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Monday, February 28, 2011

On To Hannibal

From Tama County in Iowa, we headed southeast to Marengo. I was still hoping to gather some information on Cliff Berry, computer pioneer. Berry lived there with his father from about age 11 to age 14. Then in 1932 his father, Fred Berry, was shot, apparently over an argument about a proposed municipal power plant in Marengo. Berry was the local manager of Iowa Power at the time. By the time we reached Marengo, it was getting late and I merely noted that they had a good sized library and we continued on.

My next planned stop was St. Louis. We got as far as Hannibal Missouri that evening.

Now you are probably thinking, "Tom Sawyer in Hannibal? Let's see pictures." We didn't take any on this trip because we had made a stop here back in 2004 on our way south to the Alabama Gulf coast.

But here are a couple of photos from the earlier trip. On the left, I am with my fence and on the right I'm with a bronze copy of Mark and Huck.
Hannibal-2 Hannibal-1

My reason for wanting to travel via St. Louis was to look up some old newspapers and find an account of American Arithmometer packing up and leaving town, lock stock and barrel. American Arithmometer manufactured the very successful Burroughs adding machine at the turn of the century. In 1904, they apparently rented a special train and moved 500 employees to Detroit. One might expect to find something about that in the local St. Louis newspapers.

While in Hannibal, I discovered that the central St Louis library was undergoing remodeling and that the microfilm collection of newspapers was not accessible. I was redirected to the county library. We headed there the next day and found that the St. Louis Post Dispatch is available in very high quality scanned form if you have a computer within the library building. Unfortunately, there was no story on American Arithmometer's move. I did pick up a few other good pieces of information, though.

We left the library a bit after one o'clock in the afternoon and headed a few miles south for Kimmswick, Missouri.

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