Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Pause to Pay Homage to Hannibal's Most Famous Son

This week, Time magazine devoted its July 14 issue to Mark Twain - Laura Hawkin's friend and childhood sweetheart.

Mark Twain on the cover of Time Magazine. View the articles at:,9171,1820166,00.html

This Time issue is well worth reading. It contains homage to a great man, homage that couldn't have been printed in earlier days (particularly concerning his progressive views on race). I've bought several copies of this magazine myself.

And speaking of earlier Twain homages, one of the earliest posthumous ones was published by this magazine in 1924, fourteen years after Twain's death in 1910:

The Mentor, May 1924

The Mentor was a popular literary magazine published in the 1900's up until the Depression years. One could consider it the equivalent of Times today.

One excerpt from this issue of Mentor, titled The Old Home Town features Hannibal, Missouri; it was of particular interest to me. Here are the pages from this excerpt:

Built in 1840, Huck Finn's childhood home was demolished in 1911. A replica of the house commenced construction in 1997 and was completed in 2006 - to a tune of about $300k. This house is now part of the Mark Twain museum tour.

This structure was demolished. Why, oh why do demolishers not see the irreparable damage they do?

Florida, Missouri was Mark Twain's birthplace in 1835.

Other excerpts in this magazine issue include Mark Twain - Boy and Man, Mark Twain as Speech Maker, The Many-Sided Mark Twain, Gleams of Mark Twain Humor, One Love of a Lifetime (Olivia Langdon, his wife) and tributes paid by Joseph Conrad, General Grant, Twain's physician, and Twain's daughter, Clara. I'll share some of these excerpts with you as time goes on.

Incidentally, I've been told Mark Twain once stayed in this "big" house of mine. While I have no documentation to back this up, it certainly is a fact that Twain visited Laura Hawkins (Frazer) at her house in 1902 for a dinner in his honor.


Dave Thomson said...

Hi Nora -

I'm a friend of Jim and Nancy
Talley's - I sent Jim some
photos of your house in the
days when Richard Cerretti
ran his photo studio there.
Jim should be forwarding
the jpg files to you soon.

I wanted to mention that the
Mentor photo on page 53 gave
that building the wrong identity and address. McDaniels' candy
store was next door and the
builing in the picture is The
Pilaster House at the corner
of Hill and Main, not Rock and
Main as indicated in the caption.
Mark Twain's father died on the
second floor of this building
in 1847. Fortunately it has been
preserved and part of the Mark Twain historic district.

I'm glad you're doing such intensive restoration, your
home must be very happy about it.

You ought to talk to Roberta Hagood
at Willow Care about the history
of that home and the neighborhood.
Roberta's late husband Hurley once told me about the circumstances of the death of the architect who designed the home.


Laura Resurrectors said...


Thank you so much for the info. We certainly do have friends in common.

I really should visit Roberta very soon. I'd be interested in knowing of the death concerning the architect. The original owner too had met with some unseemly circumstances which I'll share in a later entry.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Laura Resurrectors said...


Is there a preferred way I can get ahold of you? I'm wondering what's the best way to approach Roberta sometime next week.

Dave Thomson said...

Nora -

My "Hannibal" handle address:

Look forward to hearing from you!