History Blog 

Thankfully, injuries from thrust rock weren’t fatal

William D. Milton took for his bride Anna T. Shafer on Aug. 13, 1876. A hand-written inscription on the back of this photo reads: Mr. William Milton, Hannibal, Mo. To Annie Shafer. His birth and death dates were added later: Wm. Milton, Born Sept. 22, 1850; died March 14, 1930. This photo was taken by Streeter photography in Hannibal during the mid 1870s.STEVE CHOU COLLECTION MARY LOU MONTGOMERY When 36-year-old William D. Milton was hit in the forehead with rock thrown at him during an altercation, the prognosis was that he was sure to die from the injury. But he didn’t. He went on to work a long and productive life as an engineer and manager for the Standard Oil Company facility in Oakwood

Vaudeville musical comedian’s last performance was at Hannibal’s Star Theatre in October 1907

This 1910 postcard of Hannibal’s South Main Street shows a star sign in front of the Star Theatre, pictured at left. The Star Theatre opened in 1906, and October 12, 1907, noted Vaudeville star Memphis Kennedy is believed to have performed his last show there. He drowned the next day on the Mississippi River. STEVE CHOU COLLECTION Poster for The Adam Forepaugh and Sells Brothers – America’s greatest shows consolidated – featuring Madame Yucca, the female Hercules, the strongest woman on Earth […] Poster copyrighted by the Courier Litho. Co., 1898. Library of Congress MARY LOU MONTGOMERY The Star Theater on Hannibal’s South Main Street opened for business in 1906, across the street from the n

Russell W. Moss slaves: One ‘Herculean’ in size; the other cast out as an ‘old, worn out Negress’

This 1854 map of Hannibal was digitally reproduced by Dave Thomson in 2004. A portion is included here to show the locations of the two major pork packing houses in Hannibal at that time. Both located on the riverfront, the Shields, Ray and Ashmare plant was at the foot of what is now Broadway. The Samuel and Moss plant was located at the foot of North Street. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Feb. 26, 1852, advertisement in the Missouri Courier at Hannibal, Mo.: “Negroes Wanted. “The subscribers want to purchase two No. 1 likely young Negro men. None need apply except those who have negroes of good character, as we want them for our own use. The highest cash price will be paid. Apply to SAMUEL & MOSS.” H

Mark Twain’s recollection suggests that money can't buy happiness

The 1899 Sanborn map of Hannibal, Mo., shows the Lakenan house, opposite of the First Christian Church on Broadway. The description indicates that the house had been damaged by fire. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY In 1850, the Brady House, which was located on the northwest corner of Center and Main streets in Hannibal, served as early residency for a number of young men who would go on to become key Hannibal developers during the second half of the 19th Century. Owned and operated in 1850 by Maryland natives Thomas J. and Mary A. Ayres, the hotel offered its residents furnished accommodations and meals in a neighborhood that was the hub of business and commerce, located just two blocks from the Missis

Early automobile travel: 14 hours across Missouri

Tom Beatty, secretary of the Quincy, Ill., Chamber of Commerce Highway commission, created a series of Sunday drive routes that motorists could follow. This 1925 map, showing a portion of Marion County, included a portion of the Cannon Ball Trail. The map was published in the Quincy Daily Herald. Mary Lou Montgomery The growing popularity of the automobile contributed to a significant lifestyle change for Americans during the early decades of the 20th century. Previously satisfied with a horse and buggy for local trips, and riding the rails for longer journeys, the automobile offered the opportunity for Americans to venture across the country on their own. Road establishment and maintenance

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