August 29, 2014

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A Second Look 3/20/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:40 PM

60 Years Ago - 1954
The Senior Class at Stafford High School will present their comedy play, “Look Out, Lizzie” March 27th. The cast includes Shirley Hogue, Carrie Ann Hines, Tom Joe Robinson, Ralph Hines, Alice Lumbatis and Fay McElfresh.
Woodsfield Firemen used the new $14,000 fire truck Monday to answer a call on Eastern Avenue.
The Cunningham sisters, of Summerfield, appeared on the stage of the Monroe Theatre March 10 with Doc Williams and his Border Riders. They sang three songs and did two tap dances.
Cinematic selections: M.G.M.’s big color musical - “Kiss Me Kate”; “Showboat” starring Ava Gardner, Howard Keel; “It Came From Outer Space”; Martin and Lewis in “Money From Home”.
Ed Taylor has moved his tire repair shop from West Court Street to the Hall Hotel property on South Paul Street.
E.D. Lloyd, of Barnesville, distributor of Texaco products, has leased the gasoline filling station at the corner of Oaklawn Ave. and North Main St., recently built by Kenneth Berry.
The Monroe County Commissioners recently voted to combine four offices and their duties in one office: Aid to the Blind, Aid to Disabled, Aid to Dependent Children and the Central Clearing Office. Gladys Cline will be supervisor.

50 Years Ago - 1964
Pictured on the front page this week is a scene at Hannibal at the crest of the recent flood. State Route 7 was completely covered both north and south from the center of Hannibal. Because of this, the Monroe County Red Cross has established a Disaster Relief Headquarters in the Municipal Building in Clarington.

Remembering Eggers Hardware Store PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darin Brown, General Manager   
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 1:42 PM

Lude & Egger Hardware is pictured sometime in its beginning years in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The upstairs of the business was rented to a millinery (Hat shop) for several years. This past fall, one of Woodsfield’s oldest downtown buildings was torn down due to its deteriorating condition. The building, located at 116 South Main St., was best known for housing the business Eggers Hardware for decades. Recently, the Beacon sat down with previous owners Jeanne Schwall and Linda (Egger) Masters to talk about memories of the business.

Eggers Hardware started when Louis Egger (Sr.) purchased the business, known at the time as Lude and Moffett Hardware, in 1897. For decades, nearly 100 years, it remained in the Egger family. At one time it was known as Lude and Egger Hardware, then L.P. Egger and Sons, and later simply Eggers Hardware.

Most county residents who patronized the store will likely remember it as being operated by brothers Raymond and Louis, sons of Louis Sr. After the death of Louis (Jr.) in 1977, his widow Jeanne Egger [now Schwall] and their daughter Linda operated the business. In 1984, the family got out of the business. After several different owners, the hardware business exists today next door (in the previous K-V Store location) as Ace Hardware.

While Eggers Hardware carried many of the same things that hardware stores today carry, Eggers existed in an era when a hardware store was a more wondrous place. “Pigeon holes” full of nails, nuts and bolts lined the walls. Ropes of all sizes came up from holes in the floor like snakes. Bare wooden floors, treated with a mixture of sawdust and oil each night, were underfoot instead of polished tile. Items purchased didn’t leave in plastic bags. They were hand-wrapped in brown paper.

Some items carried by the store won’t be found in a hardware store today. Jeanne and Linda both talked about when the store sold dynamite. “We had a little red metal box in the corner of the store that stored dynamite,” Jeanne said. She continued, “I wrapped it up and sold a lot of it. I never thought anything of it.”

The hardware store even had its own dynamite shack in Cook Hollow. Linda remembers taking trips there with her dad to pick up supplies and even family camping trips there.

Many people used dynamite for stump removal and other such things. However, Raymond Egger used it for a more captivating purpose. On Armistice Day (now Veterans Day), he would set off dynamite near Oaklwan Cemetery on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to commemorate the armistice that ended the hostilities of World War I.

Another unique item offered by Eggers Hardware was cut glass. Today, if a window is broken, a person goes and buys or special orders a replacement window, frame and all. However, decades ago, before the advent of double-pane low-E windows, one would simply replace the glass that broke. Eggers cut glass in the basement of their store. “I learned to cut glass pretty well, but I never could cut a circle,” said Linda.

Hardware stores today still sell rope, but then a different system was used. Spools of rope were stored in the basement. Holes in the ceiling of the basement distributed the rope to the first floor. Workers then used a contraption that looked like a clock to measure rope to length before cutting it. 

Hannibal or Baresville?: A Town of Two Identities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darin Brown, General Manager   
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:21 PM

It is likely common knowledge for the people of Hannibal that their little town did not always go by that name. Previously known as Bare's Landing, when the town was originally laid out in 1846, Hannibal took on the name of Baresville after Jacob Bare, the original settler of the area in 1809 and the town's first postmaster. The name was changed to the current moniker of Hannibal in 1859. The reason for the name change was apparently the mixing up of Baresville's mail with that of Barnesville. (1).

