Office: Department of History
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
For those who remember Art Mattingly, there are three things they will probably list. His ability to bring history to life in the classroom, the Historic Preservation Program, and Normal to University: A Century of Service.
Born in Southeast Missouri, Art Mattingly attended Southeast Missouri State College with a major in Social Studies Education. He went on to receive an MA in history from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University in 1971.
Though Mattingly listed thirty courses in the catalog he could teach, his favorites revolved around the American military experience. He was, in fact, selected to teach a workshop on military history at West Point.
His feeling that history should also be "hands-on" led to his leadership in the creation of the Historic Preservation Program at Southeast. This hands-on approach to historic preservation led to one of the most interesting projects undertaken in the program. In 1983 a historic log house was threatened with destruction. The owners were willing to donate the structure to the university if it were moved off site. Dr. Mattingly and his students presided over the dismantling and reconstruction of the Hunter House. Mattingly hoped that the reconstructed building could be the centerpiece for a living history site and this became a top priority for the department. Funding was never provided and the dream was never realized.
Mattingly was one of the first historians to realize that an important historical source was rapidly disappearing. Long before the present interest in World War II and the men who served, Art Mattingly started an extensive oral history project that would interview, tape, and catalog the experiences of area WWII veterans.