The Last White Man in Cairo, Illinois

There are 176 comments on the St. Louis CofCC Blog story from Jul 31, 2007, titled The Last White Man in Cairo, Illinois. In it, St. Louis CofCC Blog reports that:

Illinois State Police said a customer who was shot to death today at a video store in the far southern Illinois town of East Cape Girardeau was a 30-year-old man from Cairo. via St. Louis CofCC Blog

Join the discussion below, or Read more at St. Louis CofCC Blog.

Former Cairoite

AOL

#21 Jan 7, 2008
Business District?

When did it come back?
New Cairoite

Sankt Augustin, Germany

#22 Jan 7, 2008
cairo vistor wrote:
I recall there is going to be a bio fuel plant just west of there. Alot of the buildings there are in a condition that can be repaired. All a vistor has to go a couple of roads south of the main road. There is some fantastic house waiting to fixed up. I drive through there pretty often, I would fill safe stoping at any park. I have walked down the business district.
Thank you for your post. I, too, would feel safe walking in any part of town. It has been a very long time since we lived in the midwest, since we didn't feel we had to lock our doors. It is so nice to be able to walk in the house and not feel like I have to lock the door behind me. There certainly is a lot of potential in Cairo.
Former Cairoite

AOL

#23 Jan 8, 2008
New Cairoite wrote:
<quoted text> It is so nice to be able to walk in the house and not feel like I have to lock the door behind me.
Are you sure your not in Cairo Georgia? LOL
You better lock your doors, and bolt down anything you want in the future! Most people I know in town have 3 or 4 or more sets of locks and bars and other restraint devices on their doors and windows.
Why do you feel so different?
Or are you part of the ones that feel its your duty in life to pray upon, and take what others have in order to maintain your life?
Why work hard to have nice things, when I can just take Joe Blow's down the street?
What address do those aid and welfare checks go to? WIC coupons anyone? Too bad the free cheese stopped, I heard that was good shit!
New Cairoite

Bonn, Germany

#24 Jan 8, 2008
Former Cairoite wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you sure your not in Cairo Georgia? LOL
You better lock your doors, and bolt down anything you want in the future! Most people I know in town have 3 or 4 or more sets of locks and bars and other restraint devices on their doors and windows.
Why do you feel so different?
Or are you part of the ones that feel its your duty in life to pray upon, and take what others have in order to maintain your life?
Why work hard to have nice things, when I can just take Joe Blow's down the street?
What address do those aid and welfare checks go to? WIC coupons anyone? Too bad the free cheese stopped, I heard that was good shit!
I really feel sad for you and "the people you know" in Cairo. What a waste of life! Negativity is such a waste of energy that could be diverted into enjoying all those nice things you worked so hard to have. If you were really proud of your accomplishments in your life and happy with what you have achieved, you would not be here criticizing other people and Cairo at 3 A.M..
Former Cairoite

AOL

#25 Jan 8, 2008
New Cairoite wrote:
<quoted text>I really feel sad for you and "the people you know" in Cairo. What a waste of life! Negativity is such a waste of energy that could be diverted into enjoying all those nice things you worked so hard to have. If you were really proud of your accomplishments in your life and happy with what you have achieved, you would not be here criticizing other people and Cairo at 3 A.M..
What a condescending piece of crap you are!
With family and friends in Cairo, I hope none of them have to put up with you in anyway or form!
Enjoy Cairo, as I have and always will.
Just remember to lock up the things you cherish the most, they might not be with you long!
New Cairoite