While name changes in villages were common around that time, the citizens of Baresville were not happy to be called Hannibalites. Portraying some of the discord was the article “Baresville: The Metropolis of Ohio Township, Monroe County, Ohio” first published in the Monroe Gazette in 1887. The author wrote, “Baresville should never have been replaced by Hannibal, because the first is its historical name and it had a reason for its adoption-it is associated with the history of the place while the other brings up thoughts of the long struggle of Rome with Carthage, for the empire of the world, many centuries ago.” (2).

The other portion of Hannibal's dual identity comes from a change in location. Originally, Hannibal was located on the banks of the Ohio, not perched on hillsides overlooking the river as it is today. The downtown extended along beside where the Hannibal Locks and Dam is now located and up through the grassy area north of the locks. (3). 

Hannibal: Home of the Famous W.B. O'Neill and the O'Neill House PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darin Brown, General Manager   
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:19 PM

Pictured is the W.B. O'Neill house. William Benson O'Neill (a grandson of Jacob Bare) was one of the most prominent citizens in Hannibal history. According to information from the Monroe Gazette given in 1887, he was born in 1839 and was a teacher by the age of 16, before becoming a contractor and an architect later in life. (1). He was described as being an excellent architect with reporter Charles Brown calling him “one of the finest architects in eastern Ohio” in a Spirit of Democracy article from April 2, 1891. (2).

A list of the buildings designed and built by O'Neill were as follows: the Woodsfield School House in 1871; the M.E. Church at Clarington in 1871; a home on Wheeling Island in 1875; the Presbyterian Church in New Matamoras in 1878; the Baptist Church in Newport in 1879; the German M. E. Church in Hannibal in 1879; school houses in New Martinsville and Bridgeport in 1883; a school house in Harrisville, Ohio in 1884; and an infirmary in Harrison County in 1885. The Gazette article said, “To sum it all up in one sentence, he has designed and built since he engaged in the business over 75 houses, public and private, ranging in cost from $1,500 to $50,000 and has furnished plans and drawings for other houses in Cleveland and elsewhere.” (1).

Even with his accomplishments, the people of Hannibal would have been most familiar with his work through his own beautiful home. Charles Brown wrote of the home, “His mansion in the suburbs of Baresville, which he planned and built himself, is by far the finest house in Monroe County and stands as a fine sample of his work.” (2). The Gazette article described the home as “the most picturesque dwelling along the river for many miles... a frame building, built after no special school of architecture, but the creation of Mr. O'Neill's own brain, educated by his experience as an architect.” (1). 

Hannibal: Early History From Settlement to 1900 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darin Brown, General Manager   
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:14 PM

Hannibal is pictured in 1912. Although it may be difficult to imagine today, the Hannibal area (like other areas in this county), was once the wild frontier. Before settlement, the area was filled with large trees and thick forest. Information taken from the Monroe Gazette and compiled in the book History of the Early Communities of Monroe County, Ohio indicates that the river bank was actually higher in elevation than what would now be the west side of State Route 7. There was a depression there with swampy land and a large pond as the elevation sloped down. It was on that river bank in the wild Ohio wilderness where the village, then named Baresville and now named Hannibal, was settled. (1).

After being founded by Jacob Bare in 1809, Baresville saw slow growth. Earl Sprout and a Johnson were the next to own land in the area after Bare. They both came from Virginia. Another prominent early citizen was Abraham Tisher, who immigrated from Switzerland in 1819 as a Methodist missionary. [Tisher's descendants still live in the town].

The area would have been much different when Baresville was being settled. According to an account in History of Monroe County, Ohio, George Barnhart killed the last elk in Lee Township on Witten Fork around 1820. The “horns of the elk were seven feet from tip to tip” and were sold to Jacob Bare. Bare then sold them to a steamboat captain who displayed them in his pilot house. (2).

Despite several families moving into the area and Bare's operation of mills, the residents seemed content to live amongst one another with no real effort to incorporate. In History of the Early Communities of Monroe County, Ohio, it was written, “Several years seem to have elapsed before there was any thought of building a village here. Indeed it does not appear there ever was a deliberate determination to found a town. It rather grew of itself from force of circumstances.” Surveyor John Noll moved to the area in 1837. He laid out the town and Baresville was finally established as a village in January of 1846. (1)

Even though growth was slow initially, the mid 1800's saw several merchants and craftsmen open up shop in the village. The following businesses opened and expansions took place during that time: Lenkard and Fish store in 1850, Ultchy tan yard in 1844, Voegtly's addition built in 1857, Hannibal House hotel in 1861, and Hofer addition built in 1865. (1).