I am going to start me a town...
In 1860, John Sikes recorded a plat with the Scott County Recorder. On it Sikes wrote, "i am going to start me a town, and I am going to call it Sikes Town." From that dream grew a community of over 18,000 - one of the largest and most progressive communities of Missouri's Bootheel.
Realizing transportation was a key to development, the railroad was extended to Sikeston in 1860, providing both transportation and mail service. By 1868, residents of Sikeston had established a tax-based public school. In 1875, the Town of Sikeston, with a population of 250, was incorporated by the State of Missouri. During the next 25 years, Sikeston's first newspaper was published and commercial telegraph and telephone services were started. The 1900s saw the establishment of passenger rail service between St. Louis and memphis, the development of City water works and sewer system, and the establishment of the Sikeston Ice, Light and Power Company. Sikeston's first electric generating plant was constructed in 1906.
By 1918, Sikeston's population had almost tripled. Local swamps were being drained, trees harvested for lumber, and cotton became "King." The 1920s were a period of great prosperity and economic growth. During this period, Sikeston was the home to more millionaires than any city of its size within the United States. Many of the buildings featured on this tour were constructed during this period in Sikeston's history. We invite you to join us as we revisit this era of beautiful homes, buildings and churches.