In and Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper

Lest we forget — today is Dec. 7, the date that President Franklin Roosevelt said “will live in infamy,” when he addressed a joint session of the US Congress in 1941.

On Dec. 7, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, killing 2,300 Americans.

The USS Arizona was completely destroyed and the USS Oklahoma capsized.

Twelve ships sank or were beached, nine more were damaged. A total of 160 aircraft were destroyed and 150 more damaged.

On Dec. 8, Congress declared war on Japan bringing the United States into World War II.

Within days, Germany and Italy also declared war on the U.S.

WWII began in 1939, when Germany invaded Poland and ended in 1945 when Germany and Japan surrendered to the allies.

In all, 60 million people were killed, over 2.5 percent of the world’s population.

In this Christmas season, as we await the birth of the Prince of Peace, let us take a few minutes to remember those who have lost their lives through wars, past and present.

Let us work to bring peace to the earth and to turn our swords into pruning hooks, that those who have died, may not have died in vain.


Hannibal Center Schools

Well folks — we are up to District No. 7 — Hannibal Center — Schools in Hannibal area before centralization.

Hannibal Center was settled in 1805.  Orren Cotton, one of the first settlers to the area was a millwright by trade and built the first grist mill.

He was a descendant of the celebrated Puritan preacher of Boston, Dr. John Cotton.

In the next 50 years or so, Hannibal Center became a thriving little hamlet.  There were a number of industries that gave employment to the residents.

John McLaury operated the tannery and Norman Titus was the proprietor of a flour and feed mill on the west side of Nine Mile Creek.

There were several saw mills and a peppermint still operated by W.W. Brackett. Later a carding mill and later a foundry came into being.

The Hannibal Center Church can date its beginnings back to 1830 with James A. Brackett as the first class leader.

The church building was built in 1862 or 63.

W.W. Brackett also had the largest of three general stores in the Center and he also had a general store in the Village.

There were also two hotels/taverns.  Judson S. Kellogg began blacksmithing in Hannibal Center in 1877.

At one time, great excitement was raised over digging for gold in the area.

Additional prominent residents of the center were Issac Ketcham, the Dickinsons, James Knolton and William Ames.

The first school in the town of Hannibal was kept at Hannibal Center in 1810; Laura Kent was the first teacher.

A large two-classroom wooden schoolhouse was built in Hannibal Center probably in the last half of the 19th century although the exact date of construction is unknown.

It was located on what is now call the Town Garage Road.

In 1931, the school was changed from a two-room school to a one-room school because of the small number of children in attendance.

Electricity was installed in 1933.

Two years later, the two-room school arrangement was re-established due to increased enrollment. However, this was a temporary condition and the school eventually went back to a one-room set up.

Successful teachers in this district were Hannah Wood, Malissa Lake, Richard Smith, Frank Haven, Eva Brackett, Georgia Brackett, Fannie Rogers Cooley, Mr. Vanderlinder, Leon Harris, Will Allen, Mattie Cox, Helen Gardenier, Mrs. Carrie Pooler, Cora Blake, Ruth Ames, Lorilla Loomis, Katie Walsh, Ruth Dennison, Ann B. Brackett, Grace Atwater Rogers, Maggie McNamara, Frank Tuller, Belle Tuller and Nettie Rogers.

In 1890, Frank E. Brackett; 1890-91 S.W. Holden; 1892-93 Emma J. Smith; 1893-94 Emma Smith and Jane Talmadge; 1894-95 Ella Mae Ames; 1897-98 Hattie J. Smith;1899-1900 Edna Godfrey and Mertie L. Dann; 1902-03 Rena Gardenier and Robert Burns; 1905-06 Ella Lounsbery; 1906-07 Zilpha Stickle; 1907-08 Mae Pellet Rogers; 1908-10 Mildred Perkins and Mae D. Pellett, 1910-11 Robert J. Burns and Ethel Robinson. 1917-Agnes Farden and Susie Spafford; 1919-20 Ruth

Baldwin Weldon; 1920-26 Ella Lounsbery and Mae Rogers; 1926-28 Mae Rogers and Ella Wheeler Perkins; 1928-30 Letty McGlen and Meda Cooper; 1930-31 Grace Welling and Mae Rogers; 1931-32 Grace Welling; 1932-35 Ella Lounsbery; 1935-38 Clara Wilke and Ella Lounsbery; 1938-39 Clara Wilke and Mae Rogers; 1939-41 Marion Gannon and Vivian Megraw; 1941-42 Olive Schneider and Vivian Megraw; 1942-43 Olive Schneider and Reta Merriam; 1943-49 Ella Lounsbery.

After centralization and the resulting closing of the school, the Town of Hannibal used the building for storage.

In 1983, the Town of Hannibal constructed a new town barn and no longer had any need for the old school.

