Hanibal's greatest son is dead and many of the city's older residents who have long been proud to tell of their acquaintance with "Mark Twain" or "Sam Clemens" now mourn the loss of a personal friend with whom they chummed and played when a mischevious, fun loving lad; watched with wonder and admiration when the world proclaimed him great, laughed as he portrayed the scenes and incidents of his Hannibal life, to add to his fame; and whom they knew did not forget them when, smiling amid honors, praise, and the comforts of life, he slipped into the life to come. He moved from Hannibal; now he has moved again; but while in other cities he is mourned as a humorist, and writer, he is remembered as the kindhearted fun-loving American boy of years gone by, the playmate and sweetheart who was destined to be great and no more realized it than the friends with whom he played and who are now gray-haired men and women.
Everywhere are heard expressions of the personal loan felt by his old friends of whom there are probably more in Hannibal than any other city, and in some fashion the city he called "home" so long and which he has immortalized in the stories of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin, will attempt to do honor to his memory. Mayor Dreyer has signified his intention of issuing a proclamation asking all business houses to be closed on the day of the Twain funeral and the directors of the Commercial club will meet this afternoon to arrange the details of a memorial service that will doubtless be addressed by many of Twain's old friends. Immediately on receipt of the new of the death last evening Secretary Roy of the club sent the following telegram to Redding, Conn.
Hannibal, Mo., April 21, 1910,
MRS. OSSIP GABRILOWITCH,
NEE CLARA CLEMENS,
All citizens of Hannibal extend to you their sympathy (text missing) your great loss in the death of your illustrious father and their most distinguished fellow citizen.
It is their earnest (text missing) that his remains be laid to rest (text missing), his native city, on the banks (text missing) Mississippi river, where other members of your family who have (text missing) may occupy the same tomb, (text missing) beautiful Mr. Olive cemetery where his mother and father and brothers are buried.
SIDNEY J. ROY,
Secretary Commercial Club.
No reply has as yet been received but Mr. Roy regards it as quite probable that the great humorist would be buried by the side of his parents on one of the beautiful bluffs he made famous.
Old days and old times of the 40's, 50's and 60's came flooding back on the "old timers" who did not need to be asked to talk of Mark Twain today and there were many anecdotes told of his early life in Hannibal.
"Mark Twain," while fighting off death, took new hope in the knowledge that a great many of his boyhood companions were still in the land of the living, and that most of them were as "spry" as ever.
They would resent the imputation that they were "old," and yet some of them have considerable advantage of "Sam"--(text missing) "young" fellows who stole watermelons and went swimming with (text missing) never called him "Mark Twain"--in point of years. Dr. James Burket Brown, who has been several times mayor of Hannibal, and who went to school with Sam in the old log house in what is now "the park," was born in Virginia in 1829, and has been a Hannibal citizen since 1832, three years before "Mark Twain" was born.
Joe Tisdale, "cigar maker to 'Mark Twain,'" as they call him, is about Sam's age. He take a long walk over the hills, every morning, without coat or gloves, and enjoys himself as well as when he and Sam used to tie cats across the door knob of the little Methodist church.
A. (text missing) Huser was born January 9, 1833. He is now the efficient overseer of the poor for Hannibal and was one of the humorist's intimate boyhood companions. A. R. Levering, president of the Farmers' and Merchants' bank. Hannibal, is not quite as old as was "Mark Twain," being only 70, but he went in Sam's crowd and remembers him well. Mr. Levering never loses a day from business and is regarded as one of the safest financial men of the town.
Smeared Self With Ink.
Major Frank M. Daulton, an exile in Arkansas, was born in Ralis county, Missouri, May 27, 18(text missing). He set type in the office of Hannibal Courier, where Sam Clemens worked, and says what he remembers most distinctly about his fellow printer is that he could get more ink and grease on him for the amount of work he did than any other man in the shop. Major Daulton gets his title by four years' services in General Price='s army. He is now editor of the Clay County Newsboy.
George A. Mahan, although of a latter generation, was always a great admirer of the white haired humorist. He as a member of the reception committee on Mr. Clemens' last visit to Hannibal, and became more interested in Mark Twain himself than his books.
"I hope Mr. Clemens will recover," was the remark made by Hon. George A. Mahan several days ago. "There's nothing that would be of greater benefit to him, according to my way of looking at it, than to make another journey to Missouri and 'hob-nob' with all these 'young fellows' he used to run with as a boy. He'll find plenty of them yet in the land of the living, and the sight of them will do him more good than all the prescriptions his doctors can think up for him.
"What was really the matter with Clemens is homesickness. If you're going to write anything about him I wish you'd suggest that he could find here rattling good material for another book. It could be written from a different perspective, through eyes which have seen a world of experience since he lived here, and it might prove to be the most interesting thing he has ever done. The same characters are here, grown up, but of equal interest as in their younger days, and all eager to tell him of their fortunes along the journey of life. A new Missouri story by Mark Twain would be the best seller on the market."