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts).
Romney carried Cape Girardeau County with
35.32 percent of the vote. U.S.
McCain (R-Arizona) came in second place in Cape Girardeau County with
31.77 percent. Former Governor Mike
Huckabee (R-Arkansas) finished third with 27.63 percent while libertarian-leaning U.S. Representative
Ron Paul (R-Texas) came in
fourth with 3.25 percent of the vote in Cape Girardeau
Huckabee slightly led Missouri throughout much of the evening until
the precincts began reporting from St. Louis where McCain won and
put him over the top of Huckabee. In the end, McCain received 32.95
percent of the vote to Huckabeeâ€™s 31.53 percentâ€”a 1.42 percent
difference. McCain received all of Missouriâ€™s 58 delegates as the
Republican Party utilizes the winner-take-all
Former U.S. Senator and now Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) won Cape Girardeau County although not nearly as
strongly as she did throughout the more rural counties in Southeast
Missouri over now President Barack Obama (D-Illinois).
Clinton carried Cape Girardeau County with
56.55 percent of the vote while Obama received 39.44 percent of the
vote. Although he withdrew from the race, former U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-North Carolina) still received 3.10 percent of the vote in Cape
had a large initial lead in Missouri at the beginning of the
evening as the rural precincts began to report, leading several
news organizations to call the state for her; however, Obama
rallied from behind as the heavily African American precincts from St. Louis began to report and eventually put him over the
In the end, Obama received 49.32 percent of the vote to
Clintonâ€™s 47.90 percentâ€”a 1.42 percent difference. Both candidates
split Missouriâ€™s 72 delegates as the Democratic Party utilizes
- Hillary Rodham Clinton received more votes, a total of 4,510,
than any candidate from either party in Cape Girardeau County
during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Primaries.
Cities and towns