A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 18, 2005
I’m from Missouri—Show Me (nickname)
Gerald Cohen is a professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO). He started the research on "Big Apple," and he also started the research on "I'm from Missouri, show me."

The standard story is that the state motto was coined/popularized by Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver (1854-1932) at a meeting in Philadelphia in 1899. That's wrong.

First, the Philadelphia meeting was in 1900, not 1899. I checked. Second, "show me" was already popular by that time.

"Show me" has been cited in print since at least 1893. In 1898, people from Missouri wore "show me" buttons to the Trans-Mississippi exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska. Also, in the summer of 1898, a "Show Me" song (the first of several) was copyrighted. See the 1913 article below, stating that it was the rivalry between Kansas City and Omaha that started the "Show Me" expression.

The State of Missouri is aware of my work, but its web page is still incorrect and outdated. I'll "show you" here.

Missouri Secretary of State website
Why Is Missouri Called the "Show-Me" State?
There are a number of stories and legends behind Missouri's sobriquet "Show-Me" state. The slogan is not official, but is common throughout the state and is used on Missouri license plates.

The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri's U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Vandiver attended an 1899 naval banquet in Philadelphia. In a speech there, he declared, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me." Regardless of whether Vandiver coined the phrase, it is certain that his speech helped to popularize the saying.

Other versions of the "Show-Me" legend place the slogan's origin in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. There, the phrase was first employed as a term of ridicule and reproach. A miner's strike had been in progress for some time in the mid-1890s, and a number of miners from the lead districts of southwest Missouri had been imported to take the places of the strikers. The Joplin miners were unfamiliar with Colorado mining methods and required frequent instructions. Pit bosses began saying, "That man is from Missouri. You'll have to show him."

However the slogan originated, it has since passed into a different meaning entirely, and is now used to indicate the stalwart, conservative, noncredulous character of Missourians.

Rossiter, Phyllis. "I'm from Missouri--you'll have to show me." Rural Missouri, Volume 42, Number 3, March 1989, page 16.
Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1979-1980, page 1486.

31 March 1892, Lawrence (KS) Gazette, "Tonganoxie," pg. 3, col. 5:
In the language of an eminent colored individual of this city: "You can't tell me, you have to show me."

Nebraska Newspapers
20 August 1892, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, pg. 2, col. 3:
Langdon Names the Target.
OMAHA, Aug. 18. -- To the Sporting Editor of THE BEE: I hereby accept F. A. Fuller's proposition to shoot on the range over the river August 21, at 2 p. m. Now as Fuller gives me my choice I name the German twenty-five-ring target. As for being able to beat me on any target -- well, Fred, I am from Missouri.

Nebraska Newspapers
18 July 1893, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, pg. 2, cols. 5-6:
Fred Replies to Hardin's Challenge.
OMAHA, July 17. -- To the Sporting Editor of THE BEE: I noticed a personal challenge to me in the columns of THE BEE July 1, from one J. J. Hardin, stating that he had a man who would should me a match for from twenty-five to fifty points. Now I cannot understand what he means by points, if he means shots he should have said so, or if he means points scored he should have so explained. I would like to know the name of the man designated as Mr. Blank, and I have assured Mr. Hardin we will have no difficulty in making a match providing everything is straight, for I am from Missouri and they must show me something.

5 October 1893, Sioux City (IA) Journal, pg. 4, col. 5:
Burlington Gazette, 3: Miss Tunnie Cole, of Pike county, Missouri, has been visiting her uncle, P. Nutt, of Bogus Hollow. Miss Cole has been very much interested in the electric cars, and was anxious to know almost all about what makes them run. She received the "electricity" explanation with much doubt, saying she wouldn't believe it until somebody "showed" her, because she was from Missouri.

25 November 1893, Mineral Point (WI) Tribune, pg. 8, col. 5:
Burlington Gazette. -- Miss Tunnie Cole, of Pike county, Missouri, has been visiting her uncle, P. Nutt, of Bogus Hollow. Miss Cole has been very much interested in the electric cars, and was anxious to know almost all about what makes them run. She received the "electricity" explanation with much doubt, saying she wouldn't believe it until somebody "showed" her, because she was from Missouri.

