In and Around Hannibal: June 8, 2013

by Rita Hooper


One of the wonderful things about writing this column is that you never know where your next “lead” (as in the beginning of the column) will come from.

Recently, Frances Donaldson stopped by and gave me a handwritten booklet on the history of Hannibal put together by Grace Hawkins.

Some of my older readers may well recognize the name. Miss Hawkins taught in Hannibal District #6 school in Cain’s Corners from 1920-22, 1924-26, 1928-30 and 1941-49 and lived in Hannibal.

Cain’s Corners is the intersection of Wiltsieville Road and Rochester Street. The school house has undergone considerable renovation and is a private residence but the trees planted behind it by parents of the students to provide shade during recess still stand.

The Town of Hannibal by Grace Hawkins

On April 20, 1818 an act was passed erecting the towns of Oswego and Granby and giving to Hannibal the boundaries it has ever since retained. Its area is 27,786 acres.

Hannibal derived its name from the old Carthaginian general of that name.  It was formerly called the old survey township number 2 which included the present towns of Hannibal and Oswego and part of Granby.

It was not until 1802 that a settlement was made within the limits of the present site of Hannibal; but the early inhabitants were very much in the habit of looking upon “Hannibal” as the survey township of that name.

The first settlement in the town of Hannibal was made in District No. 9 in 1802 by Thomas Sprague and family.  Mr. Sprague was a Revolutionary War veteran.  He came from Connecticut and took up 640 acres of land.

At that time, there was only one cabin between here and Oswego. The same year his two sons, Thomas Sprague Jr. and Jonathan Sprague came with their families. Jonathan and his wife came from Saratoga County on horseback, she carrying a three months old baby.

Carr Sprague, son of Jonathan, was the first white child born in the town. Thomas Sprague, Sr. and his wife both died the same day, February 1, 1813 and were buried in the same grave. Part of the original grant is now occupied by Edgar J. Sprague, a great great grandson of Thomas Sprague.

Now reading from Gordon Sturge’s book, “Hannibal’s Historical Highlights,” I find that the first marriage was that of Daniel Thomas and Prudence Sprague in 1803 and that the first death was that of a child, a daughter of Thomas Sprague in 1806.

Mr. Sturge also reports that the Spragues were from Massachusetts and “located on the south line of the town on lot 95, and built the first house, which was, of course, a log one, and likewise made the first clearing.”

More to come in the weeks ahead!

*  *  *  *  *

Hard to believe another school year is almost over. Regent  exams start this week and the Senior Banquet is Friday and graduation on the 21st — that’s got to be one of the earliest, although I can remember when it was on the 19th but that was many years ago! Best wishes on your exams — but wishes only go so far — hope you’ve done the work and are studying hard now!

Granby Center United Methodist Church will be holding a book and bake sale Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The church is one mile west of Fulton on County Route 3.

The annual Strawberry Festival of Our Lady of the Rosary will be tomorrow, June 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the church grounds, Cayuga Street across from the High School in Hannibal. The garage sale will begin at 8 a.m., games and booths at 10, chicken barbecue at noon and of course strawberries and ice cream will be available. Auction and drawings at 3 p.m.

Hannibal Senior Citizens will be meeting at noon for dinner.  Monday will feature mac and cheese with scalloped tomatoes, Wednesday will be meatball subs and Friday will be chicken with mushroom gravy and baked potatoes.

Activities include Wii bowling on Monday, Music with Deanna Hubbard of Wednesday, and games on Friday. Come early for coffee and news or to work on the jigsaw puzzle or play some dominoes or Scrabble or cards. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation at 564-5471.

Hannibal Home and School will be having a volunteer meeting on Monday, June 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. at Fairley. Contact Marian Calkins at 564-5872 or email for more information.

The Hannibal Resource Center has changed its hours. The center will no longer be open Thursday nights. They will continue to be open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will now be open Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. It is located at Our Lady of the Rosary across from the High School and is supported by the three village churches.

The Elderberries will meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m. for a covered dish dinner at the Senior Center (library) on Oswego Street.  Bring your own table service and a dish to pass. Congratulations to Carl Salvagin, Bob Simmons, George Darling, Ginny Hughes, Ann Palen and Don Tyler and Rita Hooper on their election to office in the Elderberries. You are reminded that it is membership time; hope you’ve been saving the big bucks to become part of this group! I will be showing pics of my recent trip to the Jersey Shore to work on housing rehab as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

The Hannibal Alumni Association will hold its annual banquet on Saturday, June 15 at the Oasis Restaurant at Thunder Island, located at 21 Wilcox Rd. just off State Route 48. Social hour will begin at 5 p.m. with a buffet dinner being served at 6 p.m. Entertainment and dancing will be provided by Anybody’s Guess.

Plans are underway for the 21st Concert in the Park to be held at the Hannibal Firemen’s Field located on Rochester Street in the Village of Hannibal July 7.  Featured bands will be Anybody’s Guess, Fulton Community Dixieland Band and the Fulton Community Band.

Churches and youth groups can still have a booth at the SOS Fest July 19-21 at the Hannibal Fireman’s Field. Non-profit mission booths are FREE! Crafters and Vendors pay only a small fee.

This is the largest three-day music festival of its kind in New York State. Those seeking more information may visit

The Hannibal Boy Scouts are selling “Camp Cards” as a fund-raiser. Those seeking more information may call Mr. Prosser at 564-5630.

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