History Blog 

Kate Ridge: A woman ahead of her times

This building at the right housed Katherine Ridge’s grocery store, 1009 Mark Twain Avenue, Hannibal, for some 38 years. During prohibition in the 1920s, her husband Gus was arrested for making moonshine on the second floor, and the copper piping and tub remained in the structure into the 1950s. Note the stone foundation, which dates the building prior to the turn of the 20th century. The building was torn down in the late 1950s to make way for the construction of an urban Highway 36 through Hannibal. Photo from Steve Chou’s collection. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Kate Ridge, who operated a grocery store at 1009 Mark Twain Avenue in Hannibal for some 38 years, was a woman ahead of her times, accordin

Simpson and Bessie Townsend Newman operated the epitome of the ‘mom and pop grocery store’

A crowd of curious gathers around a gaping hole in the street at Adams and Sycamore, South Hannibal, Mo., where the roof of an old tunnel collapsed. Spooner Creek flowed through this tunnel, and excess pressure from flash flooding had caused the roof, and the pavement above, to cave in. Newman’s Grocery is visible in the background at right. Otis Howell photo July 1949. Steve Chou collection. Also published in “Images of America Hannibal, The Otis Howell Collection,” Arcadia MARY LOU MONTGOMERY For some 49 years, Bessie Townsend Newman and her husband, Simpson, operated Newman’s Grocery Store on Sycamore Street on Hannibal’s South Side. Catering to a strictly blue-collar clientele including

Veteran, wrestler, moonshiner, grocer, railroader, performer, Gus B. Ridge cast a wide shadow in hi

The buildings in this photo were located on the south side of Mark Twain Avenue, across from Ruffner Street, which goes north from Mark Twain Avenue between The Hair Co., beauty shop at 1000 Mark Twain Avenue, and Ayerco. It is unclear what the addresses of these three buildings were, but they are located in the general vicinity of what was once Gus and Katherine Ridge’s grocery store, which operated from about 1917 until the early 1950s. Gus Ridge was arrested in 1923 – during prohibition – for bootlegging whiskey in the family’s living quarters at 1009 Mark Twain Avenue. Photo from Steve Chou’s vast collection. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY “All Aboard,” a two-act musical comedy originally presented

Frisco flagship steam engines collide head-on in July 1922; nearly an entire family perishes

The Frisco 4500 Meteor is a landmark steam locomotive that once moved passengers and freight overnight between Oklahoma City and St. Louis via Tulsa. This engine, once used on the Meteor route, is on permanent display at Red Fork, Tulsa, Route 66 Historic Village, Oklahoma. N 36° 06.494 W 096° 00.968 14S E 768598 N 4000077 Source: Waymarking.com. Photo: Mary Lou Montgomery MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Felix Andrew Hammer, his wife, Della Mae, and their five children were aboard the Texas Special, operated by the Frisco Railroad, during the early morning hours of Saturday, July 22, 1922. They were reportedly traveling home from Oklahoma, seated in the front seats of the front passenger car of the Fris

Shinn Lane: Busy road’s roots trace back to early fruit farmer

Just to the north of Bear Creek Cemetery in Miller Township, Marion County, Mo., Shinn Lane takes a deep dip. This section of the road was not passable in 1929, when Brice M. Moore and Frank Minor approached the Marion County Court about improvements. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Mid year in 1929, two Marion County farmers went to the county court and asked that maintenance be performed on a 1.25-mile stretch of county road known as Shinn Lane. Brice M. Moore, a Hannibal contractor, had a small farm along U.S. 36 west of Hannibal (now Route MM), and needed access to this roadway. Frank Minor, married with two young daughters, operated a dairy farm in the same vicinity. The county

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