Information from the Western Union newspaper, June 5, 1851
Hannibal, Mo., with its key location on the Mississippi River, was a crossing point for those heading to California during the Gold Rush in 1849. Many Hannibal citizens ventured westward too. Some returned home, others never stepped foot in Hannibal again.
The Hannibal Western Union, on June 5, 1851, published a report about four Hannibal-area men who had returned home: Alvin and Lafayette Boyce, James Keith and James Maddox.
Mr. Maddox developed symptoms of cholera within 24 hours of arriving in Hannibal, and within another 24 hours, he had died of the dread disease.
After traveling all the way to California and all the way home, he died within eight miles of his rural Hannibal home.