A picture of a bear with a barrel, painted on a building at 323 N. Main St. — the logo of the former Hannibal Lime Co. — was painted by Bob Allen as part of the Hannibal bicentennial celebration.
This was the first of five pictures illustrating historic local businesses that Allen will paint during 2019 for Hannibal's bicentennial year. The next will be across North Main Street, where he will paint an old-fashioned lady's shoe. “It will represent a shoe retailer in the late 1800s,” Allen said.
He plans to later paint a grocery store that was at 200 N. Third, the current Hannibal Courier-Post location. “We are looking for a building for it,” Allen said.
Allen and fellow bicentennial committee member Jim Waddell selected the Hannibal Lime Co. logo as the first picture, after the building owner requested historic art.
The pictures will all be done in a minimum of three earth tones to look old, Allen said. “We want people to remember businesses that used to be here.”
The lime company bear picture was the logo that appeared on a customer's bill, he said.
A poster was found describing the Hannibal Lime Co. It states:
Hannibal Lime Co was organized in 1871 with the purpose of manufacturing, buying and selling lime, plaster and cement.
The quarry was located very near Bear Creek in the bluffs on the south edge of town, with a packing and shipping station in the valley near the tracks of the St. Louis and Hannibal Short Line Railroad.
Another facility, six miles west, White Bear, had three more kilns, two storage and packing sheds and a cooper shop (barrel maker). The lime barrels had a picture of a bear standing against a barrel.
Original directors were all northerners “Civil War union men.” 500 shares of stocks capitalized at $50,000 were acquired mostly by well to do lumber men, the dominate industry of that era. At its height, the business employed 200 people.
In 1901 Atlas Portland Cement Co. of Philadelphia opened south of town at Ilasco with 1,144 acres and thousands of employees. Atlas dwarfed the older lime company. Hannibal Lime continued to profit till it was sold in 1922.
Allen said Hannibal Lime was sold to Marblehead in 1922, which operated it until 1945. The Hannibal building later became a tavern.