Hannibal High School's first game of the 1907 football season began with a thumping by archrival, Quincy, Ill., on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 12, 1907.
The resulting game proved humiliating for Hannibal's team. The Quincy Daily Journal of Oct. 14, 1907, described the scene: “It was (Hannibal's) first game of the season and after the trouncing they received by (Quincy) they looked like they never wanted to see another football game. They submitted to the trouncing weakly and allowed the locals to walk all over them.”
To their defense, Hannibal started the game with a double disadvantage.
The game was to have been played on Hannibal's home turf – Settles Field – but muddy conditions at Hannibal triggered the game's move to Quincy's home field instead.
A second blow came in the form of the team's late arrival in Quincy, which subsequently delayed the game's expected 2 p.m. start time by an hour. Relying upon train service between Hannibal and Quincy, the team was at the mercy of delays on the rails.
When the game finally started at 3 p.m., Gem City got right to work. Quincy's captain, Grieser, broke away twice in the first half, earning 10 points, and Carl Kreitz kicked a successful field goal to bring the score to 11-0 at the half. Grieser and Kreitz each scored goals in the second half, added by Kreitz's successful kick, bringing the final score to 22-0.
Hannibal's lineup for the first game of the season was as follows: William A. Cable, center (Class of 1909) Charles Clayton, right guard (Class of 1908) Scott, left guard, Walter B. Weisenberger, right tackle (Class of 1908) Archie Earle Jasper Roberts, left tackle, Orlando Moore Friend, right end, Chester Steward, (Class of 1909) Joseph Elzea, quarterback, Norman William Raible, right half back (Class of 1908) William Raymond Tucker, left half back, and William H. Logan, captain, full back (Class of 1908)
On Oct. 19, 1907, Shelbina High School traveled to Hannibal. The Hannibal team was victorious, winning 11 to 0. Afterwards, the Shelbina boys were treated to a banquet, before boarding the train home.
Chaddock of Quincy came to Hannibal on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 1907. As humiliated as Hannibal had been during the game against QHS, they gave back to the smaller Quincy team in spades. Running up the score 39-0, the Quincy Daily Herald reported: “The Hannibal boys were out for victory yesterday and only regret that they did not play the Quincy High School instead of Chaddock.”
Hannibal returned to Shelbina for a late afternoon game on Friday, Nov. 1, 1907. The Shelbina Democrat of Nov. 6 reported: The game was played at the Fair ground's ballpark on a muddy field. The score was 22 to 0. The Shelbina team had practiced faithfully since their defeat at Hannibal two weeks previous and expected to put up a strong defense, but their left end was lamentably weak and Hannibal broke through time after time. On account of the very unfavorable weather the attendance at the game was small.”
Three victories in a row successfully pumped up Hannibal for what was coming next: A repeat matchup with Quincy scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9, at Hannibal's Smith Park.
Coach Morris Anderson – former standout player for the University of Missouri at Columbia – led the Hannibal boys through a series of regular signal work and scrimmage playing in preparation for the game against their rival Quincy.
It had been nine long years since Hannibal had been victorious against Quincy, and Anderson believed that this was the year to reverse the losing streak.
While Hannibal played a good game, their work was mostly defensive. Quincy scored but one goal, winning by a score of 5-0.
On Nov. 11, the Quincy Daily Journal reprinted the game recap previously published in the Hannibal Journal: “The game started at ten minutes after three, with Hannibal defending the south goal. Quincy kicked to Hannibal, who were held for downs, and Quincy gained possession of the ball. After a series of plays, they succeeded in getting the pig skin on Hannibal's four yard line, and Eaton was sent through the line for a touchdown.
“Raymond then missed goal, and the score stood 5 to 0 in favor of Quincy.
“The ball was then put in play in the center of the field. Again Quincy kicked to Hannibal, who defended the north goal. Hannibal was unable to make the required ten yards in three downs, and the ball was surrendered to Quincy. Here they worked the forward pass for a gain of twenty yards. Hannibal then held them for downs. With the ball once more in the local boys' possession, Logan punted and the ball was caught by a Quincy man, who was downed in his tracks. Quincy made fifteen yards on a series of line bucks, and Raymond then tried a drop kick for goal, but the ball was blocked by (Joseph) Elzea. With the ball again in Hannibal's possession, Logan again punted. Quincy gained possession of the ball, and the double forward pass was worked for a gain of thirty yards. With the ball on Hannibal's 3-yard line the boys played the game for all there was in it, and succeeded in keeping the Quincy team from making another touchdown. Logan punted the ball after it had been surrendered to the local team, and Quincy again tried the forward pass, but were penalized fifteen yards. With the ball near the center of the field, the time was called for the end of the first half.”