Bonn, Germany

#26 Jan 9, 2008
Former Cairoite wrote:
<quoted text>
What a condescending piece of crap you are!
With family and friends in Cairo, I hope none of them have to put up with you in anyway or form!
Enjoy Cairo, as I have and always will.
Just remember to lock up the things you cherish the most, they might not be with you long!
I really do not know what your problem is! Are you so blind that you cannot see how your posts hurt those "family and friends" of yours who still live in Cairo? As the buildings in Cairo continue to deteriorate and get torn down, the tax base continues to erode. Those friends and family of yours have to pay higher and higher taxes and utilities. Have you noticed neither the local government nor the local government-owned utility company have decreased payroll even though customers and the tax base is decreasing monthly? Thanks to the internet, there are people who love the rivers looking to relocate daily. We had a house for sale by owner and got at least 2 calls a week on it from around the country. There have to be dozens looking at Cairo houses on realtor.com weekly. Those people who would buy here go on to research the city on the internet and they run across this forum as I did a while ago. They read posts like yours. They don't buy. Your family and friends find their tax bill went up. Do they know they can thank you? Or, do they (like you) blame someone else for Cairo's problems and that tax increase?

I have no desire to return to the city where I was raised and lived for 30 years. I have a life and neither the time nor the desire to go to their forum and trash the city or the people. Why would you do that to the city you enjoy? Does it make you feel important in some way?

Crime is not that bad in Cairo. It is a fact of life everyplace. And, as far as those welfare checks you are so concerned about, can’t you just be thankful that you are physically and mentally capable of caring for your own needs and do not require public assistance? I found a great book about 15 years ago,“Lord, I Got Much More Than I Asked For”. Give me an address and I will buy you a copy. By the way, I learned long ago to cherish experiences and not things. Try it!
so il girl

La Grange, IL

#27 Jan 9, 2008
There are a lot of beautiful old homes in Cairo, but I certainly wouldn't want to live there. My husband's family does and you definitely want to keep your doors and windows locked at all times. People will wander into your house if your door is unlocked to ask to use the phone (a way to check out if you have anything worth stealing later). It as once a great place to live, but anyone young with potential gets out of there quick. All that remains are the older people without school age children, the people that are too poor to leave, and those who are making money by taking advantage of those too poor to leave (for example, the liquor stores and "grocery" stores where the poor spend their cash assistance, food stamps and social security checks). Oh, and lets not forget the drug dealers and pimps. So, go check out the history, but don't hang around after dark. If you like BBQ, eat lunch at Mack's or Shemwell's. If you like hamburgers eat at Nonny's (very good).
Former resident of Cairo

Bronx, NY

#28 Jan 11, 2008
Is Shemwell's Bar B Que still going strong in Cairo? For the uninformed one of the best reasons to go Cairo is to eat some of the best BBQ sandwiches anywhere. I attended Meridian High School in 1967 and 1968 and graduated from Camelot High in 1970. I live now in New York City.
Former resident of Cairo

Bronx, NY

#29 Jan 11, 2008
I have heard that there is an annual Blues Festival in Cairo that is well worth the trip.
Former Cairoite

AOL

#30 Jan 11, 2008
Darrel still has Shemwell's in the same spot downtown.......... What is that, about 11th & Washington Ave?
Tried the syuff at Macks l;ast time I was in town and wasnt real impressed. Mike Davis runs it now. Had a good crowd in there at the time though.

I think they cancelled the Blues Fest this past year, but I also had heard it wasnt a bad deal.

If you get the taste for some BBQ in New Yawk City......I hear tell Darrel may do some mail order business!
I was told a story that there is a former Cairo resident who is now one of Bill Gate's attoreneys.
Yes....THAT Bill Gates.
Anyway they apparently make a big BBQ order every couple of months for one of their luncheons.
Darrel takes care of the whole thing. I guess advance notice and a willing to pay good money for a good product will make it happen.
Former resident of Cairo

Bronx, NY

#31 Jan 11, 2008
Former Cairoite:

Thanks for the tip! Last time I was in Cairo was February of 2002 but it was late at night and Shemwell's was closed.

I will call Darrel at Shemwell's and see how much he charges to mail order his BBQ. It is really hard to find the Southern Illinois/Kentucky type BBQ sandwiches with the sliced pork on toast with a peppery type BBQ sauce that tastes like a cross between BBQ sauce and Louisiana Hot Sauce.

