Neighborhood grocery gone, but not forgotten
Hayes Market served the neighborhood of Broadway where it evolves into St. Mary’s avenue for nearly 30 years, before the building was torn down to widen the intersection with Lamb Avenue. At least three different owners operated a market in this building over a 50-year time span. Steve Chou collection
MARY LOU MONTGOMERY
When she lived in the 100 block of South Levering, Hannibal, Mo., from 1956-1959, Carol Lane Fenton remembers, “Many, many evenings my mother sent me to (Hayes Market) to grab something to add to our evening meal.”
And that’s the way it was with the family-operated grocery stores that dotted Hannibal’s landscape during the mid 1950s and prior. They served the needs of their neighbors.
Hayes Market at 2527 Broadway, owned by Tandy E. and Mable M. Hayes for some four decades, (circa 1930-1970) was located in a frame building constructed around 1920, within five years of the opening of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. The neighborhood was still considered rural, and probably as many horses as automobiles traversed the avenue. The grocery store was the last building on the south side of the street, to the east of Lamb Avenue, which served as an invisible dividing line between Broadway as it evolved into St. Mary’s Avenue.
In 1930, Tandy and Mable, along with her 10-year-old son from a previous marriage, Joe Hubbard, lived at 408 Pine St. Tandy was a machinist for the CB&Q steam railroad.
Tandy and Mable took over operation of the already-existing store in the early 1930s, and the family made their home in quarters within, or nearby, the grocery store.
In February 1935, when Joe Hubbard was about 15, a truck in which he was riding slid on an icy patch of pavement in front of the new Hannibal High School on McMaster’s Avenue, striking a tree. Hubbard died from his injuries. Also injured in the accident were Carl Atkins, rural Hannibal, and Frank Herl, 129 Magnolia.
Now childless, Mr. and Mrs. Hayes would continue to operate the neighborhood grocery store for the rest of their natural lives. Mable died in 1965, and Tandy died in 1971.
Circa the early 1970s, the building was demolished in order to widen the intersection of Lamb, Broadway and St. Mary’s.
Judy Paradise Nelson, daughter of the late Alfred J. and Margaret M. Paradise, recalls Hayes Market in the mid to late 1940s; her comments posted on Facebook. “Memories of stopping after 8 a.m. Sunday Mass to buy something for breakfast. Canned figs, some sort of coffee cake if my mother hadn’t made one. We walked (home) to (2905) Pleasant Street, my parents and me. Sometimes we’d stop on the way home from Blessed Sacrament School. We usually went to St. Mary’s Pharmacy,” as well, she wrote.
While Mr. and Mrs. Hayes were the longest-tenured operators of this market, they weren’t the first.
The neighborhood of Broadway, to the west of Richmond Street, was pretty sparsely inhabited circa 1912. Charles F. Rich, born in Hannibal before the onset of the Civil War, lived at 2523 Broadway, in the last house near the intersection with Lamb Avenue, while operating a butcher shop at 1221 Market St.
Rev. J.E. Chappell, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, lived on the north side of Broadway, to the west of Magnolia St., the only house on the hillside of Broadway’s northern edge, 2414 Broadway.
With the completion of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in the summer of 1915, the development of the surrounding neighborhood picked up in earnest. In 1913, houses on Magnolia, Virginia and West Broadway were sparsely scattered, but after the hospital opened, vacant lots soon filled with frame and brick bungalows, shifting Hannibal’s population center to the west.
This housing boom necessitated an expansion of the existing Mark Twain Elementary School, which first opened in 1912, and businesses sprung up seemingly overnight to provide services for these new west siders.
Among the early settlers to the neighborhood was Charles F. Rich. The son of Civil War veteran and local contractor L.L. Rich, Charles chose butchering as his profession. For a time he operated a shop at 1221 Market Street (where White Oak Counseling is now located), while he and his wife settled into a small bungalow at 2423 Broadway, at the junction where Broadway becomes St. Mary’s Avenue.
Circa 1920, Charles Rich opened a grocery and meat market next door to his home, numbered 2527 Broadway. And that market - under at least three different operators - would continue to serve the neighborhood for the next five decades. It was on the southeast corner of Broadway and Lamb, the building standing until the early 1970s.
Rose Velta Carlisle Rich, wife of Charles Rich, died in 1931.
In 1925, Columbus A. (Lum) Reynolds was manager of the Kroger Grocery and Baking Co., located at 222 N. Main, and he lived at 625 A Union. In 1929, he was the operator of St. Mary’s Meat Market, 2527 Broadway. After his tenure as the operator of a grocery store, he went to work for the city of Hannibal. C.A. Reynolds died in 1953, and his wife, Winifred, died in 1967. They were childless.
Today’s wide expanse at the convergence of Lamb/St.Mary’s/Broadway allows travelers a good sight line for merging traffic. But it wasn’t always so. It took the removal of a building, central to the business climate of the neighborhood for a half century, to create this traffic-friendly intersection.
Charles F. Rich advertised his meat market and grocery store, 2527 Broadway, in the 1920 Hannibal city directory. It is accessible via the Hannibal Free Public Library’s website.
C.A. (Lum) Reynolds advertised St. Mary’s Meat Market and Grocery in “The Colored Directory,” published in 1929 and accessible 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 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,’ the newest book, Oakwood: West of Hannibal.” Montgomery can be reached at Montgomery.firstname.lastname@example.org Her collective works can be found at www.maryloumontgomery.com