Fred Waller and his pioneer Hannibal family, maintained prominent presence on Broadway


This Frazer photo of the 1919 funeral of Francis Flood at the First Christian Church on Broadway in Hannibal, Mo., shows, in the background, the Waller family house that was torn down for the 1925 construction of the Sunday School building honoring the Dulany family. Photo contributed by Rhonda Brown Hall.


This rare photo from Steve Chou’s collection shows a view of the south side of the 1000 block of Broadway, Hannibal, Mo. At the far right you can see the corner of the Dulany memorial building, an educational complex of the First Christian Church, built circa 1925. Next, to the left, is most likely the home of Margaret Elizabeth Morris, 1009 Broadway. She died in 1919. Behind the tree would be 1007 and 1005 Broadway, and at the far end of the block would be the Raible Flats.

MARY LOU MONTGOMERY

Fred Waller advertised in the Hannibal Messenger that he had a new brick house in Hannibal for rent, consisting of eight good rooms, a cellar, cistern and a well. Location, the south side of Market Street (later renamed Broadway) between 10th and 11th.

The year was 1859. Hannibal had no electric lights, paved streets, running water or sanitary sewers. Horse power was literal. The first cannons of the Civil War had yet to be fired; Southern sympathizing Missouri remained a slave state; and national news arrived in the form of ink on paper, carried north from St. Louis aboard steamers plying the Mississippi before railroads opened up transportation to the West.

Sam Clemens was just another Hannibal kid who grew up playing down by the river.


Hannibal pioneer

Fred Waller was a shoemaker by trade, a German immigrant who worked hard, invested well and built a good life for his family in the little town that Clemens would later make famous with his unique story telling talent.

In those early days of Hannibal, most commerce centered around Palmyra Road, Main Street and Broadway. The stretch of 10 blocks from the river to the town’s western edge was considerable, being, as it was, mostly up hill. But this was the area of town where Fred Waller settled, bought land and congregated his family.


Large family

By the tally of the 1850 census, Waller and his wife, Elizabeth, had five children living under their roof:

Margaret, 16; Catharine, 14; Sophia, 12; Frederick W., 10; and Dedrick, 5.

A decade later, (in 1860) the Fred Waller family living together had expanded to include three generations, including their married daughter, Elizabeth, her husband Henry W. Morris, and Margaret and Henry’s son, Henry F. Morris, age 3 months.

By 1866, the family had settled in the neighborhood that they would call home for years to come: the south side of Broadway, between 10th and 11th streets.

Some 70 years after his birth, (in 1930) a now not-so-young Henry Morris, working as an accountant for the cement company, would take his last breath in this same neighborhood - the 1000 block of Broadway.


Little remains

Today, the property where the Waller family lived and worked primarily consists of an asphalt parking lot, convenient to parishioners of the First Christian Church. One by one, during the ensuing decades after their construction, the buildings assembled by the Waller family were removed. In 1924, a four-plex of business and residential properties was torn down to make way for the three-story, brick education building (still standing) dedicated to the memory of Thomas G. and Mary T. Dulany, located adjacent to the east of the church.

The last of the original buildings to be demolished was a two-story, brick building known as “flats,” on the southwest corner of Tenth and Broadway.


Distribution

Fred Waller (1811-1899*) accumulated the property in Out Lot 66 during his lifetime, and in order to ensure that his family was settled after his death, he subdivided the property in 1897, and attached a plat with his will as a means of distributing his property to his children.


Margaret Waller Morris

Born in Hanover, Germany, on Jan. 12, 1835, Margaret Waller came to the United States with her parents, Fred and Elizabeth Roper Waller, when just a young girl. When she died in December 1919, at the age of 85, Margaret was considered to be the town’s oldest resident, based upon the number of years she had lived in Hannibal.

She was married to Henry W. Morris, who during his early career years partnered in the Waller family grocery business. In the 1880 census, he listed himself as a capitalist. Margaret and Henry had two children, Henry and Lizzie (Mrs. Warren) Drescher.

Henry W. Morris died Oct. 31, 1889.

Mrs. Morris inherited Lot 6 in Out Lot 66, with a 25-foot frontage to Broadway. The address was 1009 Broadway, and Mrs. Morris continued to live in this house until her death in 1919.

As mentioned previously, her son, Harry F. Morris, was living in this house with his family at the time of his death in 1930.


Katherine Christina Waller

Born in Germany Sept. 28, 1837, Miss Waller died March 3, 1918, at the age of 80. Unmarried, at time of her death she was living with her sister, Margaret Waller Morris, at 1009 Broadway.

Lot 3, or 1003 Broadway, and Lot 2 were bequeathed to Katherine Waller, with 36- and 49-foot frontage on Broadway, respectively. She also inherited Lot 8, with a 28-foot frontage on Tenth Street, numbered 110 North Tenth.

Lot 4, was the family homestead, located at 1005 Broadway, and it is where Katherine lived for much of her life. It had a 60-foot frontage on Broadway. Her parents, Frederick Elizabeth Roper Waller., lived there until their respective deaths.

Frederick Waller Sr., the family patriarch, died May 22, 1899, and is buried in Section A-40, Riverside Cemetery.

Elizabeth Roper Waller, the family matriarch, died Nov. 6,1886, and is buried near her husband.

Catherine E. Waller died March 3, 1918, and is buried near her parents.


