Schanbacher brothers life-long Market Street businessmen
This photo of Gottleib Schanbacher’s saloon on Market Street was contributed by his great-grandson, Jim Schanbacher. Gottleib is standing by the open doorway.
MARY LOU MONTGOMERY
Carl Frederick Schanbacher, a 33-year-old bachelor, noticed something amiss after checking in at his family’s saloon on Sunday, Feb. 9, 1919. Whiskey - a vast amount, with an estimated value of $75 - was missing from the inventory. Alarmed, he notified the Hannibal police department (perhaps night captain, Thomas O’Day) about the missing whiskey, and police in turn began an investigation.
There were some people, at the time, who were still reliant upon horse-drawn transport, while others ventured out into motorized vehicles traveling upon primarily dirt-and-rock roads.
The general population, however, was still reliant upon rail transportation, which connected the small towns of Northeast Missouri.
It was typical procedure in the day, for police to notify the railroads which operated passenger service in and out of Hannibal, to be on the lookout for stolen merchandise or fleeing individuals.
That plan paid off. On Monday, Feb. 10, police received a message from Paris, in Monroe County, Mo., that a sack containing whiskey had been found aboard the southbound (MK&T) Katy train, which arrived at Paris at 8 a.m. The whiskey was recovered, but the suspected thief escaped apprehension.
Carl Frederick Schanbacher was in charge of the saloon at 1233 Market, which he took over operation of following his father’s untimely death on June 14, 1911, at the age of 54.
The saloon, located on the south side of the first block of “The Wedge,” was established circa 1897 by Gottleib Schanbacher, back in the days when other German-heritage families such as the Raibles, the Gerlemanns and Rendlens were successful business operators on Hannibal’s West End.
The two-story brick building, which stood on Market Street until it was destroyed by fire on Christmas Eve, 2015, was fairly new at the time Gottleib went into the saloon business. It was constructed, according to Sanborn fire prevention maps of the neighborhood, between 1885 and 1890.
Gottleib Schanbacher, a brewmaster by trade, worked at the City Brewery, located on Grand Avenue just to the south of Lincoln Street, beginning in June 1884, when he arrived in Hannibal from Baden-Württemberg, Germany. He continued to work there until 1895, when the Hannibal city directory of that year listed his occupation as fireman.
By the time the next directory was printed, in 1897, Gottleib Schanbacher was listed as proprietor of the Schanbacher Saloon, 113 (later renumbered 1233) Market Street. His saloon would serve beer made in Hannibal by the City Brewery, where he previously worked as brewmaster.
Gottlieb Schanbacher was married to Katherina Fredericka Auwarter at Hannibal in 1885. Together, they had five children, four of whom lived to adulthood:
Carl Frederick Schanbacher, born 1886;
Mary Catherine Schanbacher, born 1887;
Frederick Gottlieb Schanbacher, born 1891; and
Edna W. Schanbacher, born 1896.
As Gottleib’s two sons, Carl and Fred, came of age, they sought out business experience along the familiar Market Street corridor.
In 1909, Fred was working for Chris Raible’s Bakery, at 126-128 Market Street. Carl was tending bar for his father at 113 Market. Both sons were residents of the living quarters above the Schanbacher saloon.
(The numbering along Market Street changed circa 1912.)
The recent story about the Morris family, who conducted a men’s clothing business in Hannibal during the post-Civil War years, included a mention of the family’s clothing store in 1885, located at 101 (later renumbered 1221) Market.
It was in this same building where Frederick (Fritz) Schanbacher established a meat market during the era of the world war, circa 1918.
Fred didn’t serve in the military during the war, but his brother, Carl, did, remaining stateside.
Fred was the first of the brothers to marry, taking for his bride Cordelia Wooten.
After the war, and at the start of Prohibition in 1920, he at first tried to focus on soft drink sales. Ultimately the family closed the saloon, and the brothers partnered together in the meat business, first at 1221 Market, and by 1925 at the family-owned building, 1233 Market.
A speciality of the meat market was fresh ham-flavored hot bologna, served on Thursdays as early as 1938. Recent discussion on Facebook centered upon this community favorite, noting that customers had to get to the store early, or it would be sold out.
A storm of unusual intensity roared through Hannibal on July 23, 1941. The Quincy Herald Whig described the scenario.
“The most damage was done to the building at 1229-1231 Market Street,” which was next door to the east of the Schanbacher meat market. “The entire roof was blown off and strewn across Market street and over into Broadway. A porch on the rear of the building (at 1229-1231) was whirled over the top of the structure and crashed into Market Street. Parts of the wreckage struck the roof of a building at 1224 Market street and broke a plate glass window in the lower floor which is occupied by the Ross tailoring shop. The lower floor of the building (at 1229-1231 Market) was occupied by the Independent Service Company and the Ernest Schulten family lived on the second floor. Household goods in the Schulten apartment were badly damaged by rain.”
Carl Schanbacher died in 1961, and was survived by his wife, Corinne Willmann Schanbacher, and his brother, Fred, who continued to operate the meat market (with the assistance of family members) until the early 1970s. Fred, who was married to Cordelia Wooten Schanbacher, died in 1972.
This story is dedicated to the memory of David C. Schanbacher (1955-2017) who wrote and published a book about his family’s history in Hannibal. He was in Hannibal on Christmas Eve, 2015, when fire consumed the historic building where his family conducted business. He and his mother, Janis Rae Schanbacher (1929-2020) watched the fire from the vantage point of the Save-A-Lot food store parking lot. His book, “The Schanbachers of Hannibal, Missouri", is available via LuLu.com, and is also available at the Hannibal Free Public Library.
David’s brother, Jim Schanbacher, assisted with the research for this story, and shared photos.
David Schanbacher (1955-2017) researched and wrote a book, “The Schanbachers of Hannibal, Missouri" which is available on LuLu.com, and via the Hannibal Free Public Library. Photo contributed by David’s brother, Jim.
Pictured is Carl F. Schanbacher, son of Gottleib. Photo contributed by Jim Schanbacher.
Frederick (Fritz) Schanbacher. Photo from the David C. Schanbacher collection. Courtesy of Jim Schanbacher.
Carl F. Schanbacher, as a young man. Photo from the David C. Schanbacher collection. Courtesy of Jim Schanbacher.
This map, based upon the 1913 Sanborn Fire Prevention map, shows the businesses along the first block of Market Street in 1912. The Schanbacher saloon was at 1233 Market The Raible grocery store, where Fred Schanbacher learned the baking trade, was at 1240-1242 Market. Illustration by Mary Lou Montgomery.
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," and "The Historic Murphy House, Hannibal, Mo., Circa 1870." She can be reached at Montgomery.firstname.lastname@example.org Her collective works can be found at www.maryloumontgomery.com