Robinson Mortuary played key role in Hannibal's past
January 18, 2015
This picture shows the north side - on Broadway - of The Wedge area, in Hannibal, Missouri. This photo includes the image of the old Robinson Mortuary. From the William B. Spaun collection
In 2004, Minnie Smith provided a brief history to the Hannibal Courier-Post
of the funeral home that was opened in 1910 by George Roberts. He operated it for 50 years before Edward Robinson became owner in 1965, she said. "At that time he (Roberts) had been an undertaker longer than anyone in Missouri."
The Roberts family arrived in Hannibal in 1880, Smith said. His family had been prominent in Negro architecture since 1871. When George Roberts' father, Henry Roberts, moved to Hannibal, it was to work on construction of the Wabash Railroad Bridge across the Mississippi River.
Roberts is believed to be instrumental in bringing J.T. Brown to Hannibal, Smith said. "He (Roberts) was a trustee at Lincoln University (in Jefferson City). It is my understanding that Mr. Brown was on the staff at Lincoln."
Smith said in 1954 George Roberts was appointed by Gov. Phil Donnelly to the board of curators of Lincoln University.
When the Wedge was closed and Robinson was forced to move his funeral home, he lived less than five years after relocating on Center Street.