History Blog 

Dr. Alice W. Roberts: First an Osteopath, then a gatekeeper for an historic house

The Osterhout house that once stood at 3254 St. Mary’s Avenue in Hannibal, was sketched in 1953 by Albert Meyer. This sketch shows the original house, built in 1842. CONTRIBUTED MARY LOU MONTGOMERY When Silas O. Osterhout died in 1955, his widow was identified in the newspaper obituary as “the former Dr. Alice Roberts.” And that’s typical of the way it was when Silas Osterhout married Dr. Alice W. Roberts in 1931: A woman expectedly gave up her career in favor of her new role as homemaker. Men were the traditional breadwinners. Dr. Alice Roberts was an Osteopathic physician and surgeon, trained at the American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville Mo. She was divorced from a fellow osteopathic

National Defense Day 1924: A hot, long march in Hannibal

Arnold S. Davis was a boy of about 12 in the fall of 1924 when this photo was taken. He had completed a two-mile march with the Douglass High School band in recognition of National Defense Day. This photo is part of Steve Chou’s vast historic collection. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY On Sept. 12, 1924, Arnold S. Davis participated in the National Defense Day events at Hannibal, Mo. He was only about 12 years old when he marched with the Douglass High School Band for 18-block long parade composed of an estimated 1,400 battle-ready men. The event had been billed as a nationwide drill to test the readiness of the nation’s defenses in the case of attack, the Baltimore Sun reported in its Jan. 2, 2019 edit

Twins Alonzo and Alfonso Fox: Treating the body and the soul

Dr. Alonzo Fox was pictured in the Hannibal Courier-Post on April 7, 1949, in conjunction with his appointment to the Lincoln University board. The photo was accessed on the Hannibal Free Public Library’s website, African American Community 1880-1960. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY The 1200 block of Center Street – west of North Maple Ave. - was biracial long before the Jim Crow Laws were enacted. At the turn of the 20th Century, Alonzo and Alfonso Fox were 8-year-old twins living with their grandparents, Richard and Maria Saunders, at 1214 Center St. Richard was a laborer, and Maria was at times during her life the organist for the Allen Chapel AME Church. Next door lived 16-year-old twins Tom and Bob

Clapper credited with making the best ‘grain cradles’ around

German cradle scythe is illustrated in a painting by Ernst Henselear (1852-1940) Wikipedia MARY LOU MONTGOMERY In 1877, John Henry Clapper was a woodworker by trade, living near the station that bore his family’s name, located on the M.K.&T. Railroad line through Monroe County. He worked as a wagon maker, but he had one particular specialty when it came to woodworking. His grain cradles were a favorite of farmers near Paris. At the end of June 1877, he delivered 18 hand-made grain cradles to Paris, where the newspaper reported that they sold like hotcakes. A half century later, the Rev. Dr. Charles Francis Richmond, a retired minister of Paris, wrote his memories of the early days of hay har

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