1819 Founding of Hannibal, Abraham Bird was the purchaser of the first claim that marked the beginning of Hannibal. The claim was located at the mouth of Bear creek on the Mississippi River.
1824 Land office opens in Palmyra, fifth largest in the state. It operated until August 23, 1858 and in its peak year showed sales of 753, 650.78 acres valued at $942,105.11
1831 Samuel Stone put in operation the first ferry at Hannibal.
1831 Marion College is incorporated and was the first chartered college in Missouri.
1833 Beginning of Marion College, William Muldrow obtained funding to begin college.
1839 On August 3rd, Jacob Sosey publishes the first of the Missouri Whig and General Advertiser.
1841 Trial of 3 unsuccessful slave liberators began in the Palmyra circuit court. Alanson Work, James E. Burr, and George Thompson tried to persuade slaves to go to Illinois and then to Canada. After the men were found guilty and sent to prison, they eventually obtained pardons and all were freed by 1846.
1841 Hannibal Journal newspaper established
1842 Marion College is purchased by Masonic Grand lodge of Hannibal and moved to Lexington.
1845 The Missouri legislature chartered the Hannibal public library.
1845 The Missouri Courier newspaper is established
1847 On February 16, the missouri general assembly incorporated the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad. The new road was the first to cross the state beginning at Hannibal and ending in St. Joseph.
1851 Breaking of ground at Hannibal for the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad.
1862 Postmaster General Montgomery Blair ordered the separation, distribution and bagging of the overland mail to be performed on the cars of the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad, July 7, 1862. Arrangements were made and the first postal car in the history of the United States mail was constructed in the shops of the railroad In Hannibal. July 28 it began operating in Missouri.
1862 Palmyra Massacre, Union soldiers executed 10 Confederate prisoners at Palmyra in retaliation for the abduction of Andrew Allsman.
1878 Telephone exchange was founded in Hannibal and reported as the first in Missouri and second in the world.
1887 The first city-owned light and power plant is established by the city of Hannibal.
1889 Hannibal Public Library became the first free, tax-supported library in Missouri.
1896 When not in public life, William Henry Hatch lived at “Strawberry Hill”, his improved farm of 116 acres near Hannibal, where he took a deep interest in breeding fine herds of Jersey cattle, flocks of Southdown sheep, and strings of purebred Kentucky trotting horses. Here he died, December 23, 1896. A statute of Hatch, erected in 1915, stands in the city park in Hannibal. In 1923 his daughter, Sarah Rhodes Hatch, on her death bequeathed “Strawberry Hill” to the State in memory of her father. The farm, now called the Hatch dairy experiment station, is operated jointly by the dairy husbandry department of the University of Missouri college of agriculture and the bureau of dairy industry of the United States department of agriculture
1912 George A. Mahan purchased the old Mark Twain boyhood home and donated it to the city of Hannibal.
1918 George A. Mahan built a home for children and old people and presented it to Hannibal.
1925 George A. Mahan, trustee and officer of the State Historical Society of Missouri, erected 29 historical markers on Highway 36 and 4 on Highway 61. Eight of the 19 markers memorialized Mark Twain’s literary characters and boyhood sites.
1926 George A. Mahan presented statue of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn to Hannibal.
1929 Hannibal LaGrange College opens