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Hannibal History: First the Selmes block, then the McCooey block

At the northeast corner of Hill and Bird Streets, two businesses were dominant throughout Hannibal's earliest history. First, The Selmes dry good store operated from the late 1840s to Civil War years. Sometime following that, the McCooey family took over operation of this store, and some people still recall this corner property as the McCooey property.

In conjunction with this, I found this tidbit in the June 11, 1875 edition of the Hannibal Clipper. It offers a glimpse into the business community of that era.


The most energetic lady for progress on East Hill Street, is the widow McCooey. She is bright an sparkling from early dawn till set of sun and seems determined to fix up her property in that neighborhood accordingly. Just look at the way she has renovated her sidewalks, and compare her share of the street with the remainder and you will bless the widow McCooey - and morerover, several will say tis a mighty big pity that such an energetic lady perseveres in remaining a widow so long. Anyhow that is a matter of taste, but nevertheless, she gives a go-ahead tune to that neighborhood, and if the widow Smith who also owns property round there, will fix up things a trifle or so, all will be salubrious and lovely. Compare notes, fix up and avoid cholera and cramps.

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