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Early Hannibal settlers linked to Daniel Boone

In 1873, Mrs. Mary (Molly) Constantine Wardlaw Boone was living at 310 North Sixth Street in Hannibal. She was married to John C. Boone, grandson of Daniel Boone. Image from the 1873 Hannibal City Directory, accessed via the Hannibal Free Public Library’s website.


There exists a curious hand-written notation upon 32-year-old Martha (Mattie) Virginia Boone Bourne’s 1880 census enumeration. Listed under the category of sickness: “lead poison.”

On the first day of June, 1880, Mattie lived with her mother, 60-year-old Mary Constantine (Molly) Boone, and Mattie’s younger brother, 22-year-old Lorance Nathan Boone, in the 300 block of North Sixth Street in Hannibal, Mo.

While Mattie’s symptoms and the source of the lead contamination are not known, awareness of lead poisoning was growing in the United States during that era. A story about a case of lead poisoning was written by William Child, and published in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal on Feb. 19, 1880.

The article describes the patient, listed as S.L., and the symptoms.

“Patient had nausea, tenderness of mouth and swelling of gums, slight diarrhea, pains in abdomen and chest, and leaden-colored lines along the mucous membrane bordering the teeth.

“The breath was offensive, the odor like that produced by salivation from mercury.”

As the condition progressed, there was paralysis of the arms and legs, swollen feet and abscesses on the right hand and leg.

A month after the doctor first treated the patient, on Dec. 30, 1879, the patient died.

After the death, the doctor became aware of other family members showing early symptoms of lead poisoning.

Upon investigation, it was learned that the whole family had been drinking cider from a tub that had been painted inside with white lead and oil a few months before.

Seeks water cure

Mattie Bourne went to the fledgling town of Eureka Springs, Ark., seeking a cure via its mineral waters. She died there March 1, 1882, at the age of 32. Her body was transported back to Hannibal, where she was buried beside her husband and young daughter in Section 6, Lot 88, of Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Mattie’s husband, Henry Gwaltney Bourne, served as clerk of the Hannibal Court of Common Pleas for seven years, before relocating to Denver in search of a more forgiving climate. He died there December 16, 1877.

Their young daughter and only child, Edna, died April 23, 1879, just two days shy of her third birthday.

Notable heritage

Mattie Boone Bourne had an interesting heritage, as a great-granddaughter of the famed Kentucky explorer Daniel Boone. Mattie’s father was John C. Boone (1816-1893), son of Nathan Boone (1780-1857), who was the son of Daniel Boone (1734-1820).

While many of the Boones settled in the southwest portion of Missouri, John Boone’s family migrated to Hannibal, where his wife’s family was among the early settlers.

Who were these

early settlers?

John C. Boone married Mary Constantine (Molly) Wardlaw at St. Charles circa 1841.

The young family headed west, to the gold fields of California; a trip which took some six months.

Eight years later Mrs. Boone returned to Missouri, this time sailing around Cape Horn and passing through New York.

She returned to the fold of her parents, Hugh Hutson and Nancy Bartlett Wardlaw, who were living in St. Louis at the time. But they would soon be Hannibal bound.

Miller and Pogue

Emily Ruth Wardlaw, born 1823, and Annie Fulton Wardlaw, born in 1824, married men who would become business partners during Hannibal’s formative years.

As early as 1853 Thomas Story Miller and George B. Pogue were doing business as forwarding and commission merchants, dealing in groceries and produce, as well as general steamboat agents, in Hannibal. Their business operation during those early years was located at No. 3 Levee. Their contemporaries include the likes of such businessmen as George Bacon and Tilden R. Selmes.

* Annie married Thomas Story Miller in September 1851. Annie died June 23, 1853, at the age of 29; their daughter, Annie Wardlaw Miller, died Sept. 4, 1853, at the age of 3 1/2 months. Mr. Miller died in 1859, the result of being hit in the forehead by a rock during a political rally in Palmyra. (The Weekly West, St. Joseph, Mo. Aug. 14, 1859.)

* Emily married George Benjamin Pogue in 1849. Their home was listed in the 1859 Hannibal city directory as “34 Sixth Street.” Living with George and Emily Pogue in 1860 were their three children, Hudson, Mary and Julien; Emily’s sister and brother-in-law, Martha A. and Dr. J.B. Lorance; and Emily’s parents, H.H. and Nancy Wardlaw.

Land development

Two Wardlaw brothers, Levi J., and Benjamin R., each became land surveyors, doing business in and around Hannibal. Benjamin Wardlaw served as city engineer in 1861.

Circa 1859, the family patriarch, Hugh Hutson Wardlaw, divided 80 acres of land in South Hannibal, to be known as the Wardlaw Addition. This land encompasses streets then and now known as Fulton Avenue, Sierra and Edward streets, and Oak.

H.H. Wardlaw died at Hannibal Jan. 20, 1868, at the age of 77. He was described by the Hannibal Courier as one of the oldest and most esteemed citizens of Hannibal. He died after several weeks’ illness.

His remains were to be placed in a vault at Hannibal’s Riverside Cemetery until spring, when they were to be interred at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, where much of his family now rests.

His wife, Nancy Bartlett Fulton Wardlaw, died at St. Louis in 1874.

The Wardlaw daughters include:

Mary Constantine (Molly) Wardlaw Boone, 1817-1904

Emily Ruth Wardlaw Pogue 1823-1891

Annie Fulton Wardlaw Miller 1824-1853 (Married to Thomas Story Miller)

Martha A. Wardlaw Lorance 1830-1902

Virginia G. Wardlaw Foreman 1838-1878, Married the Rev. Aaron Parker Foreman, pastor of Hannibal’s Second Presbyterian Church, which was located on the northwest corner of Center and Fifth streets. (1832-1875)

Brothers-in-law, Thomas S. Miller and George B. Pogue, advertised their business in the Hannibal Journal Feb. 3, 1853. They were married to sisters, Annie and Emily Wardlaw.

This illustration shows Hannibal’s Wardlaw Addition, Hannibal’s South Side, subdivided by H.H. Wardlaw in 1859. Fulton Avenue was assumably named for H.H. Wardlaw’s wife, Nancy Bartlett Fulton Wardlaw. The Wardlaws’ daughter, Mary C. (Molly) Boone, was married to John C. Boone, grandson of Daniel Boone.

In the center of this map, in Out Lot 31, is the eastern half of North Sixth Street, as it appeared in 1854. Note that there is one house on the east side of Sixth, with the name attached as J.C. Waugh. This author believes this is where members of John C. Boone’s extended family lived circa 1860. The house was located on Lot 7 of Out Lot 31. This is a portion of a map of the City of Hannibal, by Hart & Mapother, adapted from the original by Dave Thomson.

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," and "The Historic Murphy House, Hannibal, Mo., Circa 1870." She can be reached at Her collective works can be found at


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