THE KELLERMAN FOUNDATION Our Exhibits
KELLERMAN FOUNDATION PRESENTSThe Oliver Family: Reflections On A Legacy
THE KELLERMAN FOUNDATION WELCOMES YOU TO ITS EXHIBIT AT HERITAGE HALL.
The Oliver Family was influential in southeast Missouri during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Kellerman Foundation is fortunate to have several large collections of their memorabilia, personal artifacts, private correspondence, personal and business library, and furnishings. The collection was given by direct descendants and Oliver family members.
The Kellerman Foundation Legacy
It’s important to preserve our local history. This includes the places that defined its culture and its experiences, all of which have influenced the present.
Drs. Bert and Mary Ann Kellerman set out to restore several buildings in the Cape Girardeau area starting in the 1970s. Over the decades, they’ve managed multiple property restoration and renovations. Both had successful careers in higher education, and they didn’t have to undertake these projects.
The emphasis on preservation of historic properties represents a dedication not only to the community but to the history of an entire region of the American Middle-West.
The work they’ve done in Cape Girardeau enhanced the city’s historic downtown, bringing new life to buildings on the verge of demolition or collapse. Not only this, but their efforts have gone on to save properties of significant importance to the state of Missouri.
One of the best examples of their work is the Oliver-Leming House, located near the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. This is where the flag of the state of Missouri was designed — an important historical landmark for Missouri. The house underwent major restoration to get it back to what it was a century ago.
Another example can be seen in the Klostermann Block building in Cape Girardeau (at 7-17 South Spanish Street). It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, being one of the first in Cape Girardeau to make that list.
Without the hard work and determination of the Kellermans, the community of both Cape Girardeau and the state of Missouri would’ve lost properties of enormous significance. It’s due to their continued preservation and outreach these places are still extant for posterity.
This is a legacy that will live on for generations to come.
The Kellerman Foundation’s Oliver Collection
Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver created the flag for the state of Missouri in Cape Girardeau. The Kellermans spent a decade furnishing and restoring the Oliver-Leming house, completed in 2013 in time for the flag’s centennial celebration.
The Kellerman Foundation has a collection of Marie Watkins Oliver’s personal belongings, along with ninety-seven boxes of Oliver family history.
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