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A glimpse into Grace Street’s early days

Tim and Linda Browning Rice contributed this photo of three children on a porch swing circa 1950. Linda is a the child at right. In the back ground is the house that J.P. Hinton built for his family in the early part of the 1900s.


An early 1950s black and white photograph tucked inside an old scrapbook offers a glimpse into a neighborhood perched on a hillside north of Broadway, on a little street that is so unique that it actually divides into upper and lower lanes.

In this particular section of Grace street, the houses on the north have sloping front yards, while those on the south side are built at grade level.

It is on this portion of the street where Grace is intersected by a small portion of North Arch Street, that Linda Browning Rice, now of Owatonna, Minn., grew up.

A cherished family photo of this neighborhood - and her neighbors - captures the scene which blends so well with her memories.

Linda was born to Henry C. and Ruth E., Browning in 1946. Her parents bought a small frame house numbered 124 N. Arch in 1940, prior to her birth.

In the basement of their house was a separate residence, numbered 122 N. Arch. In 1950 the family of Earl D. and Lillie L. McNew with their young children occupied the basement apartment.

Pictured in the black and white snapshot accompanying this story, seated on a porch swing, are Terry Lee McNew, Linda Jean McNew and Linda Ruth Browning. In the background of this photo is a two-story brick house, constructed for J.P. Hinton’s family, built between 1906-1912, featuring white front porch columns.

What is unique about the houses in this photo, is that the Browning’s house once belonged to the Hinton family, and was located across the street. Mr. Hinton had the house moved south and across the street so that he could build a bigger, two-story brick house on the hilltop, more suited to his growing social standing in the community.

The small frame house, occupied by the Browning family for several decades, had a small attic.

Tim Rice, who was dating his future wife when they were in college said that Mr. Browning crawled into the attic space once, to see what was there.

“The attic is very tight and it's not possible to stand up in it,” Linda Browning Rice said.

Mr. Browning found a small (2 1/2 inches tall) porcelain figurine, with “Made in Japan” stamped on the back.

“It's too small to have been a topper for a wedding cake,” Tim said. “When Linda would question her Mom about the figurine, she said it was something that the Hintons left up there.

“Linda remembers her dad also brought down a little carriage. It appeared to be made from silver and was a very pliable metal. Unfortunately this item

has been lost with moves and the sale of the house etc. It was fairly

small as well.

“I thought the figurine kind of looked like Oliver Hardy of the comedy team Laurel &

Hardy!” Tim said.

Hinton family

J.P. Hinton and Margaret Brent Hawkins were married in 1883. She was born Dec. 14, 1858, the daughter of Edwin J. and Martha Elton Bates Hawkins. She was the granddaughter of Moses Bates, who was among the early founders of Hannibal.

Mrs. Hinton died March 14, 1912. They were living in the large brick home at 1634 Grace Street at the time of her death. She was placed to rest at Hannibal’s Riverside Cemetery.

Second marriage

Mr. Hinton was married to Mary Richmond, some 30 years his junior, in 1913. They had one son together, J.P. Hinton Jr., born in 1915. He died in 1944, during World War II.

J.P. Hinton’s only daughter, Martha, was married to John B. Powell, former advertising director of the Hannibal Courier-Post, in March 1913. At the time of their marriage, Powell was instructor of advertising at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. He was a member of the second graduating class of the university’s School of Journalism.

William Storrs Hinton, son of J.P. Hinton, was married in May 1914 at Union City, Tenn., to Miss Iona Boudurant. They moved to Hannibal, where the young Mr. Hinton worked for a time as manager of the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.

In mid 1923, J.P. Hinton was named to the board of curators of the University of Missouri. The curators had charge of the University, according to an article in the Marion County Herald on June 29, 1923. Duties of the curators included the election of its faculty and directing of its business and policies.

J.P. Hinton died in June 1926, at the age of 66. He served as cashier of Hannibal National Bank from 1903 until his death.

Martha Hinton Powell died in November 1967, at the age of 78. She was the widow of John B. Powell, who was publisher and owner of the China Weekly Review in Shanghai, for 30 years. According to Mrs. Powell’s obituary, he died in 1947 as a result of mistreatment by Japanese in World War II. She was survived by two children, Mrs. Stewart (Marcha) Hensley of Chevy Chase, Md., and John W. Powell of San Francisco.

William Storrs Hinton died Dec. 6, 1967, at the age of 75, in Denver, Colo.

