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Pictures help capture essence of the 600 block of Broadway

This photo, from the Steve Chou collection, shows a glimpse of Hannibal and its people circa 1875. Totally unrecognizable today, the photo shows the southwest corner of Sixth and Broadway. At far left is the old Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church, on the southeast corner of Sixth and Broadway. In 1875, Rev. E.J. Holmes was the pastor. The three-story building labeled “Groceries & Provisions” was a business operated for a few years by Jeremiah Delos Bacon. He left Hannibal a few years later and became a commission merchant in Chicago. The small building, at right, was a monument business operated by James T. Jones. This was a mixed-race neighborhood, and people both black and white are represented in this photo. Note that Broadway was a dirt street. Steve Chou collection


As the calendar turned to the last quarter of the 19th Century, the 600 block of Broadway was a curious combination of businesses, private residences and boarding houses. In those days before the construction of the “new” federal building, completed in 1888, this particular block of Broadway hosted a livery stable on the south side of Broadway, owned and operated by Luther C. Fry and Thomas B. Loudon. On the north side of the street, dressmakers Ellie Comfrie and Sarah Burners conducted business, as did Nancy Claflin, who performed “hair work.”

Wesley J. Alike and John M. Edwards had boarding houses on the south side of the street, and Frank Kemp, colored, a laborer, and Harriet Kemp, also colored, a wash woman, resided with their family on the north side of Broadway.

Two businesses on the south side of the street, now numbered 601 and 603 Broadway, are preserved in history because of a single photo taken during that era.

On the southwest corner of Sixth and Broadway circa 1875, a three-story brick building served as business locale for J.D. Bacon’s grocery store.

Next door, to the west, was the monument business of James T. Jones.

Neither of these two stores remained in place for more than a few years, but this photo stops the clock and solidifies these men and their families as contributors to Hannibal’s past.

J.D. Bacon

Son of Elijah and Charlotte York Bacon, Jeremiah Delos Bacon was born in New York in 1832. In 1850 lived with his parents at LaGrange, Walworth, Wis. Then, at the Civil War’s end, he relocated to Hannibal, Mo., where in 1866 he operated a grocery store on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth streets.

By 1870, he and his wife, Susan E. Bacon, had four daughters, Hattie Bacon, born in Chicago in 1863; Mary Bacon, born in Chicago in 1863; Lulu Bacon, born in 1865 in Missouri; and Annie Bacon, born in 1867 in Missouri.

In 1871, J.D. Bacon was partnered with Benjamin U. Foster in a grocery business at what was then numbered 64 Broadway, on the south side, beneath Brittingham Hall.

In 1875, J.D. Bacon was operating a business named J.D. Bacon and Co., a grocery and provisions store, on the southwest corner of Sixth and Broadway. This is the store associated with this story.

At the end of the decade, circa 1880, the Bacon family had relocated to Chicago, where Jeremiah was working as a commission merchant.

They had added a fifth daughter to their family, Etta Bacon, born in Missouri in 1872.

The Bacons moved considerably during their remaining years together, allowing Jeremiah Bacon to accumulate property in Oklahoma, Florida and Illinois before his death in 1915.

Susan Esther Lanphear Bacon died at the age of 58 at Sparr, Marion County, Fla., on March 1, 1900. She was married to Jeremiah Bacon in 1861.

Jeremiah Delos Bacon died April 22, 1915, in Chicago, Ill., at the age of 83.

James T. Jones

James T. Jones, born circa 1840 in Virginia, was married to Emma C., the youngest of three daughters born in England to Charles and Mary Ann Furnival Mayer. Charles Mayer, according to the Mayes Family History, researched by Chase Hickman of Hannibal, Mo., was the first of the family to leave England. When the wife and daughters arrived at St. Louis, they learned that Charles Mayer had died. Mrs. Mayer was later married to a “Mr. Greve,” and they lived in LaGrange, Lewis County, Mo.

