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Proud Frytown poultry farmer won premiums at county fairs

The Frytown Poultry Company was located on West Ely Road during the late years of the 19th Century. Among the breeds raised by Frederick W. Waller was the White Cochin chicken, as pictured here. Wikipedia.


Frederick W. Waller was a splendid man. Or so says his death announcement in the Ralls County Record newspaper on Jan. 7, 1916.

For 27 years - since circa 1888 - F.W. Waller had commuted either by horse and wagon or early vehicle, from his home on West Ely Road, three miles east to Main Street in Hannibal, Mo., where he tended to customers in search of books, stationery and gifts. Then once again, as evening fell, he followed the same path home.

He didn’t own the book shops where he worked; that was the responsibility of, in the early years, George A. Collins, and later John H. Boughton. Instead, F.W. Waller worked as a clerk, day in and day out, for the majority of his prime working years.

As a book and stationery seller, he became familiar with those living within shopping distance of Hannibal.

But there was more to Frederick W. Waller’s work life then the days he spent behind the book counter.

As a young man, as early as 1887, F.W. Waller operated a business for himself on Hannibal’s western edge, known as Frytown Poultry Farm, F.W. Waller & Co., Prop’s.

Those familiar with poultry may recognize the names of the thoroughbred fowls that Waller bred and raised:

Lt. Brahmas, White and Buff Cochins, Black Javas, Houdans, Plymouth Rocks, S.C. White and Brown Leghorns and Pekin Ducks.

Throughout the remainder of the 19th century, Waller was a regular on the Marion County Fair circuit, continuing to show - and win - ribbons and premiums for his prized fowl.

His poultry farm was located in the eastern most portion of Section 25, Township 57N, Range 5 West, Marion County, Mo. That translates in today’s street numbering as 3707 West Ely Road.

It is on this long and narrow strip of land, fronting West Ely Road, that Waller and his wife Sarah Martine Lippincott Waller, settled when they married in 1883.

Lippencott homestead

The house, which now stands at 3707 West Ely Road, was in actuality the homestead of Mrs. Waller’s parents, Capt. Thomas Curtis (1834-1913, a former ferry boat captain and Civil War veteran) and Elizabeth J. Bennen Lippencott. They moved from Third Street, west to the area known as Frytown, in the early to mid 1880s.

The Lippencotts had four children: Mary E. Lippencott, born circa 1859; Sarah Martine Lippencott, born in 1861; Martha C. Lippencott, born in 1864; and William C. Lippencott, born circa 1870.

After Martine Lippencott was married to F.W. Waller in November 1883, the young couple lived with the Lippencotts. As the Wallers built their family, three generations co-existed in that house.

The Lippencotts eventually moved back toward downtown Hannibal, while the Wallers remained on West Ely Road. When Capt. Lippencott died in 1913, he was living at 115 N. Seventh St.

Two years after Capt. Lippencott’s death, Fred W. Waller died. His death on Dec. 29, 1915, at the age of 59, was attributed to chronic nephritis. He was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

In October 1916, a 70x160-foot parcel of the Lippencott/Waller property, with frontage on West Ely Road, was deeded to Claude L. Waller, son of Fred and Martine Lippencott Waller. Today, the house located on this lot is addressed 3709 West Ely Road.

Poultry exhibit

On Oct. 3, 1889, the Palmyra Spectator reported:

“The large display of fine poultry made by F.W. Waller & Co., proprietors of the Frytown Poultry Yard, is deserving of more than passing mention. These gentlemen have made exhibits at our fair for several years, and always go away with a large number of blue ribbons. Their display this year is better than ever and is attracting considerable attention. Persons desiring to secure purebred fowls would do well to see these gentlemen.”

Waller/Christian link

According to early records, Fredrick W. Waller was born in Hannibal, Mo., in 1856, to John Dudrick Waller and Catharine Sophia Grosch Waller, who were married Dec. 3, 1849, in Marion County, Mo.

A year after their marriage, 42-year-old John Dudrick Waller was working as a cabinet maker in Hannibal. He died in 1859, when his young son was just 3 years old. The fate of his wife is unclear, but in in the spring of 1859, John D. Waller’s household goods and carpentry tools were sold at auction in order to settle his estate.

By 1860, young Fredrick Waller was in the care of Margaret Christian, 54, widow of John Christian, and they lived on the north side of Market Street, next door to the Marion House.

Note: A family ancestry chart posted on by Kspl. Stittensen - Niedersachsen lists Margaret Christian as Margareta Sophia Christina Waller “Christian,” who was married to Johann Friederich Christian. The maiden name of Mrs. Christian - Waller - suggests kinship to Frederick W. Waller, who as a three-year-old lived in Mrs. Christian’s home in 1860.

Mrs. Christian is linked to two other stories published by this author:

“Buggy ride along plank road would be John Christian’s last”; and

“White Oak: A house of many memories.”

Mrs. Christian was mother to Sophia D. Christian Atkins (1830-1891), wife of Henry Atkins (1821-1888).

This house, at 3707 West Ely Road, was once home to Capt. Thomas Curtis (1834-1913, a former ferry boat captain and Civil War veteran) and Elizabeth J. Bennen Lippencott; as well as their daughter and son in law, Frederick W. and Martina Waller. The property was host to the Frytown Poultry Farm in the later years of the 19th Century. Photo courtesy of Caroline McIntosh.

Frederick W. Waller advertised his poultry business in the June 13, 1889 edition of the Palmyra Spectator newspaper.

The Farm Catalogue of the 1887 Hannibal Fair contained an advertisement for Frytown Poultry. The catalogue is included in Steve Chou’s vast historic paper collection.

John D. Waller died circa 1859 at Hannibal, Mo. He was the father of Frederick W. Waller (1856-1915), who as an adult would operate Frytown Poultry Co., on West Ely Road west of Hannibal. This advertisement, from the Hannibal Daily Messenger on May 18, 1859, indicates that the elder Mr. Waller lived in the western part of the city, on the Plank Road. The Plank Road began near the intersection of what is now Market Street where it intersects with Lyon.

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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