Friday, November 23, 2018

WWI / Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration - Part 4 of 4

The Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry. Queisser’s two sons served on the front line. His banner quickly became the unofficial symbol for parents with a child in active military service.

On Sept. 24, 1917, an Ohio congressman read the following into the Congressional Record: “The mayor of Cleveland, the Chamber of Commerce and the governor of Ohio have adopted this service flag. The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother: their children.” Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers organizations were established during World War I and remain active today.

During World War II, the Department of War issued specifications on the manufacture of the flag, as well as guidelines indicating when the service flag could be flown and by whom. The Blue Star Service Banner is an 8.5-by-14-inch white field with one or more blue stars sewn onto a red banner. The size varies but should be in proportion to the U.S. flag. Today, families display these banners when they have a loved one serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The blue star represents one family member serving, and a banner can have up to five stars. If the individual is killed or dies, a smaller golden star is placed over it. Gold stars are placed above the blue stars or to the top right of the flag, in the event a flag represents multiple servicemembers.
Blue Star Service Banners were widely used during both world wars, but were not embraced during the Korean or Vietnam wars with the same enthusiasm. The American Legion rekindled that spirit of pride in our military men and women following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by providing banners to military families across the nation.

Monday, November 5, 2018

WWI / Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration - Part 3 of 4

For those interested in more information related to the artifacts and memorabilia on display at the library, we have another display just for you!

In the Genealogy section of the library, near the bank of computers, we have curated an insightful display ready to be checked out.  Books and videos covering events from the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the sinking of the H.M.S. Lusitania to the entrance of America into the war under President Wilson and the eventual surrender of Germany.

Also included in the display are authors that served or in some way participated in the war effort or were otherwise actively writing during the war.

Don't forget to join in the discussion taking place on the centennial of Armistice Day in the library theatre at 2:00 PM, Sunday, November 11, 2018.  Please sign the guestbook as well!

Friday, October 19, 2018

WWI / Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration - Part 2 of 4

We continue to commemorate and honor the memory of those that served our country during the Great War and its ending on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.

We would like to thank VFW Post #6477 for providing a mannequin dressed in an authentic WWI uniform for our exhibit.  This enhances our display in ways that photographs can't always do justice by showing much more details.

Speaking of photographs, thank you to everyone that furnished us with photos of their loved ones in uniform.  Taking the information provided, we were able to augment the display of these servicemen with additional documentation of their service.  Information we found included draft registration cards, passenger listings as they traveled to and from Europe documenting the ships they sailed on, and in a few instances, we discovered photographs of the actual ships.

Where did we find this treasure trove of information to help tell their stories?  We used and you can too!  Just stop by the library and use your library card (or get a guest pass) for two hours of discovery.  The information you find can be emailed to you so you have access to it at home.

You still have plenty of time to see the various displays around the library as they will be, including the mannequin, available for viewing through November 30th. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

WWI / Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration - Part 1 of 4

Two months of the commemoration of the Centennial of Armistice Day (now known more commonly as Veteran's Day) have commenced at the library!  The exhibit runs through November 30.

These photos are just a sample of a larger community project to honor those who served in the Great War, as it was known at the time.  Most items in the display cases are on loan from the Poplar Bluff Museum.  "Poppies" scattered among the artifacts and memorabilia were made by children during the crafting portion of Story Time.
Stop in to see these items and other displays located throughout the library.  Don't forget to sign the guestbook and see you soon!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Four new collections from Caruthersville Public Library

Four new collections from Caruthersville Public Library, in partnership with the State Historical  Society of Missouri, is now available, thanks to a recent Digital Imaging Grant. The Caruthersville Democrat/Democrat-Argus, Southeast Scimitar/Pemiscot Press, Hayti Critic and Hayti Pemiscot Argus served as major sources of information and news to the Pemiscot County community. The collections contain newspapers published from 1892 through 1965. (This project was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library.)

Explore more Missouri history collections at

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Library Honors Wolpers Family For Outstanding Library Support

The Library Board of Trustees dedicated the conference room at the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library at a private reception on Tuesday, June 19th in honor of the Wolpers Family who have given more than 70 years of support and service to the library. 
The ceremony recognized the Wolpers Family as good citizens of their town, county, and state by being long-time defenders of Constitutional values and First Amendment rights as newspaper publishers, journalists, and avid library supporters.  Today, as in generations past, the family stands to protect civil liberties for all citizens and works to preserve and improve the quality of life in their communities. The Wolpers Family have served on local, regional, and state boards which have included the University of Missouri Trustees, Missouri Department of Conservation, the Chamber of Commerce, and other local governing boards.  As remarked by board president, Christy Turner, during the unveiling of the plaque, “No one could find a better model of good citizenship.”
Resolutions from Speaker Todd Richardson, Missouri House of Representatives, Senator Doug Libla, Missouri Senate, the Honorable Steve Davis, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Poplar Bluff, and Mrs. Christy Turner, Library Board President were presented at the ceremony.
The Wolpers Family Board Room plaque was unveiled by Lucy Wolpers, daughter of Jim and Joella Wolpers.  Mr. John Stanard as the Wolpers Family representative delivered the closing remarks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Let the Library display your WWI Veteran's Photos this Fall

In commemoration of 100 years since the beginning of Armistice Day and the end of World War I November 11, 1918, the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library with community partners plans a series of programs celebrating our veterans for their service to our country.