Shemwell's used to have a "newer" location in Cairo when I was attending Cairo Junior High in 1964. A lot of us students would walk over to the new location which was on Washington Ave. across from Ben Fishel Auto Sales and just north of a bar that had a big Cutty Sark Whiskey sign.

Also in those days there was an old Hispanic man who sold tamales from a stand on the sidewalk outside of Ben Fishel's. On the topic of food does Cairo and Mounds still have a Whataburger shop? My sister who graduated from Mounds Township High/Meridian in 1967 used to flip burgers at the Whataburger in Mounds.

The secret of why they tasted so good was the owner would combine hamburger meat with pork sausage to make the patties. Also across from the Whataburger in Mounds there was a gas station that also had a diner that had pretty good food.
Former resident of Cairo

Bronx, NY

#32 Jan 11, 2008
Does anybody on this forum have any clues to the old unsolved mysterious death of William Figures who lived near Meridian High School off highway 37 just North of Mound City. Around 1969 he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle to or from school at MHS and was killed. He was a bit mentally handicapped as I recall but quite and didn't say much.

The rumor at the time in the black community was that he was hit by some white kids in a car but I don't think that was ever substantiated. Also does anybody know whatever became of the African-American choir/music teacher Virgia Walker who taught at Meridian in 1969?
Former resident of Cairo

Bronx, NY

#33 Jan 11, 2008
Sorry that was "Virginia Walker"
Former resident of Cairo

Bronx, NY

#34 Jan 11, 2008
Anybody want to help solve another Pulaski County mystery? Around 1965-1968 a strange new religious group or perhaps cult named the Israelite Bible Class came enmass to Pulaski, Illinois. The bought a large farm somewhere near there maybe out in the Cache River bottoms.

They seemed to wealthy and flashy and had white Cadillacs with a sign and logo on the sides of their vehicles that said "Israelite Bible Class" and had a had a strange symbol that appears to be the exact one that AMORC or Rosicrucians have (see here on the 1st building in the photo) http://www.soul.org/

Here is a reference to a man who died and lived near Pulaski http://www.semissourian.com/story/1138266.htm...

and said he attended Israelite Bible Class, so I have to assume the group still exists near Pulaski. Does anybody know anything about this mysterious group and what their beliefs are? This a great mystery to solve although we all know the legend of the Cache Bottom Monster was not true and was good for scaring young children,
kwach

Brooklyn, NY

#35 Jan 12, 2008
We've been thinkig about moving to Cairo for the past couple of years, and we've been in touch with the folks at Cairo Vision 20/20 to find out how to get involved with some of the renovation projects they're working on. And, I read in the Daily Egyptian that the new Community Center opened today. There are a lot of people who are working hard to rebuild and revitalize Cairo, and I feel it's worth the effort. But change doesn't come only from the outside ... like they say about a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed ... so we're going down tomorrow to look at property to buy in Cairo, and we'll be at the 2008 kick-off meeting of Cairo Vision 20/20 on Monday night. Time to get committed.

Evie

United States

#36 Jan 12, 2008
Former resident of Cairo wrote:
Anybody want to help solve another Pulaski County mystery? Around 1965-1968 a strange new religious group or perhaps cult named the Israelite Bible Class came enmass to Pulaski, Illinois. The bought a large farm somewhere near there maybe out in the Cache River bottoms.
They seemed to wealthy and flashy and had white Cadillacs with a sign and logo on the sides of their vehicles that said "Israelite Bible Class" and had a had a strange symbol that appears to be the exact one that AMORC or Rosicrucians have (see here on the 1st building in the photo) http://www.soul.org/
Here is a reference to a man who died and lived near Pulaski http://www.semissourian.com/story/1138266.htm...
and said he attended Israelite Bible Class, so I have to assume the group still exists near Pulaski. Does anybody know anything about this mysterious group and what their beliefs are? This a great mystery to solve although we all know the legend of the Cache Bottom Monster was not true and was good for scaring young children,
I think the group you're talking about is outside Elco, IL. They're still there, and they have a heck of a compound. Elco is essentially deserted except for these cult people. Could that be it?
Evie