Google Books
1 September 1894, Forest and Stream (New York, NY), pg. 190, col. 1:
Editor Forest and Stream:
However, I am of a more hopeful turn of mind, and, though they remind me of the man from "Muzouri," who said, "Stranger, you kaint prove nothin' to me; yers got to show me," I hope, by appealing to their common sense, to convince them that beagle hounds are first-class rabbit dogs.

Chronicling America
24 September 1894, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, "Affairs at South Omaha: William Kane Makes a Thoroughly Rog Fashion Attack on Patrick Quinn," pg. 2, col. 7:
"You are not only a scab, but I can lick you in less time than it takes to tell it." "You'll have to show me," said Quinn, as he began taking off his coat.

28 October 1894, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), "Tips for the Real Sporty," pg. 10, col. 1:
Johnson (John S. Johnson, a bicycle rider --ed.) says that he can cover a mile in 1:30 flat, but being from Missouri he will have to show me.

13 November 1894, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 3, col. 1:
They're From Missouri.
Fowler, Dick & Walker, against whom P. H. Fotheringham has brought a $10,000 damage suit, are from Missouri and want to be shown. They have filed in the district court a motion for a more specified statement on the part of Fotheringham.

23 December 1894, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 18, col. 6:
A few days after that "a tall, long, lank, underfed, wall-eyed, slab-sided, hatchet-faced girl" from the state where you have to "show me" came up to the window with an "I say, mister, what's the fare down home again?"

28 December 1894, Nemaha County Herald (South Auburn, NE), "Brownville Brevities," pg. 8, col. 1:
A number of people from the state of "you have to show me," attended the dance Monday evening.

5 February 1895, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), "Events in Council Bluffs," pg. 3, col. 1:
Keller, however, insisted that he was from Missouri and he wanted to be shown, and the ordinance was laid over, while a dense cloud of grief enshrouded the vicinity of the gentleman from the Fifth ward.

9 May 1895, Horton (KS) Headlight, pg. 4, col. 2:
We're from Missouri, and you've got to show us.

12 May 1895, Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, NE), "Not Tail-enders This Time," pg. 16, col. 1:
Some people hail from Missouri and have to be shown.

3 June 1895, Sioux City (IA) Journal, "Chance to Get a Ball Team," pg. 2, col. 3:
But everybody in Sioux City interested in base ball is like the man from Missouri, and history records that the people had to show him.

11 June 1895, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), "South Omaha World Herald," pg. 4, col. 6:
Mayor Johnston says he can take care of the city overlap and clear everything up in good shape in a short time, but the people of this city are "from Missouri" and he must show them before they will put much stock in the tale.

13 June 1895, Downs (KS) Times, pg. 5, col. 2:
Our boys say they can do better after a little practice -- "but they'll have to show us Missourians."

21 June 1895, The Courier (Fairview, KS), "Be Fair, Brother," pg. 4, col. 2:
He may have specially constructed a leather bed for the prisoners, but like the boy from Missouri, "You can't tell us, you'll have to show us."

11 July 1895, Horton (KS) Commercial, pg. 1, col. 5:
However, possibly the new man thinks we are from Missouri and will show us.

6 August 1895, The Daily Reporter (Arkansas City, KS), pg. 2, col. 1:
SPECIAL from Hennessy: "Dick Yeager, alias Zip Wyatt, caught." Special from all the world: 'You've got to show me."

6 August 1895, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), "Start of the Six Day Race," pg. 5, col. 3:
This man Hall is a find of John Burke's, and as he is from Missouri he is going to show some of them that he is in it clear up to his bangs, and there were several times when he set a pace that kept them all guessing.
C. R. Hall, Mound City, Mo.

13 August 1895, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 2:
He Drags Down the First Prize
at the Six-Day Bicycle
The wheelmen settled down nearly in the evening to the old grind, with Hall (C. R. Hall of Mound City, Missouri -- ed.) still in the lead, setting a regular old "show me" pace, but Clark got cold in the rear and came to the front, with Holton after him.

Chronicling America
20 September 1895, The Weekly Independent (Lincoln, NE), pg. 8, col. 2:
As regarding Mr. Holmes in that respect, however, we're from Missouri; as regards Cornish, we don't have to be shown.

