History Blog 

Schnizlein’s legacy: Visual of what Hannibal looked like a century ago

This historic photo, identified by Steve Chou as taken by Anna Schnizlein, shows a steam engine crossing at the Minnow Branch west of the downtown terminal in Hannibal, Mo. CONTRIBUTED BY ARCHIE HAYDEN MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Hannibal, Mo., was still recovering from the dark days of the war between the states when Johanna Margareta Schnizlein was born in 1869. The fourth of the children born to soapmaker Johann Leonhard and Mary Louise Barbara Killian Schnizlein, the daughter who would become known as Anna would leave a legacy that was quite atypical for a woman of her generation: Photographic images of her environment. Anna took photos with an 1899 Kodak No. 4 Bullet Special that took glass pla

Generations of Brosi stone cutters are represented in area cemeteries

Bruce and Jeanne Brosi own and operate Hannibal Monument Co. Bruce is a fifth-generation stone mason. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Heinrich Gustav Brosi worked was a master soapmaker by trade in Warmensteinach, Bavaria, Germany, where he and his wife, Maria, were raising eight children. Later in life, he changed careers, assuming the position of stone mason geselle (journeyman). In about 1853, the oldest of Heinrich and Maria Brosi’s sons, Johann Gottlieb Brosi, came to America, subsequently settling in Quincy, Ill. He utilized the skills he learned in his homeland to start a stone mason contracting firm in his new German-influenced town. Heinrich Brosi died in 1860, and in about

Palmyra contractor’s legacy: Providing housing for the ages

Edward F. Schneider, long-time Palmyra area contractor.Shared on Findagrave by ch47mtp70 MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Few people leave more lasting legacies than carpenters. They utilize the skills they hone throughout a lifetime in order to build structures that stand well past their own passing. E.F. Schneider was such a man. Born in 1866, Missouri-native Edward F. Schneider worked as a farm hand in his youth, and later as an apprentice under his father William, who was native of Germany. One of 15 children, Edward set out on his own circa 1896 to earn a reputation as a quality builder. And he accomplished his goal. A partial listing of buildings he constructed during his career was compiled from n

Fink family: Agricultural knowledge, handed down through generations

Corn illustration, Library of Congress. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Two prosperous farmers from South River Township chatted with a reporter for the Palmyra Spectator in early May 1892. When asked what they thought about the prospects for their crops during the ensuing season, the two men looked at each other, then at the reporter, and chuckled. The Spectator reported: “While both gentlemen are anxious to see dry weather they are not losing any sleep over it, for should their crops be a failure they have fat bank accounts to fall back on.” The farmers were Jacob Fink and J.N. Nichols, who owned adjoining farms in Township 57N, Range 6W, Section 15. The land now fronts the south side of Route F, west

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