“The local boys started in the second half with vigor. They kicked to Quincy, who defended the south goal. Quincy tried the forward pass again, and were penalized fifteen yards for an offside play. Hannibal gained possession of the ball, and succeeded in advancing it to Quincy's 20-yard line, where they were held for downs. Quincy punted and succeeded in gaining possession of the ball on a fumble. They advanced the ball to Hannibal's 20-yard line, where they were held for downs. Here Hannibal used the short forward pass for a gain of 12 yards. They made the next ten yards on line bucks, but were unable to make the next three downs. Quincy gained possession of the ball, but were also held for downs.
“Hannibal then took the ball in their possession again and succeeded in gaining ten yards in three downs.
They then tried the short forward pass again but Ruble dropped the ball. Quincy could not gain the required ten yards in the three downs and the ball was surrendered to the local team.
“Tucker made a sensational run around the right end for twenty yards but before the ball could be put into play again time was called for the end of the second half, with the score 5 to 0 in favor of Quincy.
The punting of Raymond was one of the greatest features of the game.”
The Hannibal lineup consisted of:William A. Cable, center; Charles Clayton, right guard; Scott, left guard; Walter B. Weisenberger, right tackle; Archie Earl Jasper Roberts, left tackle; Orlando Moore Friend, right end, Joseph Elzea, quarter; Norman William Raible, right half back; William Raymond Tucker, left half back; William Logan, captain, full back. Harold Little served as linesman for the game.
Hannibal went on to finish the season on Nov. 28, 1907, with a matchup against Monroe City, winning 22-0.
Hannibal High School seniors played the last game of their high school careers:
• William H. Logan was the son of John Logan Jr., cofounder of the Bluff City Shoe Co., and Helen Helm Logan. Will attended the university at Columbia for a year, and later married Louise Cruikshank, daughter of J.J. Cruikshank. Logan first worked as a traveling salesman for Bluff City, and by 1917, he was sales manager. He and his family eventually moved to St. Louis, and Logan retired from Brown Shoe Co. He died June 3, 1962.
• Arch Al Carter, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Carter of Hannibal, served in France with the 89th Division during World War I, and was injured by shrapnel while serving in the Vosges Mountains. After the war he graduated from the American college of Osteopathy at Kirksville, Class of 1925. He practiced in Cainsville, Mo., and Gainesville, Texas. He died in March 1931 at Hannibal. His sister was Zelma Shelburne, well respected Hannibal educator.
• William Raymond Tucker was the son of William H. and Bessie Robinson Tucker. The elder Mr. Tucker was a passenger engineer on the Burlington Railroad, and died in 1906, when his son was in high school. William Raymond Tucker attended college for two years, and served in the Army during World War I. He moved to Detroit, Mich., where his mother joined him and lived until her death. He married Irene Harrington Dec. 5, 1950. He died May 9, 1975, at Manatee County, Fla.
• Norman William Raible followed in the footsteps of his parents, J.C. and Caroline Raible, and dedicated his life to the grocery business. Raible Grocery was located at 1240 Market Street, Hannibal. When he died, he was president of American Loan and Savings Association, and lived in his childhood home, at 2102 Chestnut. He never married. He died Aug. 19, 1960, and is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
• Clarence W. Dukes served during World War I, and later worked for the Civil Service at Homestead Air Force Base. He died Jan. 14, 1957 at Homestead, Fla. He was survived by his wife, Mathilda, and his father, William Dukes of Chicago.
• Walter Weisenburger started his career in newspaper work, at one time serving as editor of the Hannibal Journal. At the time of his death in 1947, he was living at Bronxville, N.Y., and was executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers. Prior to that he served as president of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce. He married his high school classmate, Gladys Hofbauer, and they are buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Hannibal.
• Charles Yancey Clayton graduated from the Missouri School of Mines in 1913, and spent his career as a professor of metallurgy at the same school. He was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George D. Clayton Sr. of Hannibal. He died June 27, 1948.
• Team member Joe Elzea started the season with Hannibal. His mother, Mary E. Elzea, was the proprietor of the Marion House, 162 Market, and his father, Lloyd, operated at livery stable at 212-216 Center. Lloyd Elzea died circa 1902.
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 building blocks for this region's foundation. Her collective works can be found at www.maryloumontgomery.com