27 September 1895, Lincoln (NE) Weekly Call, pg. 1, col. 7:
Will Arrive in Lincoln Tomorrow From Missouri.
It is expected that tomorrow Lincoln will be honored by a number of distinguished visitors. Authorities of the commercial club anticipate a call from the state officials of Missouri on their return from the Sioux City fair.

8 October 1895, Deadwood (SD) Evening Independent, "What the Deadwood People Want is a Depot," pg. 3, col. 3:
We are like the man from Missouri, "you have to show us," and when the Elkhorn company makes an effort to secure the ground essential for their depot we will give them due credit.

Nebraska Newspapers
18 October 1895, The Nebraskan (Lincoln, NE), "Around the Campus," pg. 2, col. 2:
"Catch nothing," sniffed the Banjo Fiend. "Don't make that sort of a drive at me. I'm from Missouri."

"Why, I thought you were from Dakota," said the Gilded Fool, innocently. The Gilded Fool could never grasp the meaning of a slang phrase until everyone had abandoned it on account of its age, and humor, except in its simplest stages had no charms for him.

25 October 1895, Morrill (KS) News, pg. 4, col. 1:
The time has now arrived when the administration will either have to fight or back ingloriously down. The English are not from Missouri but you have to show them just the same.

7 November 1895, Enid (OK) Weekly News, pg. 3, col. 3:
IT is reported that diamonds have been discovered in Victor, Colorado. We haven't seen any evidence of them yet, and, in the language of the Missourian, "you'll have to show us."

15 November 1895, Sioux City (IA) Journal, "Mr. Patterson Would Talk," pg. 5, col. 3:
"The gentleman must show me," said Moore, "and I am not from Missouri, either."

1 December 1895, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 19:
Your uncle will not believe that Omaha will be in the Western league until along in the shank of next season, when a team with the word "Omaha" emblazoned upon the shirts of players in actual service can be shown to him. And he is not from Missouri, either.

12 December 1895, Plattsmouth (NE) Weekly Journal, "For a Public Building," pg. 1, col. 1:
However, Plattsmouth citizens somewhat resemble the gentleman from Missouri and before we commence to celebrate the event they will have to "show us."

13 December 1895, Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, NE), pg. 8, col. 6 ad:
We are not from Missouri or Kansas and don't have to be shown.
(Browning, King & Co. -- ed.)

21 February 1896, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), "Events in Council Bluffs," pg. 3, col. 2:
This ballot was also made formal and Mr. (W. H. --ed.) Bradley was called for. He was bashful, but the convention howled until he mounted the platform declaring, "I'm from Missouri and have to be shown."

1 March 1896, Des Moines (IA) Leader, "Some Political Secrets," pg. 13, col. 2:
"Some of 'em are from Missouri and you've got to show 'em."

7 April 1896, White Cloud (KS) Globe, pg. 5, col. 2:
Missouri's Lament.
The reason that they got us, I'll tell you plainly now:
We are across from old Missouri, and they "had to show us how."

9 May 1896, Des Moines (Iowa) Daily News, pg. 4, col. 2:
They Came from Missouri and
We Had to Show Them.

22 May 1896, The Weekly Record (Alma, NE), "Points," pg. 1, col. 4:
We are like the man from Missouri, you'll have to show us.

13 June 1896, The Daily Co-operator and Topeka Press,"Local Column," pg. 5, col. 1:
Sheriff Keply is in hopes that the man reported as Bill West killed at Illinois station is the real West, but the sheriff says he is "from Missouri", and must be shown.

19 June 1896, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), "South Omaha World-Herald," pg. 3, col. 3:
... because the tough young men of South Omaha are all from Missouri and have to be shown.

16 July 1896, Perry (IA) Bulletin, "Overconfidence," pg. 4, col. 1:
The free silver advocates are like the man from Missouri, they will have to be shown.

14 August 1896, Great Bend (KS) Tribune, pg. 7, col. 5:
The reporter entirely forgetting his position or whom he was addressing yelled out, "I'm from Missouri you'll have to sight me."

