St. John's Catholic Church & Cemetery

St Anthony's Catholic Church & Cemetery




The Bells of Leopold

The three bells in St. John's Church were casted in 1900 and were installed and dedicated shortly after the completion of the steeple.

The "Bells of Leopold" were baptized as indicated in the following pargraphs:

The first and largest bell was paid for with a gift from the Christian Mother's Society.
The inscription on this bell reads as follows: "St. Elizabeth, pray for us, that we may merit to despise the worldly delights and always to enjoy divine consolations. - the Society of Christian Mother's"

The second bell was paid for by a donation of $140.00 from the Young Men's Society.
The inscription on this bell reads as follows: "St. Stanislaus, whom all youths embrace on account of the perfection of innocence and virtue, pray for us. Protect all who are devoted to your patronage. - the Sodality of St. Stanislaus"

The third and smallest bell was probably paid for by donations from various sources.
It's dedication is inscribed on this bell reads as follows: "O Guardian Angel, may you lead all of us who are travellers, happily home."

"The Bells of Leopold"
At dawn across the eastern hills
I used to hear the clear-toned bells,
Now low and sweet, now loud and bold,
The ringing Bells of Leopold.

I've heard then in the gay springtime
Rig out the merry wedding chimes,
In silver notes and not too bold,
Those gala Bells of Leopold.

And sometimes on an autumn day
They say they sing a roundelay,
In softened tones--in notes of gold,
The mellow Bells of Leopold.

I've heard that at the midnight hour,
Sometimes there creeps out from the tower
A solemn song, as days of old
Speak through the Bells of Leopold.

And one day when a dirge was played,
And sadness hearsed both man and maid,
I heard them moan across the wold,
Those solemn Bells of Leopold.

I've gone afar from childhood scenes,
But still there come to me in dreams,
Those memories sweet of joys old,
And I hear the Bells of Leopold.
This poem was written by Dr. Vest C. Myers (1/2/1890 - 11/18/1945), former Dean of Southeast Missouri State College in Cape Girardeau. It was written in 1931 on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the community and of the first church.

It has been published in the booklet, "Verses from An Old Vase" by Vest C. Myers, by the Press of Moore Bros., Fulton, Kentucky, İMay 18, 1927.

Leopold has been highly honored in having such a beautiful poem written about the bells in its own church.

The tower of the church is visible from great distances in clear weather, and the sounds of the bells travel widely depending on the atmospheric conditions. It is little wonder then that Dr. Myers, whose home was in Glen Allen, was inspired to write the lovely poem about our bells.

Dr. Vest C. Myers was laid to rest in Cape Girardeau Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

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