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Trews hosted numerous social events during 28 years at Sni

Mr. and Mrs. John D. Trew were pictured in the Hannibal Courier-Post on Aug. 2, 1917. The occasion was the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. They managed the Sni E’Carte hunting and fishing club for some 28 years. They were parents to nine children.


A newspaper report notes that weather was cloudy and cool on Tuesday, May 18, 1915. But that didn’t stop the 42 members of the Hannibal High School Class of 1915 from preparing for a fun day at the Sni E’Carte hunting and fishing club, across the Mississippi River in Levee Township, Pike County, Ill.

Classes for these students at Hannibal High School, 1020 Broadway, were canceled for the day.

Hannibal organizers chartered two excursion wagons - perhaps a large freight and passenger truck, seating from 25 to 30 passengers; and/or a four-horse excursion wagon with top, which would seat 25; and/or a small two-horse covered wagon capable of carrying from 12 to 15 passengers. All were offered for rent at the time by the P.H. and J.T. Rutherford company, located at 315 Broadway and 1503 Market.

The conveyances either crossed the Mississippi via the combined railroad/vehicle bridge on North River Road, or by the Hannibal Ferry, which docked just to the north of Storrs Ice and Coal Company, North Front Street.

A luxurious, two-story, frame club house awaited, adjoining a lake for fishing and boating, and some 160 acres of explorable land.

A popular spot for outings beginning 1891, the club house was supported by subscriptions, primarily from Hannibalians who believed that the town needed a designated place in which to fish and hunt.

The Sni Club, which first opened in October 1891, was often thought of as a gathering place for family and for social events, and was well known for its reputation for serving crisp, fried chicken.

Primary in building that reputation were John D. Trew, a native of England, and his wife, Elizabeth B. Ratcliffe Trew. Parents of nine children, together, they managed the club for 28 years before their retirement.

Social events

A sampling of events mentioned in Hannibal, Palmyra, Louisiana and Quincy newspapers of the day:

Harry Dakin of Hannibal was elected president of the Sni E’Carte Club’s board of directors in June, 1900.

W.T. League, Hannibal florist, was commissioned to set out flowers and shrubs at the Sni E’Carte Club House. June 1900.

In June 1906, a government consignment of 500 to 2,000 Jack Salmon was expected to arrive at the Sni E’Carte club. This was the third such consignment granted to the club. The first consignment consisted of crappie and the second bass, according to the Pittsfield Republican of May 1906.

In July 1908, Mrs. Phil Knighton, Mrs. Robinson, Miss Frances Robinson and friends spent several days at the Sni Club house fishing and enjoying the outdoor air.

Six hundred black bass were placed in the Sni during September 1909 from the government hatcheries, and several thousand crappie were to be added soon thereafter.

In July 1911, Prof. F.L. Kelly caught a 43-pound catfish while fishing at the Sni E’Carte club.

The Hannibal Courier-Post reported that “F.A. Tippy and J.R. Blackwood drove over and spent the night. They caught three very large fish before they returned home. Wednesday evening, the following young people drove over for supper: Misses Harriet Holme, Rosamond Dakin and Jeannie Whitecotton, and Messrs. Ben Hickman, Verdman McPike and Charles Clayton.”  

William Schanbacher drove his car over to the Sni E’Carte club for a day of fishing on July 4, 1916. Accompanying Schanbacher were James Fugus and William Walker, who lived on Lindell Avenue, and fellow Market Street businessmen, Clarence Dreyer. and Robert Van Evercooren.

The Trinity Episcopal Sunday School of Hannibal had an outing at the Sni E’Carte Club in July 1916. Participants were shuttled to the club via wagon. A baseball game commenced upon the grounds, which included boys, (both young and old) and girls. At noon, food was served on tables under the trees. The afternoon was spent boating, and the children enjoyed wading in the Sni waters.

In May 1918, George A. Mahan was re-elected as president of the Sni E’Carte club’s board of directors. Other officers were S.B. Montgomery, vice president; Henry Riedel, treasurer; J.P. Richards, secretary; and Harvey Riggs, Quincy, Ill., board member. Mahan announced that the club had, in the past year, placed from 12,000 to 15,000 bass and crappie in the waters controlled by the organization.

On the Fourth of July, 1919, the Sni E’Carte club hosted an outing. The Hannibal Courier-Post, in its July 2, 1919 edition, noted: “J.D. Trew, who has charge of the clubhouse and grounds, is making arrangements to serve a big chicken dinner and also a chicken supper. Grounds around the clubhouse are now in good shape and it is an ideal place to spend a day’s outing during the hot weather. Fishing on the Sni this year is said to be good and no doubt, many of those who go to the clubhouse for an outing … will spend the greater portion of the day fishing.”

John D. Trew died in 1926 in Muskogee, OK, at the home of his daughter, where he had lived for one year.  He was a member of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias lodges for 50 years.

His wife, Elizabeth, was born in 1845 and died in 1923. They are buried at Colchester, Ill.

Class of 1915

The Hannibal Courier-Post identified the members of the HHS Class of 1915 in its May 28, 1915 edition:

Alverna M. Betts

Julia Beggs Briscoe

Bessie Bernice Brown

Margaret Morrison Clayton

Mary Frances Clayton

Marjorie M. Dickinson

Florence Marguerite Hales

Nell Frances Henderson

Leona Aileen Hickman

Freda May High

Mable Ruth Holcomb

Leolia J. Horstmeyer

Sarah Louise Lane

Ethel McKinzie

Clara Darlene Mudra

Ida May Primm

Lena Ragland

Catherine Linnie Richards

Mary Sydney Roy

Olive Tretheway Southgate

Elspeth May Wilkinson

Margaret Cecelia Tomlinson

Hattie Eugene Wilmot

Helen Margaret Withers

Edwin Francis Dakin

Frank Arthur Dietrich

John Beach Drake Jr.

Stephen Alonzo Drake

James Rogers Dudley

Joy Ruskin Ellis

John Gray Jeffries

Oris M. Lewis

Alfred Livingston McCartney

Loren Martin Mills

Ernest Francis Mounts

Harry Shepherd Neeper

John Russell Schaub

Jon. Philip Sydney

Warren Clendenen Tippy

Edgar Arthur Williams

This undated postcard, contributed by Robert Spaun, shows water activities in progress at the Sni E’Carte fishing and hunting club, in Levee Township, Pike County, Ill.

Members of the Hannibal High School Class of 1915 were photographed by H. Tomlinson on May 27, 1915, in the high school auditorium. The school was located at 1020 Broadway. Photo from Steve Chou’s vast collection.

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,” “Hannibal’s ‘West End,’ and the newest book, “Oakwood: West of Hannibal.” Montgomery can be reached at Her collective works can be found at


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