14 August 1896, El Reno (OK) Herald, pg. 3, col. 3:
The crowd "were from Missouri," and had to be shown, ...

16 August 1896, St. Joseph (MO) Daily Herald, "They Will Not Fuse," pg. 3, col. 1:
The Buchanan county Populists, however, know a thing or two and they are strictly "middle of the road" people and the candidate who gets on their ticket has got to "show them" as they are from Missouri.

21 August 1896, Howard (KS) Courant, "Kaffircorn Header," pg. 3, ol. 5:
"If you are from Missouri, we will show you."

29 August 1896, St. Joseph (MO) Daily News, pg. 8, col. 5 ad:
Will be fought to the finish in trying to prove to our customers that we have not stated anything but truths. GENTLEMEN, if you are from Missouri, we will show you.

4 September 1896, The Courier (Fairview, KS), pg. 8, col. 3:
He said women didn't know much anyway about machinery and as I was from Missouri he reckoned he'd have to show me.

7 September 1896, Topeka (KS) State Journal, "Kansas Humor" from Fairview Courier, pg. 2, col. 2:
He said women didn't know much anyway about machinery and as I was from Missouri he reckoned he'd have to show me.

17 September 1896, Horton (KS) Headlight, pg. 8, col. 4:
Having been unable to see Tommy in regard to the matter, and being from Missouri, will have to be showed. THE CYNIC.

28 September 1896, Sioux City (IA) Journal, pg. 3, col. 6:
I'm not like most people from Missouri, you don;t have to show me.

3 October 1896, The Daily News (Chicago, IL), "Around the Town," pg. 3, col. 4:
"I'm from Missouri, you got to show me."

16 October 1896, Sioux City (IA) Journal, "Silver Party's Father," pg. 5, col. 4:
A voice in the audience called out, "Show us; we are from Missouri."

16 October 1896, The Custer County Chief (Broken Bow, NE), pg. 2, col. 4:
Tell them you are from Missouri, and will have to be shown and not told.

7 November 1896, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, pg. 7, col. 6:
"They say Mr. McKinley is the advance agent of prosperity but I am from Missouri and they have got to show me."
(Spoken by D. Clem Deaver -- ed.)

23 November 1896, The Daily Co-Operator and Topeka Express (Topeka, KS), "Faster Faster," pg. 1, col. 5:
We are "from Missouri, you'll have to show us."

27 November 1896, Lane (KS) Graphic, pg. 4, col. 3:
The people out there must all be from Missouri -- have to be shown.

28 November 1896, Lamar (CO) Register, "His Little Hatchet," pg. 1, col. 3:
The senator is not from Missouri, but he says they have got to show him where that state labor commission is doing any good.

15 December 1896, Kansas City (MO) Times, "Arrested for Not Gambling," pg. 3, col. 1:
"I'm from Missouri, You've got to show me."

30 December 1896, Atkinson (NE) Plain Dealer, "Atkinson and Vicinity," pg. 1, col. 4:
They are, as the saying goes, from Missouri, and must be shown.

Google Books
April 1897, Kansas University Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 2, "Dialect Word-List - No. 4" by W. H. Carruth and Paul Wilkinson, pg. 91:
show me: substitute for, "I don't understand." We have an expression in Missouri, "I'm from Missouri: you'll have to show me." hence show me. -- Mo.

16 April 1897, Auburn (NE) Post, pg. 1, col. 3:
It is a common street expression nowadays to say "I'm from Missouri and have to be showed" when referring to something that is not believed.

2 May 1897, Philadelphia (PA) Times, pg. 13, col. 7:


From a Correspondent of THE TIMES.

"I'm from Missouri, and they'll have to show me."
(The same text is in the following reprint a week later. The below is more accessible to most through ProQuest digitized newspapers -- ed.)

9 May 1897, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 27:
So the Man from Missouri Leaped Headlong from a Train.
From the Philadelphia Times.

"I'm from Missouri, and they'll have to show me."

That is what John Duffer, of Pike County, Missouri, remarked as he was being patched up in the office of Dr. Creighton at Manitou. His face and hands were badly scrateched where they had come in contact with the sharp gravel, there was a bruise over one eye where his head has struck against a fragment of Pike's Peak, one elbow felt "like a tarnation wildcat had clawed it," and there was a general feeling of soreness "pretty much everywhere," as he explained it to the doctor, but he was alive and thankful.

