The West End building met the needs of the blue-collar neighborhood | Story


Located at the “Y” of the intersection of Market Street and Lindell Avenue, Hannibal, Missouri, when vehicles were horse-drawn and nearby steam-powered trains, a two-story brick building in pentagon shape ran along the sidewalks of these two major traffic arteries. The building provided both commercial and residential housing for the blue-collar neighborhood.

During its lifetime, 315-317 (later renumbered 2311-2313) Market Street hosted food and feed stores, restaurants, residences, a pool parlor, dairy, boarding houses and much Moreover.

The occupants of this building were as diverse as the neighborhood itself: German, Irish, black, single, widowed and divorced; and there were railroad workers, streetcar operators, cement workers, a truck driver, a cooper and a Civil War widow.

Across Market Street (in recent years) from Charlie Flatt’s Electric Motor Shop (2300 Market) and across Lindell Avenue from the old Western Brewery, the building at 2311-2313 Market , was most recently occupied by Martha’s (Crystal) Letter Shop, until her death in 1969, followed by Clara’s Rummage Room. The building was demolished around 1979.

Here are the stories of two people who lived and made their living in this unusually shaped building in Market and Lindell.

Annie Kirby

Irish-born Annie Kirby moved to Hannibal from Sedalia, Missouri following the death in 1882 of her husband, Civil War veteran George W. Kirby, in a railroad accident. Already living in Hannibal at the time were their daughter, Annie R. Hardy, wife of Francis R. (Frank) Hardy, a railroad engineer, and their three children, Charles, Ira, and Stella.

In order to support herself, Mrs. Kirby opened a restaurant and boarding house at 315 Market around 1887, providing food and lodging for the men who worked in the neighborhood. She continued her activities there until 1893.

Boarders in 1888, according to Hannibal’s City Directory for that year, included:

Charles McDavitt, brakeman

Thomas H. Finn, firefighter MP Ry.

Thomas Doyle, tracker H. Ry. Co.

Charles E. Bunby, teleoperator

Shops nearby in 1888:

John E. Braxton, colored, barber, 303 Market

Webb Camery, carpenter and builder 303 Market

W. Thomas Rouse, 303 Market boots and shoes

William C. Rendlen, Grocery and Residence, 310 Market

Joseph Hotchkiss, blacksmith and ironworker, 314 Market

Hannibal Street Car Line, Michael Doyle and James O’Hern, Owners, 300 Market

Saloon, Mrs. Catherine A. Rendlen, 103 Lindell

Mrs. Kirby’s husband had died in March, 1882, while working as a brakeman on conductor John Dean’s train on the Kansas and Texas division of the Pacific Railroad, between Sedalia, Mo., and Parsons, Kan. He was killed at the Flat Rock Bridge, between Osage Mission and Walnut, Kansas, south of Fort Scott. While on the engine, either his head made contact with the deck or he fell off the engine. His body was found under the bridge. His remains were brought to Hannibal at No. 152 and burial took place at Riverside Cemetery. Annie Kirby died on July 29, 1901 and is buried near her husband.

Ironically, Frank Hardy passed away the year after his stepfather died. While his family stayed in Hannibal, Frank Hardy had boarded Peter Kuhn’s cigar factory in Sedalia between runs.

Mr. Hardy was due to go north on his run on Sunday evening May 13, 1883, but fell ill and headed to the K&T workshops to ask for another engineer to go in his place. Before arriving at the workshops, he fell on the sidewalk in front of another engineer’s house, where he was discovered in a perilous state. He was treated by several doctors, in vain. The treatment he received was for “a severe attack of billions of colic”. His death occurred on May 14.

A special wagon was fitted to take Mr. Hardy’s remains back to Hannibal, where he was buried next to his father-in-law in Section G-163, Riverside Cemetery.

Jones family

Following Mrs. Kirby’s move from her boarding house to 306-308 Market St., circa 1896, Singleton G. Hoagland and his wife Clara took possession of the building at 315 Market, renaming the boarding house, the Wedge House.

In 1907, Edmond Jones (pictured outside his store) and his wife, Mary Ellen, operated a grocery, flour and feed store on this site and lived upstairs. They would remain in business here for nearly a decade, until Mr. Jones accepted a job with the Metropolitan Insurance Company. Around this time, he and his wife Clara bought a house across the street at 2314 Market where they would raise their daughter, Virginia, and live their natural lives.

Note: At the time of World War I, Edmond Jones shared offices in the Hornback Building, 500 Broadway, rooms 21 and 23, with JF Henry Hoffman. (From 1937 to 1959, William B. Spaun, Hannibal’s lawyer and father of this author, occupied these same two office spaces for his law firm, before moving to the first floor on the death of Dr. James Chilton, who previously occupied these rooms. )

Edmond Jones eventually went to work for Goddard Grocery Co., as a traveling salesman. He died in 1939, at the age of 61. His widow died in 1950. They are buried in Fairview Cemetery, Frankford, Mo.

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 a cornerstone in the founding of this region. Books available at 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 contacted at [email protected] Her collective works can be found at


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