History Blog 

MU: Miss Gillett paved path for other female graduates

The double Dubach house, as it stood circa 1875-1880. Its location was the northeast corner of Fifth and Bird streets, Hannibal, Mo. The rear wings were removed some years ago, and the structure was converted into apartments. The exterior has been covered with siding. The picture was taken from David Dubach’s front yard. CONTRIBUTED BY BOB YAPP Mary Louise (Lulie) Gillett was an instructor in Normal and Preparatory Studies at Missouri State University in 1875. (Note that her original N.G. diploma had been reclassified as B.S.) Source: Report to the Governor by the Curators, year ending June 24, 1875. Ancestry.com MARY LOU MONTGOMERY The victory of the Union Army during the Civil War brought

Balloonist with Hannibal ties painted pictures of his experience, with words, for all to read

The German newspaper, “Westliche Post,” St. Louis, published this photo of the war balloon “Pommern,” just prior to launch in the Gordon Bennett Cup distance race, originating at Forrest Park in St. Louis, on Oct. 21, 1907. Newspapers.com Mary Lou Montgomery Few could have imagined back in mid October 1907, what it would feel like to float in the basket of a hot-air balloon three quarters of a mile over the Midwest at dawn, and the associated sounds that could be heard of little towns waking up below. Henry Helm Clayton, who lived in Hannibal for two years during his youth, was among the early aviators to experience such splendor. A respected meteorologist, he served as an assistant aboard t

1907: Hannibal High football team couldn’t beat archrival

This rare photo of the 1907 Hannibal High School football team is part of the collection of documents donated to Rockcliffe Mansion earlier this year by Louise Loosbrock. Seated, front row center, is Will Logan, captain of the team. Back row, fifth from the left, with an M on his sweater, is Morris Anderson, Hannibal attorney who played football at the University of Missouri. He served as coach for the 1907 team. The team played two games against Quincy, Ill., and lost both games. The rest of the season they were undefeated. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Hannibal High School’s first game of the 1907 football season began with a thumping by archrival, Quincy, Ill., on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 12, 1907.

Reflective glimpse into Hannibal’s evolution as a shoe factory town

The heel and counter employees of the Bluff City Shoe Company are pictured in this undated photo. Steve Chou collection. This photo represents an era when horse power had a literal meaning for the Hannibal Fire Department. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY During the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 12, 1902, Hannibal’s firefighters, led by Theron B. Parks - Hannibal’s fire chief of long standing - were put to the test when an alarm sounded at Central Park, alerting the town to a fire at Hannibal’s Bluff City Shoe Co. The fire was discovered at the rear of the factory’s two-story building, located at 108 North Fourth Street, directly to the east of the park. Barely more than a block away from the S

A glimpse at the peak month of the 1918 Spanish Influenza

Levering Hospital, which opened in 1903, was instrumental in the treatment of influenza patients in 1918. Photo: Steve Chou collection. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY What did the Spanish Influenza look like in Marion County, Mo., during its peak month of October 1918? Newspapers provide some answers. Palmyra Spectator, Oct. 2, 1918: The Sousa band was touring the country in the interest of the Fourth Liberty Loan. It was scheduled to perform in both Hannibal and Palmyra during early October, and there was speculation on whether the events would be canceled, due to the Spanish Influenza outbreak. Marion County Herald, Oct. 16, 1918: Local physicians say that the Spanish Influenza is actually “old time

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