John had jumped from the platform of a Colorado Midland passenger train at the entrance to the first tunnel above Manitou, while laboring under a mistake as to the destination of the train, which appeared to be plunging into the mountain side.

"You don't catch me lettin' 'em run me into the ground with any of their gol darned trains, when I've got a through ticket to Cripple Creek in my pocket," he remarked as the doctor took another stitch in his scalp and adjusted an artistic court plaster shingle on the swelling dome over his right eye. "I'm pretty badly peeled up, but you bet I'm still on top, and that's where I'm going to stay." And John Duffer took a good-sized bite out of a mammoth piece of navy plug which he dug up out of his pocket and relapsed into momentary silence, though his jaws worked faster than ever.

"You see, Doc," said the Missourian, as he deluged the gas log in the doctor's fireplace with the overflow from his lips, "I was a-going over to Cripple Creek to see what those gold mines look like, where they shovel up the stuff into a wagon and let her go at that, and find chunks of gold in the rocks. I had my grip and a bucket of grub in the car, and just after the train left the depot I went out on the platform to look at the mountains. Down on one side was a holler, and up on tother side was a hill that I couldn't see to the top of, and on all sides was mountains, and I couldn't see how the train was ever going to dodge them all. The little shelf the train was running on kept wiggling through them hills like a snake in a plow field, and then I looked ahead and saw where a hill had been split plumb down to the ground to let the railroad through, and that was all right, because I could see daylight on the other side. And then when the train went through that split in the hill it switched around kinder to one side, and I could see the track ahead of the engine, and then I saw a big white mountain all covered with snow sticking clear up into the clouds, and nobody knows how much farther, and the next thing I knowed the engine give a screech like she was most scared to death, and I looked quick and the whole business was going plunk into a hole in the ground. And then I jumped. Came near getting killed, but I fooled them that trip. You don't catch me running up against any game that I don't know nothing about, and I ain't going into anything that I don't know the way out of. Then I came down town to get patched up, and I'm going to Cripple Creek some other way, even if I have to walk."

"And what became of the train?" asked the doctor, who had been feeling of Duffer's ribs to se if they were all in place. "Didn't they stop for you?"

"Stop nothing. The last I saw of the darned thing it was still going into the hole and I didn't care whether it ever stopped or not. I wasn't on it. Say, do you reckon I could get my bucket back if they get them out?"

It took considerable time and the testimony of several witnesses to convince Mr. Duffer that the entire train and its contents were not hopelessly buried in the interior of Pike's Peak, and quite a little crowd accompanied him to the station, where Agent Dunaway telegraphed to Cascade to return one lunch pail and grip labeled John Duffer, Pike County, Mo.

And as he left the station to fill up on "free soda biling right out of the crowd" Mr. Duffer explained, once more:

"When the train went into that hole I thought we'd never see daylight again, and my only chance was to jump, and so I jumped. I'm from Missouri, and you'll have to show me!"

Chronicling America
20 June 1897, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, "South Omaha," pg. 7, col. 5:
As some of the city dads are from Missouri they have to be "showed," and that accounts for the friendly interest of the wheelmen at this time.

3 May 1898, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 7, col. 7 ad:
Who wants to be "shown" has only to put a trial want ad in the
And the results that come will show him why the World-Herald carries double the number of Want Ads of an other paper in Omaha.

Chronicling America
6 August 1898, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, pg. 12, col. 6 ad:
K. C. at the bat
One thing about K. C. fellows, though -- they're near sighted. A man who wants to do business with 'em has got to
Show 'em.
If you try to run a bluff on a Kansas City man he don't say a word but closes off his eye and sez
I'm from Mizzouri,
Got to show me.
Nebraska Clothing Co.

