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The original three bells, still in use today, were cast in 1900 and installed shortly after the completion of the steeple.
The largest bell was paid for with a gift from the Christian Mother’s Society. It is inscribed with “St. Elizabeth pray for us, that we may merit to despise the worldly delights and always to enjoy divine consolations.” ~ the Society of Christian Mothers.
The second bell, paid for by a $140 donation from the Young Men’s Society. This bell is inscribed with “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 bell, the smallest bell, was believed to have been paid for by donations from various sources. It is inscribed with “O Guardian Angel, may you lead all of us who are travelers, happily home.”
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
Ring 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.