David Yohn posted on Facebook: “My family lived in that house from about 1965 until 1974 - approximately. I loved being a kid "up on the hill.”

“Since the article shows a photo of the "H" in the wreath above the second floor balcony. When my family moved in, my dad David Yohn Sr. put in many many hours trying to keep it maintained. The house had bad wiring, bad plumbing, was in constant need of paint and plaster repair, etc.

“One day, I was a kid standing in the front yard doing something kid-like that my did didn't like. He was standing on the concrete entry walk directly below the "H" scolding me when suddenly it fell, missing him by inches, shattering on the sidewalk. I told dad it was the ghost of J.P. Hinton telling him to stop scolding me! Anyway Dad replaced the "H" with a plastic "Y" for Yohn. When we moved out he took the "Y" down and I believe the next owners who refurbished the house replaced the "H" with a new one.”

David’s sister, Etta Westerheide, said that a stone house behind the main house was the original cook house. “Remember, the house had no kitchen and Dad built one onto the back with a modern (for 1965) wrap-around bar for feeding us kids.

"The entire third floor was one large open room. We called it the Ball Room. There was a narrow staircase leading up and the ceiling was low compared to the rest of the house, so it could not have really been a ball room, more like a storage area that was the entire area of the house. Fantastic views from those windows all the way down the Mississippi River to about the Bear Creek area... When I was 12 or 13 I sanded the 3rd floor hard wood floor to remove splinters and painted it with exterior deck paint a nice shade of green. Had my 16th birthday party up there. Also fun memory is there was a Music Room on the first floor that had curved walls and curved glass windows. We used to set up our Christmas tree there - Dad would bring home the largest tree he could find to fill that space. The folks who lived on the other side of Arch Street (the Bakers) would always comment about how pretty it looked through our windows..."

Dianne Campbell posted on Facebook:

"I remember visiting my Great Aunt Mary (Hinton Morris) in that house once. After enduring a proper conversation between the adults, I was escorted upstairs to see THE LIBRARY! I'm certain that Belle in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" was no more amazed and enthralled when seeing the library of the beast than I was at seeing the library in that home. Who could be so fortunate? To have an entire library in one's home! And then I was told that dances had been there. Paradise!"

Next week’s story: J.P. Hinton’s widow: Mary Hinton Morris.

J.P. Hinton, as pictured in the “Mirror of Hannibal.” In 1879, he entered the coal and wood business in Hannibal with his uncle, James P. Hinton Sr. In 1886, he partnered with George W. Storrs in the wholesale ice and coal business. Photo by Tomlinson.

A prominent letter “H” for Hinton remains in place on the front of the house built by J.P. Hinton, at 1634 Grace St. Photo from “For the Love of Old Houses” Facebook page, 2017.

John B. Powell, J.P. Hinton’s son-in-law, was publisher and owner of the China Weekly Review in Shanghai, for 30 years. Prior to that, he worked for the Hannibal Courier-Post. Sketch of John B. Powell accessed from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism’s web site.

Years ago, Henry C. Browning climbed into the attic of his house at 124 N. Arch St., and found remnants left behind by the J.P. Hinton family, who previously occupied the house. He found this small (2 1/2 inches tall) porcelain figurine, with “Made in Japan” stamped on the back. Photo contributed by Tim and Linda Browning Rice.

Henry C. Browning and his dog, Penny, in 1946. He is standing to the west of his house, which was located at 124 N. Arch. Photo contributed by Henry's daughter, Linda Browning Rice.

Sandra Sue Mayer and dog, Sparky. They are posed on the north side of 124 N. Arch. The house, which was then owned by Henry Browning, was once the home of J.P. Hinton and his family, and stood across the street. Photo contributed by Henry's Browning's daughter, Linda Browning Rice.

Betty and Roberta Browning, and dog Penny. They were standing on the west side of the house located at 124 N. Arch. In the background is the two-story, brick, columned home built for the J.P. Hinton family during the early years of the 20th Century, located at 1634 Grace St.

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. Books available on by this author include but are not limited to: "The Notorious Madam Shaw," "Pioneers in Medicine from Northeast Missouri," "The Historic Murphy House, Hannibal, Mo., Circa 1870,” “Hannibal’s ‘West End,’ and the newest book, “Oakwood: West of Hannibal.” Montgomery can be reached at Her collective works can be found at

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