W.D. Waller

William Dedrick Waller (1844-1902) was born in Ohio before his parents moved on to the “new west” across the Mississippi River to fledgling Hannibal. Gaining a reputation as a leading grocer, and operating a well-stocked store at 409 Broadway, he later transferred his talents and investments into the limestone manufacturing field, establishing a firm under his family’s name in Elzea’s Addition, at Patchen and St. John streets. The kilns tragically burned on the first day of March 1896. He was able to re-establish the business, but the following year he was dealt another blow: His wife, Mollie Rogers Waller, died early in 1897.

From his father, W.D. Waller inherited Lot 7, in Out Lot 66, (1019 Broadway) which consisted of 35 feet of frontage on Broadway, directly to the east of the First Christian Church, which was constructed in 1890.

W.D. Waller died Oct. 7, 1902, of typhoid, at the age 57-58. He was buried in Riverside Cemetery.

The buildings on the land that he inherited would be demolished and in 1924-1925 the land would become the site for the Thomas G. and Mary Dulany Memorial Building, which still stands today.


Sophia Waller Madden

Born in Germany March 18, 1840, Sophia Waller moved to Hannibal with her parents and older siblings during the early 1840s. She married John Madden, born in Dublin, Ireland, who like other members Sophia’s family, followed the shoe making trade.

Sophia Waller Madden, inherited Lot 5, located at at 1007 Broadway, with 41 feet of frontage on Broadway.

She died Jan. 28, 1927, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John Reynolds, 1239 Church St. She was buried in Riverside Cemetery.


Other lots

The Misses Herrick, Mary Jane and Virginia, purchased Lot 9 from Fred Waller in 1897, with a 36 foot frontage on 10th Street, numbered 112 S. Tenth (later renumbered 111). Virginia Herrick was a teacher at Hannibal’s West School, and they were the daughters of John Herrick, a Hannibal blacksmith.

It was Mr. Waller’s intent that Lot 1, at the corner of Broadway and Tenth, and Lot 10, 114 N. Tenth, fronting Tenth Street, were to be sold.

Joseph C. Raible (1858-1935) purchased the lots at 1001-1003 in 1902, and erected the Raible Flats.


Frederick (F.W.) Waller

Fred Waller’s namesake, son Frederick (F.W.) Waller, was born in 1840. He preceded his father in death, on Aug. 3, 1894, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery, near his brother, William Dedrick Waller.

  • Records offer conflicting dates for the death of Frederick Waller, the family patriarch. His will, accessed through Ancestry.com, is dated June 15, 1897, and Riverside Cemetery records list his death as May 22, 1899.

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 Amazon.com by this author: "The Notorious Madam Shaw," "Pioneers in Medicine from Northeast Missouri," and "The Historic Murphy House, Hannibal, Mo., Circa 1870." She can be reached at Montgomery.editor@yahoo.com Her collective works can be found at www.maryloumontgomery.com


115 South Tenth. Esley Hamilton, in the Historic Inventory conducted in 1982, wrote that William Dederick Waller is believed to have built this house, located at 115 S. Tenth Street (Lot 10). His family lived here in 1885, but later moved to a family house on Broadway. Photo source: Historic Inventory, State Historical Survey and Planning Officer, Jefferson City, Mo.


111 South Tenth. Esley Hamilton, in the Historic Inventory conducted in 1982, wrote that Miss Mary Jane and Miss Virginia Herrick had this house constructed circa 1897. It was situated on Lot 9 of the subdivision of property conducted by Fred Waller Sr., in 1897. Photo source: Historic Inventory, State Historical Survey and Planning Officer, Jefferson City, Mo.


1019 Broadway. Esley Hamilton, in the Historic Inventory conducted in 1979, wrote that this education building was constructed in 1925 by the First Christian Church. It was situated upon Lot 7 of the subdivision of property conducted by Fred Waller Sr., in 1897. Photo source: Historic Inventory, State Historical Survey and Planning Officer, Jefferson City, Mo.



1001-1003 Broadway. Esley Hamilton, in the Historic Inventory conducted in 1982, wrote that this building, known as the Raible Flats, was constructed 1902-03 at 1001-1003 Broadway, on the southeast corner of Out Lot 66. Photo source: Historic Inventory, State Historical Survey and Planning Officer, Jefferson City, Mo.




Fred Waller Sr. included this plat map in his will, which was dated June 15, 1897. He divided his property in Out Lot 66 between his surviving children. Fred Waller Sr., died May 22, 1899, according to Riverside Cemetery records. The map was acquired via ancestry.com


The 1913 Sanborn Fire Prevention Map shows a footprint of the property owned by the Waller heirs on the south side the 1000 block of Broadway. The buildings at 1019-1011 Broadway were torn down and replaced by the educational building of the First Christian Church, circa 1925. Margaret Waller Morris lived at 1009 Broadway until her death in 1919. Fred Waller Sr., and his wife Elizabeth lived at 1005 Broadway until their deaths. The “Flats” at 1001-1003 Broadway were constructed by Joseph C. Raible circa 1902. The frame house at 111 S. Tenth was constructed by the Herrick sisters. The house to the south of the Herrick house is believed to have been built by William Dederick Waller.


This advertisement for a house for rent was published in the Sept. 23, 1859 edition of the Hannibal Daily Messenger, accessed via Newspapers.com.





This advertisement was published in the Hannibal Clipper newspaper Dec. 26, 1887. W.D. Waller was the son of early Hannibal pioneers, Fred and Elizabeth Roper Waller. Advertisement accessed via the Hannibal Free Public Library’s website.


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 Amazon.com by this author: "The Notorious Madam Shaw," "Pioneers in Medicine from Northeast Missouri," and "The Historic Murphy House, Hannibal, Mo., Circa 1870." She can be reached at Montgomery.editor@yahoo.com Her collective works can be found at www.maryloumontgomery.com



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