JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri State Capitol Commission and the Office of Administration have teamed up to plan a celebration to commemorate the centennial of the laying of the Capitol’s cornerstone to take place on Friday, July 3 in conjunction with the downtown Salute to America festivities.
The event will unseal the time capsule from 1915, which according to records, includes copies of St. Louis, Kansas City and Jefferson City newspapers, a history of Missouri, and a copy of the amendment to the state constitution authorizing the construction of the new capitol, “among other items.”
Gov. Jay Nixon has called upon Missourians to submit ideas for the 2015 time capsule, to remain sealed until the building’s bicentennial.
“This is a unique opportunity to give future generations of Missourians a window into how we live now, and the many reasons the Missouri of 2015 is a great place to live, work and play,” said Gov. Nixon. “I encourage all Missourians to help us commemorate this historic occasion and make their mark on history by weighing in on what the new time capsule should contain.”
The new time capsule will include items representing Missouri government, technology, sports and culture and remain sealed until the 200th anniversary of the Capitol. Missourians can submit their ideas online at mo.gov/TimeCapsule or on Twitter using #MoTimeCapsule until midnight on June 20.
The event will be held on the south side of the Capitol steps at 1 p.m. The Governor will be joined by Senator Mike Kehoe; Missouri Supreme Court Judge George W. Draper III; members of the A.F. & A.M and the M.W. Prince Hall F. & A.M. Masonic Grand Lodges; Missouri historian Bob Priddy; and the Mayor of Jefferson City, Carrie Tergin.
Guests can look forward to other special activities, including an ice cream social after the ceremony, where attendees can expect to see elected officials serving up the dishes and possibly taking home a commemorative souvenir.
Voters approved a bond 6 months after Missouri’s second state capitol in Jefferson City burned after being struck by lightning on February 5, 1911.
1915 was an important year in the construction of the Capitol, with the original members of the Missouri State Capitol Commission directing decisions including choosing the stone for the Capitol’s famous columns and addressing acoustics. The board approved the still-present columns of Vermont Royal Antique Marble for the Senate chamber and Windsor Green Granite monoliths for the House chamber, as well as deciding on Missouri Red Granite for first floor columns.
Two deaths related to construction occurred in 1915 with the electrocution of H. Robert Deighton while he operated a motor at the Carthage stone-cutting plant where stone was being prepared for the Capitol and when foreman Henry T. Smith was crushed when a 25-30 ton piece of Carthage stone being quarried for the Capitol fell on him. According to records, seven total fatalities were directly related to the Capitol’s construction, the first two being in 1913 when carpenters S. C. Hyde and Ira H. Green were killed by the cave-in of a 40-feet deep hole being dug down to bedrock for construction of a piling.
Centennial events coordinated by the Missouri State Capitol Commission can be followed on Facebook.
Featured image: Present-day view of southeast elevation and cornerstone. (Photo courtesy of the Missouri State Capitol Commission.)
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.