1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hannibal (Missouri)

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HANNIBAL, a city of Marion county, Missouri, U.S.A., on the Mississippi river, about 120 m. N.W. of Saint Louis. Pop. (1890), 12,857; (1900) 12,780, including 920 foreign-born and 1836 negroes; (1910) 18,341. It is served by the Wabash, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and the St Louis & Hannibal railways, and by boat lines to Saint Louis, Saint Paul and intermediate points. The business section is in the level bottom-lands of the river, while the residential portion spreads up the banks, which afford fine building sites with beautiful views. Mark Twain's boyhood was spent at Hannibal, which is the setting of Life on the Mississippi, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer; Hannibal Cave, described in Tom Sawyer, extends for miles beneath the river and its bluffs. Hannibal has a good public library (1889; the first in Missouri); other prominent buildings are the Federal building, the court house, a city hospital and the high school. The river is here spanned by a long iron and steel bridge connecting with East Hannibal, Ill. Hannibal is the trade centre of a rich agricultural region, and has an important lumber trade, railway shops, and manufactories of lumber, shoes, stoves, flour, cigars, lime, Portland cement and pearl buttons (made from mussel shells); the value of the city's factory products increased from $2,698,720 in 1900 to $4,442,099 in 1905, or 64-6%. In the vicinity are valuable deposits of crinoid limestone, a coarse white building stone which takes a good polish. The electric-lighting plant is owned and operated by the municipality. Hannibal was laid out as a town in 1819 (its origin going back to Spanish land grants, which gave rise to much litigation) and was first chartered as a city in 1839. The town of South Hannibal was annexed to it in 1843.