Good memories linger of old blocks of Hannibal's Broadway

By MARY LOU MONTGOMERY

Jan 9, 2011

Jim Matson formerly worked at Scyoc Pontiac in the 700 block of Broadway. Memories, sparked by two Days Gone By photos from 1950 printed in the Hannibal Courier-Post just before Christmas 2011, are of the block where he once worked.

  • “I spent probably two years with John Scoyc,” Jim said, “three dollars an hour, delivering cars and working the wrecker at night.” Jim worked there with Jack Brown, Travis Utterback and Harold Baker. Jim was a front-end and grease man. “Back then that was an important thing. Some of the front ends of those cards were about ready to fall off beneath them.”

In the 700 block of Broadway, where Commerce Bank and the police station are now located, one of Hannibal’s first laundry mats was just to the east of the Scyoc station. Next to that was a poultry house. “They killed chickens in there and it stunk in there all the time.”

At the northeast corner of Seventh and Broadway was Hudson’s service station, and east of that was Bob’s Cafe. “A medium tall heavy-set fella owned a cafe right next to the alley, toward the old post office,” Jim said.

On the northwest corner of Seventh and Broadway was a Sealtest ice cream parlor. The building is still standing. “We used to hang there a lot, it was run by an old man and woman. A lot of kids hung out around there. We’d get a sodie and sit on the curb. We called them grandma and grandpa.”

Also in this area were the employment office, Wiseman’s Cafe, Campbell’s Auto Parts, and Conlin Coal Company.

“We had bigger snows back then, not like today,” Jim said. “When I came home from boot camp, we had 28 inches of snow when I stepped off the Mark Twain train.” The train brought him home to Hannibal from Lackland Air Force Base, where there was “no snow, all sunny and pretty. When I stepped of that train I thought I was in Alaska.”

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