Crystal: Just steps from entertainment and lodging, a cool place to shoot pool
The Crystal pool hall and bowling alley were located one door to the south of the old bus depot on South Main Street. The Crystal establishment was in business in this location for nearly 45 years. STEVE CHOU COLLECTION
MARY LOU MONTGOMERY
For four and a half decades – beginning in the early 1920s and continuing into the late 1960s – the Crystal Billiard Parlor at 205 S. Main St., Hannibal, Mo., served as an option for idle-hours recreation. Added later, on the second floor of the building (now demolished) was a bowling alley, which also contributed to the town’s leisure-time offerings.
The bowling and billiard parlor occupied a key location in Hannibal’s business district, directly across the street to the west of the Mark Twain Hotel, and just a few doors to the north of the Star Theatre.
Among the names associated with the ownership of the establishment, two stand out: Mike Kostogiann and Tony Anagnostakis.
The men, each born in Crete, Greece, came to the United States during the early part of the 20th century, settling in Galesburg, Ill., circa 1914, where they operated a restaurant and candy business.
Move to Quincy
In the spring of 1917, Kostogiann, Anagnostakis and George Panopoulos, partnered to buy the Paris Café at Sixth and Hampshire in Quincy, Ill. At the time of the purchase, the Quincy Daily Herald described the establishment as “one of the most attractive restaurants in Quincy. It is elaborately furnished and beautifully decorated, and has only the most modern and up to date equipment.”
Just a year later – in June 1918 – Mike Kostogiann left his business partners in charge, and enlisted in the army. The Quincy Daily Journal reported in its June 24, 1918 edition: He (Kostogiann) has two brothers, who are lieutenants in the Greek army, and both have written him urging him to join the American army and fight as they are fighting against the Kaiser and aid in downing his ambition to dominate not only Greece and America, but the whole world.”
Nearly one year later, on June 10, 1919, the Quincy Daily Herald reported that Kostogiann had returned to Quincy. “In France he was assigned to the 116th Infantry, 29th Division, and his division went into action a few days before the Huns gave up.”
By February 1923, Kostogiann had focused his attention on Hannibal business opportunities. He already owned half interest in the Crystal Billiard Parlor in Hannibal, partnered with Anagnostakis. In addition, he purchased half interest in the Brunswick Billiard Parlor at Sixth and Hampshire in Quincy, Ill.
Bowling lanes had been added to the second floor of the Hannibal billiard parlor by the start of 1926, and a traveling tournament was staged between the Q Red Birds from Q alleys in Quincy, and a team from the Crystal alleys league at Hannibal. The teams alternated the games on the two alleys for four weeks.
The Hannibal team was named the “Illmo’s” and was headed by Larry Brown. After the first game, the Quincy team members and their individual averages were listed in the Quincy Daily Herald, Jan. 1, 1926: Earle Wiegmann, 150; C.E. Olinger, 166; Theodore Kopitas, 163; Henry Entrup, 177; and Jack Wagner, 181.
In late April 1922, Mike Kostogiann took two companions, Will Carson and George Pappajohn, on a road trip from Quincy to Palmyra. His intent was to return to Quincy via Hannibal. He was driving a Cole automobile, and somewhere between Palmyra and Hannibal, his car unexplainably caught fire. The occupants watched helplessly while the car burned to its chassis. A passing truck picked up the three men and transported them to Hannibal. There, the caught a train for Quincy.
In October 1924, the Quincy Daily Journal announced the sale of the Paris Café to Harry Rumas and George Karson.
By 1927, Mike Kostogiann and his business partners had expanded their business interests, which included the establishment and operation of the American Restaurant, 125 S. Main, Hannibal (adjacent to the Windsor Hotel). Business partners were Tony Anagnostakis, Phil Pappas and Frances Kostogiann.
By 1930, Tony Anagnostakis had expanded his business interests to Hopewell, Va., which is located at the junction of the Appomattox and James rivers. He was listed as the owner of the Hopewell Hotel in the 1940 census. The hotel had been constructed during the first world war. The hotel suffered considerable damage by fire in late January 1945.
Census, newspaper articles and city directory listings indicate that Tony Anagnostakis relocated between Virginia and Hannibal during the next decades.
He married, and he and his wife had two children, a son and a daughter. The daughter was born in 1951 in Hopewell, Va. Tony was listed in Hannibal city directories in 1927, 1946, 1955, 1957 and 1959. In 1946, his name was once again linked as proprietor of the Crystal Bowling and Billiard Parlor in Hannibal.
During 1950-51, Ernest P. Head and Earl Extrom managed the Crystal parlor.
Art Lister was listed as president-secretary-treasurer of Crystal Bowling and Billiard Parlor in 1953, but in 1959-67, Anagnostakis’ name was once again associated with the business.
Tony Anagnostakis and his wife Georgia, along with their children, moved from Hannibal circa 1967, relocating to Michigan. Tony died in August 1974. He was living in Mount Clemens, Macomb, Mich.
His wife, Georgia, survived. In the early 1940s, she had been the first woman from her village in Rhethymon, Crete, in Greece, to graduate from the University of Athens. For many years, she taught Greek school for the Annunciation Cathedral, Greek Orthodox Church, in Detroit, Mich. Georgia Anagnostakis died on March 27, 2011, at the age of 89.
Mike Kostogiann, who changed the spelling of his last name to Kostogian, died in December 1972 at Hannibal. He is buried at Grand View Burial Park.
Mary Lou Montgomery retired as editor of the Hannibal (Mo.) Courier-Post in 2014. She researches and writes narrative-style stories about the people who served as building blocks for this region’s foundation. Her collective works can be found at www.maryloumontgomery.com
Otis Howell of the Hannibal Courier-Post took this photo of the remodeled interior of the Crystal Billiard Parlor in 1950. About this time, Earl Extrom managed the billiard parlor and bowling alley at 205 S. Main, Hannibal. STEVE CHOU COLLECTION
C.G. Tarleton took this interior photo of the American Cafe on June 11, 1947. Presumably, the owner, Mike Kostogiann, is pictured.