The three daughters were:

Louisa, born in 1839, who married Dr. Joseph Benjamin Boarman of the Monroe City area, in 1857;

Sarah M., born in 1840, who married B.F. Hickman of Monroe City; and

Emma Charles, born in 1843, who married James T. Jones in 1867. He was the monument dealer at 603 Broadway, in 1875.

Children of James T. and Emma C. Mayer:

Sarah (Sadie) G. Jones 1868-1952

Pearl G. Jones Lotspeich, 1871-1965

Frank C. Jones, 1876-1917

Edith A. Jones Wilson, 1880-1964

Walter Clair Jones 1887-1953.

James T. Jones died prior to 1900. Emma C. Jones died in 1908 in St. Louis. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are buried together at St. Jude’s Cemetery, Monroe City, Mo.

Buried nearby at St. Jude Cemetery is likely the mother of Louisa Mayer Boarman, Sarah M. Hickman and Emma C. Jones. The tombstone is engraved: “Mary A. Greaves” 1817-1894.

Others on Broadway:

• Miss Nancy C. Claflin, born in 1858, was married to Pleasent Moss Robinett in Clay, Missouri, Jan. 28, 1875. In 1900, they were living in Polk, Ray County, Mo., where he was a farmer. After he died, she married James William Louks, and they lived in Denver, Adams County, Colorado. She died May 23, 1942, age 84, in Colorado.

• The Kemp family continued their presence on Broadway. In 1879, Ella Kemp, 13, operated a peanut stand; Frank, 54, was a laborer for Albert Aronson, a hide dealer at 705 Broadway; Harriett, 48, was a laundress; and Henry, 22, was a drayman. They all lived at 608 Broadway.

The 1880 census recorded this family:

Frank Kemp, born 1825 in Kentucky;

Harriett Foley Kemp, 49, born 1831 in Kentucky;

Robert Kemp, born 1851 in Missouri;

Henry Kemp, born 1857, in Missouri;

Katie Kemp, born 1863, in Missouri;

Ella Kemp, born 1866, in Missouri;

U.S. Grant, born 1873, in Missouri;

Alburt F. Kemp, born 1880, in Missouri; and

Jennie Foley, 99, mother in law, born 1781 in Virginia.

Buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Old Limits section:

Frank Kemp, died July 22, 1878, lot 69.

George Kemp, died July 14, 1876, lot 68.

Henry Kemp, died July 4, 1881, lot 67.

Infant Kemp, died Oct. 14, 1887, lot 75

Ira R. Kemp, died March 29, 1888, lot 75.

Robert Kemp, died Feb. 21, 1885, lot 64.

Albert J. Kemp, died May 13, 1881, lot 71.

Ella Kemp married Anderson Freeman Oct. 23, 1884, at Hannibal.

This is a photo of Hannibal’s new federal building, completed in 1888. The building, which still stands, is on the northwest corner of Sixth and Broadway. Prior to the construction of the federal building, there were houses and businesses on this lot, including the home of Frank and Harriet Kemp and their children. Living with the family in 1880 was Mrs. Kemp’s mother, Jennie Foley, 99, born 1781 in Virginia. Photo from the Steve Chou collection.

Nancy Robinett nee Miss Nancy C. Claflin, was born in 1858, and was married to Pleasent Moss Robinett in Clay, Missouri, Jan. 28, 1875. Before her marriage, circa 1874, she lived and did “hair work” in premises on the south side of Broadway, west of Sixth, Hannibal, Mo. She died May 23, 1942, age 84, in Colorado. Photo of Mrs. Robinett in her later years reprinted with permission by Tammy Diffley-White, via

Thanks to Rhonda Hall for her assistance with this story.

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,” and “Hannibal’s ‘West End,’” 47 stories of the Market Street Wedge and on west to Lindell Avenue. Montgomery can be reached at Her collective works can be found at


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