12 August 1898, The World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 4, col. 4:
(Kansas City Star.)
So far as heard from, every man and woman who went from Kansas City to Omaha to see the Trans-Mississippi exposition on Saturday was greatly surprised and pleased by the magnitude and the beauty of the show which Omaha has created for the entertainment and instruction of the people of this country, and along with the feeling of enthusiasm which was aroused there was a feeling of regret that the exposition is not receiving the patronage which it merits.
It is safe to say that no person from Kansas City who went to Omaha to shout for this town regrets the trip. The unique description on the Kansas City badges, "You will have to show me," met with adequate response, and the visitors were shown a great many more interesting sights than they expected to see.

14 August 1898, The Morning Post (Raleigh, NC), pg. 2, col. 1:
Unique Feature of Trans-Mississippi Exposition.
Omaha, Neg., Aug. 13.
Saturday was Kansas City day and (Col. 2 -- ed.) a goodly number of Missourians came in wearing significant badges which read: "You will have to show me."

The New York Public Library Digital Collections
"I'm From Missouri And You've Got To Show Me" (1898)
Coon Song
Words by Lee Haney
Music by Ned Wayburn

23 December 1898, Salina (KS) Herald, "Kansas Notes," pg. 2, col. 5:
A young couple from Missouri recently appeared before Probate Judge Snyder at Atchison, to get married. The young man not desiring to appear embarrassed, stepped boldly up to the judge accompanied by his intended bride and asked, "Can you tie us up, judge?" "That is what I am here for," replied the experienced knot tier. "Well," retorted the young Missourian, "we are from Missouri, and we must be shown." The judge soon showed them.

Chronicling America
19 August 1900, St. Louis (MO) Republic, "Stories of Well-Known Missourians," pt. 2, pg. 6, col. 7:
Hannibal claims to produce the man that first gave utterance to the immortal expression: "I'm from Missouri, you've got to show me!" According to the story, the expression was first used by an old man in a Chicago street car. He claimed that he was from Hannibal, but did not give his name. Some one on the car had made an astounding statement, which staggered the old gentleman. He quickly retorted: "I am from Missouri and you'll have to show me." A reporter for a Chicago paper was aboard the car, and the next day there appeared a paragraph telling of the incident. Soon it reached Missouri and the phrase is now known in every State of the Union.

3 May 1903, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, "Slang Phrases of St. Louis' Big Fair," pt. 2, pg. 2, col. 3:
From Omaha came the now world-wide familiar slogan, "I'm from Missouri and you've 'got ter' show me."

10 May 1903, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, pg. 2, col. 1:
St. Louisans Are Greed That It Is One of the Most Applicable of Sayings, But They Are Far From Agreeing As to Who Originated It, When and Where.

OCLC WorldCat record
I'm from Missouri : (they had to show me)
Author: George V Hobart
Publisher: New York : G.W. Dillingham Co., 1904.
Series: American fiction IV, 1901-1905, reel 106, no. 1061.
Edition/Format: Book Microform : Fiction : Microfilm : English

24 August 1913, Dallas Morning News, part four, pg. 13:
Origin of "Show Me."
A little while ago a well-intentioned critic of St. Louis informed the business men that their city had outgrown its stick-in-the-mud slogan, "You'll have to show me," and that the first step in the direction of progress must be the selection of a less slow slogan. A few of those who read the speech in the daily papers protested that "show me" was never in any sense the property of St. Louis. They were not sure whence it had come, nor why. They could remember only vaguely the first time they heard it, but they were positive it belonged to the State of Missouri, and not to any one city, assuredly not the metropolis on the Mississippi.

A gentleman with a fondness for delving in the dust-laden records of the historical society has now appeared with the information that the challenge, "You'll have to show me," is a corruption of the name of a famous Indian chief of the Sioux tribe, whose grave is in the western part of the State -- old Yumus Shome having led the tribe who crossed the lowlands below the mouth of the Illinois, carrying their canoes on their heads from the Mississippi to the Missouri, and thus giving the name in the historic old French town, Portage des Sioux. Yumus Shome, it is averred, is buried at Westport, in Jackson County, and his name--carelessly pronounced "You mus' show me," has passed into the vernacular of the State.

