Photo caption: In front of the Fifth Street Baptist Church, pictured circa 1903, is clearly visible the fence that once surrounded Central Park in Hannibal. The fence was installed in November 1879. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HULL HISTORY MUSEUM
Hannibal, Missouri is fortunate to have a key block just four blocks north of the Mississippi to be used as a community gathering space. This block - Central Park - has been the site of ceremonies and outdoor concerts for well over 150 years. the tree-shaded sidewalks, fountain and bandstand have all been altered throughout the years, but the individual elements have collectively served generations of Hannibal residents.
I personally can count five to six generations of my family who have cast shadows in that park.
Today I found a clipping in the digital edition of the Nov. 7, 1879 Palmyra Spectator, referencing the installation of an iron fense around Hannibal's Central Park.
The new iron fence talked of is going up around the city park, and Messrs. O’Hern and Hayward, contractors, are no little annoyed by conceited fault-finders, sddle-pated critics and idle intermeddlers generally. But this only hastens their movements, and in a short time this greatly desired ornament and convenience will stand a monument of the taste and good judgment of our City Council