Organizations participating in some or all of these events include:
  • Poplar Bluff Municipal Library
  • Poplar Bluff Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Poplar Bluff History Museum
  • Veteran’s organizations
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Vietnam Veterans
  • American Legion
  • John J Pershing Veterans Administration Hospital
One of these events includes a photographic display of World War I veterans serving from the counties to which Poplar Bluff Municipal Library provides free library cards. These counties are Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Ripley, Stoddard, and Wayne.

The library is asking for submissions of photos for public display in the library October 1 through November 30, 2018.

Approximately 30-50 photos of these photographs will be placed on a standing display in the library on a first come first served basis. Photos received after meeting the maximum allowable space on the display unit will be placed in a notebook with photos in plastic sleeves and arranged alphabetically. This notebook will be placed in close proximity to the standing display for browsing and viewing.

With the name of the veteran, the library will attempt to find pertinent service related information for each veteran including service and draft records if available. Additionally, names of veterans and photos will be submitted to the website for searching and public viewing and as a resource for genealogy research.

The Library will accept all photos meeting the criteria described below.

Criteria for Submission:
  1. Submission form and photo must be received no later than August 31, 2018.
  2. Mail to or bring by the library:

  3. Sue Crites Szostak OR Shon Griffin
    Poplar Bluff Municipal Library
    318 North Main Street
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri 63901

  4. All photos must be a 5x7 copy of the original photo on photo quality paper.
  5. No photocopies will be accepted
  6. No originals. These photos become the property of Poplar Bluff Municipal Library and will become a part of the library’s photo archives.
  7. The veteran must be from Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Ripley, Stoddard, or Wayne County, the counties Poplar Bluff Municipal Library serves with free library cards.
  8. The owner consents that the veteran’s information be submitted to the website.
  9. All photos submitted must include the name of the veteran, the name of the submitter and address and good telephone number written legibly but lightly in pencil on the back of the photo.
The submitter understands there may not be enough room to include all photos on the standing display. However, all photos will be available in the library either on the display stand or in the notebook(s). Photos are accepted on a first come/first served basis for the purposes of display. All overflow photos will be put into a notebook alphabetically by last name and placed near the standing display.


Email: OR
Call: 573-300-4590 OR 573-203-4678

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wheatley Yearbooks - 1954 & 1956 - Now Available

The library is happy to present to you yearbooks from Wheatley School for 1954 and 1956.  These are viewable AND searchable in PDF files, and even better, files can be saved to your computer!

These were digitized after a generous citizen graciously allowed the library to borrow these rare books.  Now we are sharing our good fortune with you, the public.

To see the yearbooks, along with Poplar Bluff and Neelyville yearbooks, follow this link and enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Poplar Bluff High School and Neelyville Yearbooks Now Available Online!!

The library is happy to present to you Poplar Bluff High School yearbooks ranging 1950-1989 and Neelyville yearbooks covering 1954-1989.  These are viewable AND searchable in PDF files, and even better, files can be saved to your computer!

A big THANK YOU goes out to the Poplar Bluff History Museum to help us fill in missing years of PBHS not owned by the library. Another big THANK YOU to the Neelyville School District for allowing us to borrow the many years we don't own.

We are in the process of getting two years of Wheatley School yearbooks digitized and will post them once the process is complete.  We hope to continue expanding this online collection with additional schools in the future.

To see the yearbooks, follow this link and enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2018

1967 MO Death Certificates Now Available

It's a new year and Spring has arrived.  Genealogists will soon be out in force scouring overgrown cemeteries, dusting off old courthouse records, and crisscrossing the country for family reunions.

Another rite of Spring in Missouri for genealogists the last several years is the annual release of 50-year-old death certificates.  Naturally, this year is the release of 1967.  Click here to visit the State Archives database.

A bonus awaits those who haven't visited the database recently.  Additional indexing work has been accomplished on the years 1959-1967 making spouse, father, and mother searchable fields!  The wonderful development of these additional access data points will be beneficial to anyone unsure of name spelling (or spelling errors to start with!) or individuals entered with initials.

Happy searching!!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Wheatley School Yearbooks Wanted

Do you, or someone you know, have any copies of Wheatley School yearbooks? 

The library is looking to digitally preserve any copies of these irreplaceable pieces of history for future generations.

Currently, we have two copies on loan to the library, one each of the years 1954 and 1956, for this purpose.

If you would like to assist the library or have any questions, please email Shon Griffin ( or Sue Crites Szostak ( or call 573-686-8639.

The deadline for this temporary loan to the library is February 28, 2018.  We guarantee the physical safety and integrity of your items will not be compromised.