It is a pretty story, and one that we ought to permit ourselves the pleasure of believing. But, alas, it is a practical age and sooner or later some stickler for the fact is sure to come forward with the proof that there never was any such chief as Yumus Shome. The man who wrote to one of the daily papers concerning him must have had some authority for his statement. Indeed, he had what looked like excellent authority. He found it in a scrapbook, and it was in very good hexameter. He was sure that poet must have known what he was writing about, or he would not have succeeded in getting his verses published. The material story of the chief appeared in a magazine called Kings and Queens of the Range, and devoted to the interests of the great Texas and Kansas ranchers. It was published while the exposition at Omaha was in the flower of its first year's success, and was the effect, not the cause, of "you must show me."

It came about in this way: When Omaha first talked of holding a trans-Mississippi Exposition the newspapers in Kansas City indulged in a fusillade of sarcastic gibes. The idea of Omaha, the dead one, bestirring itself enough to get up a world's fair was too preposterous to be accepted as serious. And so, when the fair became a fact and included among its days a Kansas City day, a huge delegation went up from the Kaw town, each wearing a button with the legend, "I'm from Missouri and you've got to show me." The expression caught the public fancy and in a little while Missouri was known the world over as the "Show Me State." So it was Kansas City, not St. Louis, that started the stick-in-the-mud slogan. -- St. Louis Globe Democrat.

3 July 1924, The Enquirer and Evening News (Battle Creek, MI), "'Show Me' Author Found" by the Associated Press, pg. 9, col. 7:
Missouri has a delegate in General Emmett Newton who claims to have coined the saying, "I'm from Missouri; show me," and also to have discovered the "embalmed beef" of the Spanish war. As a boy whose hobby was collecting badges, says General Newton, a delegate attending a Knights Templar convention in Denver, 1892, told him he had a better collection, and this was what caused him to remark that he was "from Missouri".

3 August 1938, Santa Cruz (CA) News, pg. 3, cols. 1-2:
Back in the silver eighties when the cry was 16 to one and there were more than a few Republicans, people hadn't yet learned to use the statement, "I'm from Missouri."

It remained for an eighteen-year-old lad who was working for "$15 a month and keep" to originate the statement which has stayed with the American public ever since that time.

Chas. R. Hall. famous landscape painter and former world's champion bicycle rider, claims to have originated the adage.

Hall, who now lives in Ben Lomond, was working on a farm near Marysville, in Missouri back in 1888. That was in the days when the "safety bike: was just beginning to take the place of the old "uneven wheeler" with the large wheel in front and the small wheel in the rear.

Bicycling was popular then but young Hall, working for 15 a month soon learned that he couldn't afford to bicycle, so he learned to ride on a friend's machine.

Bicycle racing was reaching its big ride and was well on its way to the fore in popularity.

So, on an uneventful day in 1888 Hall went into town, the little community of Craig, to see a two-day celebration there.

As a part of the program, several races had been scheduled and several representatives of bicycle manufacturers were in town to take part in the different events.

In those days the tracks were dirt, making them slow, as compared with the wooden bowls. Just before the first race the young farmer was in the dressing room, talking to the riders. Knowing that he could make the half-mile track in less than three minutes he asked what their time was and learned the record on that track was 3:3.

Hall laughed and said, "Any old farmer coud plow you boys under if that's the best you can do."

And so the challenge was hurled and the riders egged Hall into the next day's one mile open.

Ha;; borrowed a bicycle from a hardware dealer in town and entered the next day's race, winning over the professional representatives of the eastern manufacturers.

He won the first race riding a heavy road bike and dressed in his farm overalls. "I came in two lengths ahead of the best of them," said Hall, "with my overalls flapping in the breeze."

One month later, in Mound City, Missouri, riding a Quincy bicycle, he won every race on the program.

After the celebration, he was offered a position riding for the Sterling Bicycle company by John T. Burke, company representative.

Burke offered Hall $45 a week, all expenses and all he could win in the races, and Ha;; accepted before Burke had a chance to change his mind.

Omaha newspapers, after Hall had signed to ride for Burke, dubbed the young man, "Burke's dark horse from Missouri."

At the next meet, in Omaha, where Hall raced, he went in against Herman Gadke, crack rider of the day. Omaha at that time was on the national circuit, and the track there was wood.

Just before the race, when the judges, starters and racers were up on their ties for the beginning of the race, a reporter shouted, "Hall, Gadke won't do a thing to you."

