Chouteau Public Library in search of an almost century-old monument of a thousand books


The Chouteau Public Library is asking the public for help in locating a missing monument that could be at least a century old.

It is believed to have historical value and weigh over 1,000 pounds.

There is a team of women inside the Chouteau Public Library who are working to solve a mystery that is not on the shelves.

“It’s funny. I taught history here for 32 years, I grew up here, I went to school here. And I’m constantly discovering more things I had never heard of before on the city, ”said Connie Holland, Chair of the Chouteau Public Library Board of Trustees. .

Holland, along with librarian Janet Coblentz and assistant librarian Amber Lowery, are working to digitize historical photos donated to the library over the years, including images of an “obelisk” or monument, which once stood formerly at the intersection of Main and McCracken.

“We were curious as to what had happened to him,” Lowery said.

A traffic light is now flashing just above where the monument once stood. The group reviewed the historical photos of the intersection that were donated and turned to the Jefferson Highway Association for help.

Model-T cars gave Roger Bell a clue that the monument was probably there around the 1920s.

As president of the Jefferson Highway Association, Bell knows all about America’s first north-south highway, which passed through Chouteau.

“I knew immediately based on the route that I knew it was right on the road from Jefferson Highway,” Bell said.

Looking at a photo on the library’s “Missing” leaflet, Bell thinks the monument reads “10 miles,” perhaps signaling drivers 100 years ago that Pryor is the next town on the road.

Measuring six feet tall and weighing around 1,500 pounds, the library believes the monument may still be in the Chouteau area and hopes people will search their old sheds and rubbish heaps to look for it.

“It’s exciting to think that there might still be, you know, a story that we can find and be able to share with the public and for our community,” said Lowery.

“It’s always amazing to me when sometimes you think that something isn’t going to be resolved or that you aren’t going to find something and someone comes out out of the blue who has all the answers,” Bell said. .

The group is looking for clues that could help solve the mystery of the missing monument.

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