History Blog 

Horrific train wreck: Four lives lost; 4 Missouri families forever altered

This photo of the actual steam engine accident of Sept.23, 1907, was published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch Sept. 29, 1907. Newspapers.com This steam engine is representative of the engines used in this part of the country at the turn of the century. Steve Chou Collection Thomas O’Donnell was Marion County coroner at the time of the murder/suicide of three Hannibal residents in December 1907. One of the victims was Pearl Wilkinson, the estranged wife of Brakeman C.P. Wilkinson, who was killed in the horrific rail accident near Moberly on Sept. 23, 1907. Palmyra Spectator, July 22, 1908. Newspapers.com Charles P. Wilkinson, killed in the wreck between two M.T.&T. steam engines on Sept. 23

Four local men perished in 1907 ‘cornfield meet’

This photo of Charles Edward Winegar was posted on FIND-A-GRAVE by a relative, Sally (Winegar) Flaherty. Archie Hayden of Hannibal supplied this photo, which illustrates a minor head-on collision between two steam engines. The accident in this picture was on the CB&Q line at Ashburn, Mo. The 1907 M.K.&T. collision at Moberly, which is the subject of today’s story, reduced the engines to a mass of debris, and four trainmen were killed. Each train on the M.K.&T. wreck was traveling 30-40 miles per hour at the point of impact. Archie Hayden says “cornfield meet” is a slang term for a head-on collision of railroad trains. Merriam-Webster.com confirms this. This map of Missouri, from the State Hi

1890s: 'Pluck' Maloney known as 'the terror of Hannibal'

A building abandoned by the Presbyterians in favor of a more spacious house of worship became home to Hannibal’s Court of Common Pleas during the mid 1850s. It was in this building that a jury heard testimony in Michael (Pluck) Maloney’s trial in 1893. He was sentenced to life in prison, but the Missouri Supreme Court reversed the Court of Common Plea’s decision. The building was in the east side of the 300 block of North Fourth Street. A duplex now occupies the lot. STEVE CHOU COLLECTION D.H. Eby, a Hannibal attorney, represented Michael (Pluck) Maloney in his appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court in 1893. Maloney had been sentenced to life in prison, but the higher court reversed the decis

Civil War-era train wreck claimed father of long-time Elzea Addition businessman

Bruce Hoffman, descendant of Joseph R. Hoffman, identifies this small house as the site of the Hoffman Grocery Store, 1521 Vermont St., Hannibal, Mo. The building has been torn down. Lafayette, Indiana’s Greenbush Cemetery hosts a monument in recognition of the Union soldiers who were killed in an incident known as the Crane Train wreck of 1864. Included on the list of soldiers killed is David S. Hoffman of Payson, Ill., father of long-time Elzea Addition grocer Joseph R. Hoffman. https://monon.org/bygone_site/bygone/greenbush.html MARY LOU MONTGOMERY At three o’clock in the afternoon on Monday, Oct. 31, 1864, at the location of notorious blind curve seven miles from Lafayette, Indiana, occu

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