The Town offered to give the schoolhouse to the Hannibal Historical Society; but the building would have been costly to restore. Therefore the group declined the offer and the structure was town down.

Teacher Grace Welling married John Cox and was organist at Hannibal Community Church for 43 years if memory serves me correctly.

And teacher Marion Gannon married and I can’t remember her married name and moved to Syracuse. She had a brother Jimmy (I think that was his name) who became a professional musician if I have the story correct.

I’m indebted once again to Hannibal’s Historical Highlights by Gordon Sturge and Hannibal History in Pictures and Prose by the Hannibal Historical Society.

Didn’t want you to think I was ‘that smart!’

Let me know if you have something to add so we all know the ‘rest of the story!’


Around the Town

The Sons of the American Legion will hold their monthly breakfast buffet from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday Dec. 8 at the Legion, Rochester Street, Hannibal.

Hannibal United Methodist Church will have an afternoon of entertainment with the Tri-County Singers performing a Christmas Cantata at 2 p.m. Dec. 8. They will perform “On This Shining Night.”

It is a free performance with donations accepted.

Refreshments served after.

Also on the 8th, First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third (east side of the River) will be holding an afternoon of music with the Hannibal Jammers at 2 p.m.

Hannibal Senior Dining Center meets at noon for dinner at the Senior Center (Library Building) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation at 564-5471.

This week’s menu is:

Monday: Lasagna with meat sauce, vegetable blend, green and yellow beans, ice cream

Wednesday: Baked chicken, creamed potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes, juice, cookie

Friday: Hamburger on roll, garlic red potatoes, vegetable, applesauce

Activities: Monday, Wii bowling;   Wednesday, bingo after lunch; Friday,  games.

Kenney Middle School is holding a BoxTops for Education contest.

Two students who bring in the most BoxTops in one week win free ice cream from the cafeteria.

Anyone who brings in five or more BoxTops in one week is entered in a drawing for a large cheese pizza from the Village Market. The contest runs through Dec. 16.

The student who brings in the most BoxTops for the contest will win a bowling party.

Anyone bringing in five or more BoxTops during the contest will be entered in drawings for several prizes.

Each BoxTop is worth 10 cents to the school. Hannibal has raised more than  $600 for the school so far this year.

All money earned benefit programs for the students.

We also have a new collection box at the Village Market for your convenience.


Holiday Events

The Village Market (IGA) will host its annual Christmas Luncheon for Seniors at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. This is free and no registration is needed.

The High School music department will be providing music for your enjoyment.

The Hannibal Senior Band will be presenting its Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the Lockwood Auditorium. This concert will feature the Jazz Ensemble and the Concert Band presenting many familiar carols and winter songs.

Audience members are asked to bring a donation for the Christmas Bureau.

Prior to the concert band members will serve their annual complimentary lasagna holiday dinner for local senior citizens in the high school cafeteria.

Serving begins at 6:15 p.m. Community seniors wishing to attend should make a reservation by calling 564-7910 ext. 4132 before Dec. 9.

Mentioning Christmas Bureau reminds me drivers are needed to help deliver packages for Santa from 9 to 11 a.m., Dec. 18.

Give the high school or district office a call if you can help do this.

It is a great deal of fun and some high school students help you so there is no heavy lifting for you to do.

The Elderberry Christmas Dinner has been changed to noon Thursday, Dec. 12, at the American Legion. The luncheon will be catered by Brenda Fletcher — sure hope you made your reservation.

You are reminded to bring a $3 gift for the exchange game.

I have it on good authority that Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

Friday Dec. 13, he’ll be at the Hannibal Fire Department Firehouse on Oswego Street from 6 to 8 p.m.

He’s keeping his eye out for all those good little boys and girls from birth to 10 years old and I understand from one of his elves, that he’s put a few gifts in his bag!

Kids of all ages are invited to share in refreshments.

Shirts ‘N Skirts, Square Dance Club, meets every Friday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Fulton Municipal Building, South First Street. Admission is $5.

All ages are welcome, under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. for more infomation, call 591-0093 or email

‘Tis the season to be jolly … please email me or give me a call if your organization has any special plans for the holiday season that you want to publicize.

Remember this column is about and for the people of Hannibal and the surrounding area.

If you have an event that you would like the public to know about, send me an email or give me a quick call.

Rita Hooper 706-3564

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One thought on “In and Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper”

  1. We enjoyed reading our local news column, Rita. We just arr here in Fl a week ago, and searching the “net” found your articles here on the internet!! We will look fwd from now,on looking for any local news from up home. Be safe and keep well, tell others we say hello too, and we hope everyone up there has a safe and healthy winter!!! Merry Christmas, and may God bless each and every one up there with a safe, and healthy New. Year!!!!!! The guest room is always ready so when and if possible to get away you are sooo welcome to come down and stay a while and get some sunshine on your face!!! Love Always until we chat again, Jan and Lester & Buddy too says arf arf.

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