To which the young rider returned, "I'm from Missouri, you've got to show me."

Hall won the race, beating Gadke by a length, and the next morning the papers came out with the story, "He was from Missouri, but the boys couldn't show him."

The phrase caught and went out all over the United States into the racing newspapers from which the public picked it carrying the expression nearly half a century to popular use today, according to Hall.

1 January 1939, Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel, "Happy Birthday To You" (Laura Rawson, Birthday Editor), pg. 8, col. 4:
CHARLES R. HALL, a resident of Ben Lomond for the past three years, missed being born a year earlier by an hour. He came into the world at 1 a.m. New Year's morning, 1871. His birthplace was a country house at Atchison county, Missouri. His first memorable feat was performed when he became world's bicycle speed champion at the age of 16, and reputedly coined the phrase, "I'm from Missouri," along with gaining fame on wheels. Since his bicycling days Hall has spent his years painting and preparing exhibits for world, state and county fairs. From the time he arrived in Ben Lomond he has concentrated his efforts mainly on redwood burl, making table sets, and lamp stands. The famous "I'm from Missouri" was popped out by Hall to reporters in Omaha, Neb., where he had gone for a major bike event. Up against his toughest competition, Hall was told by newspapermen just what the Omaha speedsters would do in the way of polishing him off. "I'm from Missouri," he retorted. "You'll have to show me."

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)
I'm from Missouri (1939)
1h 20min | Comedy, Drama, Family | 7 April 1939 (USA)
Sweeney Bliss, champion mule raiser in Missouri, takes his prize mule Samson to London, where the British government is trying to decide whether to buy mules or tractors for its colonial troops. He is accompanied by his ritzy wife Julie who has high society aspirations and hopes to have her younger sister Lola Pike marry a British diplomat. Complicating matters is a business rival, Porgie Rowe, who is trying to sell tractors to the government and keeps knocking Sweeney's prize Missouri mules.

27 May 1940, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 14, col. 6:
Emmett Newton Dies; Claimant of 'Show Me'
Said He Coined Famous 'From Missouri' Phrase in 1892

Emmett Newton, retired quartermaster general of the United States Army, who often contended that he was the originator of the expression, "I'm from Missouri, you've got to show me," died on Saturday at Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, after a long illness. He was sixty-six years old.

Mr. Newton, who was night superintendent at the Long Island College Hospital from 1922 to 1938, was a native of Springfield, Mo. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. Before coming East he was active in politics in Missouri, campaigning for the late William Jennings Bryan and Champ Clark.

He lived at 36 Garden Place, Brooklyn. A brother, Dwight E. Newton, survives.

It was in Denver in 1892, Mr. Newton said, that "I'm from Missouri" came into being. He was attending a political convention and showed a stranger his large collection of campaign buttons. The stranger said that his collection was better and Mr. Newton gave him the famous retort. The rival collector, according to Mr. Newton's account, turned out to be a button manufacturer.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A Look Back • Congressman makes Missouri the show-me state, or so the tale goes
By Tim O’Neil 314-340-8132 Jun 2, 2013
Membership on the House Naval Affairs Committee got him a tour of the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1899 and a last-minute invitation to dinner at the city’s prestigious Five O’Clock Club. Vandiver and congressman John Hull of Iowa were the only two who hadn’t traveled with formal dinner attire. They agreed to stick together in their humbler garb.

But Hull arrived in coat and tails, spinning a tale of a tailor who stitched them in 15 minutes. When it was Vandiver’s turn to toast and roast, he told the gathering of 200 that Hull had stolen his suit, then said, “I’m from a state that raises corn, cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri. You have to show me.”
Who will ever know? By points, history gives Vandiver credit for making it popular.

I'm From Missouri (You Gotta Show Me)!! by Milton Howard
Published on Oct 29, 2011
Excellent stomping Soul tune from Milton Howard on SoundStage7. I've not heard of anything else by the gent, though there are many great sides put out by this label. I love how this song actually sounds like it downshifts in the middle for that classic 'driving' effect! Enjoy!
Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesI'm From Missouri. Show Me; Puke State • Tuesday, January 18, 2005 • Permalink