History Blog 

Rev. and Mrs. Quinctus Ennis Whaley left an early and lasting legacy in Hannibal

Mary E. Whaley taught elementary grades at both Lincoln and Douglass schools in Hannibal. Photo contributed by Major Griggsby. Rev. and Mrs. Quinctus Ennis Whaley left an early and lasting legacy in Hannibal Editor’s note: When a group of Hannibal men of color gathered together in 1887 to form a congregation based upon Methodist Episcopal ideals, they were setting forth a union of individuals who – despite the end of slavery two decades prior – were still restricted in employment opportunities, education and housing. The freedom that the charter members of Scott Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church experienced inside the sanctuary was the right to praise and worship God, on their own terms. Th

Chowning name respected in both Twain circles and for health care expertise

The late Dr. Thomas Chowning Jr., a native of Florida, Mo. His father was the attending physician for Sam Clemens’ birth, and Dr. Chowning Jr., was a physician and surgeon in Hannibal for 33 years until his death in 1925. Photo published May 15, 1966, in the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph. The photo belonged to William Vandel and his wife. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY During his day, Thomas Jefferson Chowning, M.D., was a prominent figure in Monroe County, Mo. In the spring of 1850, his name was entered into consideration as a candidate for the Senate. During the year following he was called upon by his contemporaries to establish a committee to plan improvements to the flow of Salt River. Servin

Pleasant Court – an example of mid-1950s Hannibal lifestyle

Pleasant Court was a post-war housing project intended to help relieve the housing crisis following the end of World War II. This photo was taken by Otis Howell of the Hannibal Courier-Post in 1962, before the barrack-style apartments were razed in preparation for the construction of Hannibal’s municipal swimming pool. STEVE CHOU COLLECTION. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Pleasant Court. Young families in Hannibal, Mo., called the barrack-style apartments - located near the intersection of Grand and Pleasant streets - home during the post-war years of the 1950s, when building materials were in short supply and the demand for housing great. The generation of children raised therein were members of the “

Century-old building has plenty of tales to tell

The Emporium: This ready-to wear store was located at 609-11 Broadway. Michael Fireside, a native of Austria, was the store’s manager, on and off, from about 1918 until around 1930. Business card from the Steve Chou collection. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY German-speaking Michael, 27, and Laura Fireside, 25, moved to Hannibal in 1912 as newlyweds. They had married in New York City, after each had left behind their respective homelands in Austria. Michael’s dream was to own his own clothing store. By 1916, Michael was the manager of Home Clothing Co., located at 104 S. Main in Hannibal. His ready-to-wear clothing competitors included The Famous, located at 101 N. Main; Sonnenberg and Son, 118-20 N. M

Folktale relates town’s horror over Meeks’ family murders

William Taylor was publicly hung on May 30, 1896, at Carrollton, Mo. He was convicted in the grisly murders of members of the Gus Meeks’ family. Photo Source: 1977 History of Sullivan County. Accessed via the Linn County R-1 School District website MARY LOU MONTGOMERY “Tell me a story from your childhood,” Levia Baker Carenen’s granddaughter, Peggy, begged during sleepovers during the mid 1940s and 1950s. Mrs. Carenen had grown up on a farm at Madison, Monroe County, Missouri, in a house, which began as a log cabin and was later expanded to accommodate a growing family. The tales that Mrs. Carenen told her granddaughter were reflective of her rural, Central Missouri heritage, and of the era

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