Reprinted from the Hannibal Courier-Post
Saturday, Dec. 15, 1979
By Mary Lou Montgomery
Changes in Market Street over the last century have been dramatic. What was once a thriving business section of Hannibal and Oakwood now houses many abandoned buildings intertwined with the small shows and businesses.
Threatened by road construction and blight, some residents have made efforts to rebuild their thoroughfare. But it is doubtful the early thriving business district will ever be restored.
A story in the centennial edition of the Hannibal Evening Courier-Post, which was published June 30, 1938, tells the story of the important artery linking Hannibal to the surrounding community of Oakwood, along with towns in Ralls, Monroe and Pike counties.
Most of the stores in the 1870s and 80s were located on the lower end of the street, from the Marion House (located at 1500 Market Street) to Maple Avenue, known then as 12th Street. There were also a number of businesses between South Arch and Lindell.
Residents of the area made few trips to town and purchases were usually made to last until the next shopping trip. The businesses thrived until buses and automobiles began to carry much of the commerce to downtown Hannibal.
The road was originally known as the “Plank Road” and was paved with brick from Lemon Street to the Marion House in 1893.
One of the last businesses which operated in the lower part of the street in the 1880s was Hofbauer Drug Company, 1401 Market. The store was established by Albert Russ in 1867 and was purchased by D.J. Hofbauer and his brother, August L. Hofbauer, in 1884.
According to the Courier-Post’s centennial edition, Fred Stohr operated a butcher shop at Market and Lemon streets, which also included a packing plant. John Kenna conducted a grocery and confectionery opposite the Hofbauer building.
A carriage and wagon factory operated by Harry and Charles Hutchinson was located at 1300 Market and Kahl’s Bakery was in a building at the northeast corner of Market and Lyon streets.
Frank O’Mahoney operated a dry goods store in the area of 1406 Market and Eli T. Albertson was proprietor of a dry goods store at 1408 Market.
Other businesses along Market Street in 1885 included a general store and grocery at the corner of Market and Arch streets operated by Herman G. Nerlich. William J. Gwinner operated a bakery, and grocery stores were operated by J.C. Raible; E.S. Bodin; J.E.B. Clement and Son; James G. Cook; David H. Courtney; William DePear; Dick and Huser; Johnson and Swanson; William C. Lachner; Cornelius McKenna; Annie McManus; James C. Pollard; William A. Razor; William G. Rendlen; Egbert C. Robinson and August Van Evercooren.
A baking powder factory was also operated on Market Street by James S. Reynolds.
Blacksmith shops were operated along Market Street by Carl Brown, James R. Ely, Joseph Hotchkiss and Hutchinson and Son. The street also had a book store, conducted by Betty Stone and Mattie Kemper. Shoe dealers and manufacturers were Fred H. Dreyer, A.E. Indorf, John F. Mangels, John M. Painter; Edward M. Porer and C.F. Rannenberg.
D.H. Courtney specialized in the sale of chinaware, glass and queensware and David Whisler operated a glass and paint store.
A mens’ and boys’ clothing store was operated by Morris Marcus, and Mrs. Etta Bloom and Mrs. H. Clemens were proprietors of dressmaking establishments.
Market Street druggists in 1885 included Morrison R. Craft and William B. Humrick. Dry goods stores were run by George W. Armsburg, Hugh T. Brown, Duple Sisters and M.E. Graham. Feed stores include those operated by Balthauser Knoepfel, William De Pear, Hugh C. Mitcheltree and Company, Egbert C. Robinson and the Van Evercooren Store.
William Derwin, Henry Kilian, Charles M. Roberts and W. Scott Shelton conducted meat markets.
Millinery store proprietors included Fannie P. Cook and Mrs. M.A. Gallatin.
Timothy Burns and Julius A. DeLaPorte operated stores specializing in stoves and tinware and Henry C. Hubbard was listed in the directory as a wagon maker.