Local History in Black and White…

My passion is sharing history! Local history. Colorful history. Important history. Sharing the difficult stories that help people connect with their heritage. They say if its’ not hard history, you’re not doing it right. Stories about the culture, ancestry and history of places people lived, worked and died. Whether its’ found in a cemetery, a courthouse, or a cabin in the woods, there is a story. Contact me and lets’ talk about how I can share a story with you. Here are some programs and stories that deserve their own blogs that I hope you will share …

Dorris Keeven-Franke is an award-winning author that has been writing Missouri history for over thirty years. She is currently working on the biography of Archer Alexander. Awarded the German American Friendship Award by the Federal Republic of Germany in 2016, she currently serves as the President of the German American Committe and Executive Director of Missouri Germans Consortium. She is Head Archivist at Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum. As a public historian she shares either virtually or in person, and her blogs below…

Available Presentations

DORRIS KEEVEN FRANKE ON FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/Authordorriskeevenfranke

Get in touch

Don’t hesitate to reach out by using the form.


Sharing the story of Archer Alexander   https://archeralexander.

Sharing Missouri’s German heritage is the mission of the Missouri Germans Consortium http://mo-germans.com

Sharing the history of St. Charles County which began OVER 250 years ago   http://stcharlescountyhistory.org

Sharing the stories of African Americans buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery https://sagechapel.com/


Archer Alexander’s Flight to Freedom

Caught up in Missouri’s conflict during the Civil War, Archer Alexander would inform the Union Troops of the impending collapse of a nearby railroad bridge. His heroism would save hundreds of lives and the vital link for the military; but endanger the life of himself and his family. ..

The Last Fugitive Slave

Falling in with others seeking freedom, they all made their way south. But they would have to get past the Slave Patrol, who would be looking for them. In the middle of the night, while they made their way up from the ferry on the far side of the river, the slave catchers appeared out…

Freedom comes to Missouri

On this date, January 11, 1865, Missouri declared “All men are born free and independent and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore, declared, that slavery and involuntary servitude shall cease to exist in Missouri”

Don’t lose those precious photos

Get the water-logged paper and photos into a freezer immediately. The freezing process not only stops the mold that begins to grow and damage the items but also draws the moisture out of it as it works as a dehydrator. I was able to salvage everything except for…

Archer Alexander

What would you do? Imagine yourself enslaved in a state that is caught between two hostile forces. On a cold winter’s night in Missouri in January 1863, Archer Alexander overheard his enslaver Richard Pitman holding a secret meeting in the back room of the local Postmaster and storeowner James Naylor, in his mercantile on the…


Missouri Historical Society recently shared the story of Archer Alexander American Hero on their History Happens Here blog…


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4 responses to “Local History in Black and White…”

  1. Dorris my Name is William Brock. My great,great grandfather is Jefferson Sage and I saw your story about him. But was wondering if you had any more information on him to help me understand some more about him.

    1. Did you see the post entirely about him, his family and where he served?

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