History Blog 

Hannibal baseball great, Stein, caught (briefly) for Cardinals

Photo of Henry E. Stein, while he was a player for the Belleville, Ill., Clerks, during the 1890s. Photo contributed to Findagrave.com by Gordon Brett Echols. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY The crack of a baseball bat and subsequent cheers from fans could send reverberations throughout the Bear Creek bottoms in the heyday of Hannibal baseball, and boys – all dreamers of fame on the field – would follow the echo to its source, and vie for the chance to participate in the game of summer. Henry Edward Stein was one of those boys. Born circa 1870, he spent his earliest years on the creek’s south side, attending South School with Jake Beckley, who made it to the big leagues. The latter part of his youth he

There's A Lot Going On At King's Barber Shop. - "I've seen better looking heads on

Note: Doug Gregonis was (my husband) Eddie Montgomery's barber from the fall of 1968 (when Eddie returned to Hannibal from service with the U.S. Air Force) until Eddie's death at the end of January 2017. Today I post this story in honor of Doug, who died May 19, 2018. Doug was my Eddie's loyal and true friend. Hannibal Courier-Post archives June 20, 1998 Doug Gregonis has been barbering a long time, almost 30 years in Hannibal. And in that time, names and faces might change, but the elements of the barber shop cling fast to their roots. Barbers, like Gregonis, become confidants to men, along with barbs for each other's jokes. But every barber that decides to set up his own shop takes a risk

James Withers’ wives had trouble keeping him in tow

This 1952 photo of the businesses along the Market Street Wedge show the neighborhood where the wife of James H. Withers lived circa 1910-15. Her apartment was on the second floor of a three-story building on the south side of the street, two buildings west of Schanbacher saloon, which later served as Schanbacher Bros Meats. Hedges Supply Co., can be seen in this photo, featuring the Westinghouse sign in front. It was located at 1227 Market; Schanbacher’s building was 1233 Market; and Mrs. Withers lived at 1237A Market. COURIER-POST PHOTO BY OTIS HOWELL/STEVE CHOU COLLECTION. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY James H. Withers, 32 and a native of England, found himself in a curious predicament on the eveni

Early settlers laid groundwork for residential subdivisions

This 1908 subdivision plat map shows John B. Shepherd’s house, on Shepherd Place, and the land across the street on St. Mary’s Avenue, which he purchased and deeded to his children. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Two horses galloping south on St. Mary’s Avenue, just past the intersection with Bird, pulling behind them a heavy commercial wagon, bouncing and bounding uncontrollably along the dirt-and-stone pavement. Eyewitnesses experienced the blurring of motion and pounding of hooves and knowingly feared impending doom. The team, owned by Will S. Hall, proprietor of the Sunny Slope nursery along Central Avenue, was startled somewhere near the north end of the Avenue where it joined with the Paris to Ha

Young love story ended tragically with death of young wife, mother

Thomas B. Williams, right, and his wife Hattie pose in front of their home at 123 Summit St., (the southwest corner of Grace and Summit) Hannibal, circa 1920. Between them is their grandson, Henry Johann, at about 5 years old. To the left is their daughter Leta. The Williams family operated a grocery store out of the basement of this home. The family lived on the second floor. Henry Williams Johann told his family stories about working alongside his grandparents in the neighborhood grocery store. Photo contributed by Karen Pinkham of Galesburg, Ill. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY When 18-year-old Ethel Williams accepted Henry Andrew Johann’s marriage proposal in 1914, neither could have possibly have i

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