Compendium of history and biography of Linn County, Missouri

The “Compendium of history and biography of Linn County, Missouri”, written by H. Taylor & Co. out of Chicago in 1912 is a biography of Linn County, and it’s over 700 pages long! There’s plenty about Marceline in it, and it’s available as a downloadable – AND SEARCHABLE – PDF on the Library of Congress website at

“At the time of Marceline’s beginning, Linn county had adopted what is known as the Local Option law and no licensed saloons were in operation in the county. The Lake street business district was soon doing a thriving business with *’speakeasys,” as the places were known, where liquors were illegally and surreptitiously sold and along with them were the gambling dives and dance halls, all more or less open and operating in violation of law. Many prosecutions resulted, with but few convictions, and a condition of lawlessness prevailed. A number of murders resulted from drunken brawls, fights were frequent, and in 1891 the citizens of the county returned to the license system and saloons were opened in Marceline.”

“In the meantime the business district had again changed and Kansas avenue from Ritchie street south to Gracia became, and has ever since remained, the commercial center of the town. On Kansas avenue, on either side of Howell street, within this new district, are now located the two banking institutions of the city, the First National Bank of Marceline, with deposits of $325,000, and the Marceline State Bank, with deposits of $100,000. These banking houses are the outgrowth of the Bank of Marceline and the Santa Fe Exchange Bank, which, in 1896, showed combined deposits of $36,000.”

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