United States

#37 Jan 12, 2008
Former resident of Cairo wrote:
Former Cairoite:
Thanks for the tip! Last time I was in Cairo was February of 2002 but it was late at night and Shemwell's was closed.
I will call Darrel at Shemwell's and see how much he charges to mail order his BBQ. It is really hard to find the Southern Illinois/Kentucky type BBQ sandwiches with the sliced pork on toast with a peppery type BBQ sauce that tastes like a cross between BBQ sauce and Louisiana Hot Sauce.
Shemwell's used to have a "newer" location in Cairo when I was attending Cairo Junior High in 1964. A lot of us students would walk over to the new location which was on Washington Ave. across from Ben Fishel Auto Sales and just north of a bar that had a big Cutty Sark Whiskey sign.
Also in those days there was an old Hispanic man who sold tamales from a stand on the sidewalk outside of Ben Fishel's. On the topic of food does Cairo and Mounds still have a Whataburger shop? My sister who graduated from Mounds Township High/Meridian in 1967 used to flip burgers at the Whataburger in Mounds.
The secret of why they tasted so good was the owner would combine hamburger meat with pork sausage to make the patties. Also across from the Whataburger in Mounds there was a gas station that also had a diner that had pretty good food.
Mounds doesn't have anything anymore. There's a gas station and a little grocery/liquor store, but that's it. In a lot of ways Mounds is more run down and desperate-looking than Cairo. At least Cairo has all that beautiful architecture and a downtown to rebuild. Mounds it pretty much a bunch of falling down houses next to the train tracks, with no hope for a future and not much of a present.

It's sad, if you're a person that loves Southern Illinois and it's history.
Former Cairoite

AOL

#38 Jan 12, 2008
kwach wrote:
We've been thinkig about moving to Cairo for the past couple of years, and we've been in touch with the folks at Cairo Vision 20/20 to find out how to get involved with some of the renovation projects they're working on. And, I read in the Daily Egyptian that the new Community Center opened today. There are a lot of people who are working hard to rebuild and revitalize Cairo, and I feel it's worth the effort. But change doesn't come only from the outside ... like they say about a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed ... so we're going down tomorrow to look at property to buy in Cairo, and we'll be at the 2008 kick-off meeting of Cairo Vision 20/20 on Monday night. Time to get committed.
HAvent heard of any Vision 20/20?
Sure your not talking about Cairo Georgia maybe? Or possibly Cairo Mississippi even?
Evie

United States

#39 Jan 12, 2008
Former Cairoite wrote:
<quoted text>
HAvent heard of any Vision 20/20?
Sure your not talking about Cairo Georgia maybe? Or possibly Cairo Mississippi even?
LOL...we actually lie in Anna, IL. We're very familiar with Cairo (IL) and it's problems. And yes, the Vision 20/20 is in the Illinois Cairo.
New Cairoite

Ludwigshafen, Germany

#40 Jan 12, 2008
kwach wrote:
We've been thinkig about moving to Cairo for the past couple of years, and we've been in touch with the folks at Cairo Vision 20/20 to find out how to get involved with some of the renovation projects they're working on. And, I read in the Daily Egyptian that the new Community Center opened today. There are a lot of people who are working hard to rebuild and revitalize Cairo, and I feel it's worth the effort. But change doesn't come only from the outside ... like they say about a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed ... so we're going down tomorrow to look at property to buy in Cairo, and we'll be at the 2008 kick-off meeting of Cairo Vision 20/20 on Monday night. Time to get committed.
That is great. I won't e there for the meeting, but hope you make a commitment to Cairo. Unfortunately, I don't see the commitment coming from within. But, it is a great place.

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