Our Steeple Bell
Sometime in the early 1840's a passenger steamboat, the Chester, wrecked and sank in the river near St. Louis and her salvage sold at an auction in St. Louis. Dr. Tucker, pastor ofFirst Presbyterian Church from 1840 -1843, was at that auction and borrowed $30.00 from friends to buy the bell which he thought had a wonderful mellow tone. The bell arrived in Hannibal on a Saturday and it so excited the citizens of town that they immediately decided to install the bell in the belfry and it was in place and ringing by nightfall. After that, the "meeting house" was called "Old Ches'er." A drawing of that building can be seen on the history page.
"Old Ches'er" has been calling the faithful to worship in Hannibal for over 150 years. It still is rung each Sunday morning, and is also used to mark special events. During a recent church service we memorialized those members recently called to the Church Triumphant by tolling the bell once as each name was read.