History Blog 

1891 Market Street fire reveals interesting West Side history

This side-by-side comparison shows Hannibal’s Market Street fire station in 1905, at left, and the current building owned by Brad and Erika M. Walden, at 1634 Market Street. Note that in 1905, the front of the building was parallel to Market Street. Becker Spaun, retired firefighter and captain at Station Two when the building was retired in the 1980s, explains that sometime in the past the front of the building was removed, and south-facing doors were moved back, in actuality shortening the building. This was most likely done to give motorized fire trucks easier access to Market Street. When the building was constructed circa 1885, fire equipment was pulled by horses. The photo at left is f

McIntyre’s agricultural expertise pays big dividends to Hannibal

Charles Wesley McIntyre graduated in 1920 from Dowagiac Union High School, Dowagiac, Michigan. (Yearbook photo accessed via Ancestry.com) MARY LOU MONTGOMERY By 1918, agricultural experts in Michigan had made a clear connection between black stem rust on grain and the common barberry bush. The bush was originally introduced into the state as a landscape plant, and in 1918, efforts had begun in earnest to eradicate the invasive bush from the state of Michigan, and consequently improve the wheat harvests of the state’s farmers. Charles Wesley McIntyre, the oldest son of John Sherman and Leona Stewart McIntyre, took part in this eradication program. Wesley (as he was known growing up) was born

Both immigrants, Union Street neighbors killed during Civil War

Current photo of 601 Union St., Hannibal, Mo. Photo contributed by Melanie Wasson. It was in this house (when it was just a one-story frame) where Rodolph Mitchick lived pre-Civil War. He was killed in action following the two-day Battle of Corinth in Mississippi on Oct. 4, 1862. He was 37. His family owned this house until 1889. In 2020 the house is owned by Martin Hayden. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY Precisely 159 years ago – in mid June 1861 - two companies of Illinois troops, followed by two regiments of Iowa troops, arrived in Hannibal, Mo., and together with the Home Guard set up camp on Lover’s Leap. The following day, at morning reveille, the soldiers fired a cannon as a salute, accompanied b

P. Gillett’s inventions contributed to Missouri’s early rail foundation

This photo, identified as Prosper J. Gillett, was originally shared to Ancestry.com by Shawn Hendrix. Prosper Gillett received a U.S. Patent for his lifting invention on Feb. 23, 1864. MARY LOU MONTGOMERY In February 1864, while General William Tecumseh Sherman’s notorious “March Through Georgia,” was igniting the South, 47-year-old Prosper Gillett, a New England transplant to Southern-sympathizing Hannibal, Missouri, was focused on a better and more efficient means of installing railroad track. On Feb. 23, 1864, the Hannibal resident – who spent his lifetime at the leading edge of the fledgling transportation industry – was granted a patent for his invention: The Railroad Track Raiser. Beca

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