History Blog 

East Bird Street building possesses storied past

This 1967 photo of East Bird Street, taken by Bill Partee, shows 111 Bird Street at far left. The building to its left is still standing. The three buildings on to the west have been demolished. The lot at the far right is now used as a community garden. STEVE CHOU COLLECTION MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Richard Turner opened The Bordello bed and breakfast at 111 Bird Street in 1983, leasing the building from the city of Hannibal, Mo., which had – for two decades prior – utilized the building to house its utility offices. By 1994, new owner Mike Straube had softened the image of the establishment, renaming it the Riverfront Inn, “a respectable place where you can sign your real name when you check in

Southwestern cattlemen boarded at Stockyards Hotel in Oakwood

This undated newspaper clipping shows the old Stockyards Hotel, which served southwestern cattlemen in the 1870s, 1880s and beyond. Stock was unloaded at the stockyards, watered and fed, while en route to the Chicago market. This hotel was widely known through the west. Photo from the Steve Chou collection. HCP STOCKYARD HOTEL MARY LOU MONTGOMERY 48-year-old, Scotland-born John Oliver Hogg, an architect and contractor who made Hannibal his home as early as 1859, was the low bidder on a contract to construct a hotel at the stockyards in the area known as Oakwood, several miles west of Hannibal, in the spring of 1875. Work began at the end of April, and by June 4, the stonework was complete. T

Dr. Henry L. Banks: Half century of service to citizens of Hannibal

Dr. and Mrs. Henry L. Banks lived at 207 (later 208) South Fifth Street from circa 1911 until Mrs. Banks’ death in 1950. Dr. Banks had his office on the first floor, at the front of the structure. The family, including two sons, Garrard and Louis, lived elsewhere in the house. 1959 photo/Otis Howell. Steve Chou collection MARY LOU MONTGOMERY More than 1,000 spectators came out to watch two companies of Hannibal firefighters extinguish a blaze that was believed to have begun in the chimney flue of a house occupied by Dr. Henry L. Banks and family in January 1920. Dr. Banks, who was the only one at home when the fire on the roof was discovered by neighbors at 3:30 p.m., was alerted in time for

From the Courier-Post archives: 2011 interview with Harold Norman regarding full-service gas station

Norman's full-service gas station when it was located on South Main Street, Hannibal, Mo. MARY LOU MONTGOMERYINTERVIEW: 2011 Harold Norman lived at 2307 Chestnut when he was a boy. At the time, his father, Rixie, operated a gas station on Mark Twain Avenue, and his mother was a homemaker. They only had one car, so when Harold wanted to go somewhere, he took a city bus. Now retired, Harold fondly looks back at the days when his family played an integral role in supplying the citizens of Hannibal gasoline for their vehicles. His father operated three different gas stations during his career. The first, on North River Road, is at the site of Hannibal's water pump house. Harold said the gr

Born at Slater, Mo: Rumor has it that soprano Felice Lyne hit Oscar Hammerstein with an opera score

Felice Lyne and Oscar Hammerstein, The Sheboygan Press illustration, Wisconsin, Nov. 18, 1912. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY There was a rumor circulating about London in the fall of 1912, that Felice Lyne – a prima donna whose amazing rise to fame had startled the musical world and whose singing took London by storm – had actually hit Oscar Hammerstein over the head with the score from an opera. It was generally accepted as truth that Hammerstein had discovered Felice Lyne’s talent, and that it was his persuasion that lured the Missouri-born Lyne with his light opera company in London. The songbird had performed previously in the United States with little fanfare, but under Hammerstein’s tutelage, Eu

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