Remembering Former Mayor Francis E. Rhodes

Gene-Rhodes-2014The flags at City Hall in Cape Girardeau are flying at half-staff today, honoring former Mayor and community business leader, Francis  “Gene” Rhodes, who passed away Tuesday at age 88. Following is more about Mr. Rhodes and his contributions to Cape Girardeau during his many years of community service.

Francis E. “Gene” Rhodes
Mayor of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
April 4, 1986 to April 4, 1994

Council Members who served with Mr. Rhodes:
David Barklage, Frank Bean, Peter Hilty, David Limbaugh, James Rust, Curt Smith, Al Spradling III, Hugh White, Doug Richards, Mary Wulfers, Melvin Kasten, and Melvin Gateley.

Notable events occurring in Cape Girardeau during Mr. Rhodes’ tenure:

  • Flash flood of 1986, Town Plaza Shopping Center
  • Cape Girardeau Comprehensive Plan adopted (1987)
  • Grand opening of Show Me Center (1987)
  • Solid Waste Transfer Station constructed (1988)
  • Jaycee Municipal Golf Course annexed (1988)
  • Construction of Independence to Mt. Auburn Road (1988)
  • Election for tax for Cape LaCroix Creek/Walker Branch flood control project (1988)
  • Airport property annexed (1989)
  • Annexed I-55 right-of-way, including Highway 61 at Center Junction (1989)
  • Historic Preservation Commission established (1990)
  • The Old Opera House (N’Orleans Restaurant) gutted by fire (1990)
  • City recycling program began (1991)
  • Purchase of water system from Union Electric (1991)
  • Fire Station 2 constructed (1991)
  • Siemers Drive area annexed (1993)
  • Riverboat gambling issue began (1993)
  • Adopted ward system for City Council (1993)
  • Construction began on Cape LaCroix Recreation Trail (1993)
  • Complete renovation of airport terminal building (1993)
  • Mississippi River stage hit 48.49 feet (1993)

U.S./World Events:

  • Presidents: Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton
  • Secret initiative to send arms to Iran revealed; Reagan denies exchanging arms for hostages (1986)
  • Iraqi missiles kill 37 in attack on U.S.S. Stark in Persian Gulf (1987)
  • CDs outsell vinyl records for the first time (1988)
  • Army Gen. Colin Powell is first black Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989)
  • Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, setting off the Persian Gulf War (1990)
  • Cease fire ends Persian Gulf War; UN forces are victorious (1991)
  • North American Free Trade Agreement signed (1992)
  • Branch Davidian religious cult besieged in Texas; six killed in raid, fire kills 72 (1993)
  • Median Household Income: $24,897 (1986) to $32,264 (1994)
  • Cost of First Class Stamp: $.22 (1986) to $.29 (1994)