During the 1870s, an extension from Oakwood to Hannibal, and a branch from New London to Perry, Missouri would both be surveyed.
These two extensions would finally be built in 1891 by the St. Louis, Hannibal and Kansas City Railway. They would be merged into the St. Louis and Hannibal Railway in 1893.
Despite connecting several small towns throughout the region, this is as much as the railroad would ever construct. In 1917, it was reorganized as the St. Louis and Hannibal Railroad.
The railroad was never profitable, and oftentimes found itself competing directly against paved roads, especially leading up to World War II.
The Great Depression was particularly hard on this railroad. To save the system, the southern end of the railroad would be abandoned in 1932. The entire portion from Bowling Green to Gilmore was abandoned in 1932.
One portion was saved, however. The segment between Troy and Moscow Mills was purchased by the St. Louis & Troy Railroad, and served until its abandonment in 1960.
The railroad saw a heavy demise in the World War II years. The Perry Branch would be abandoned in 1943 and the mainline would be abandoned the following year.
While not much is left of the railroad, the "Short Line" is still remembered for friendly serve and great management. One particular owner of interest was John Ringling, who also had circus assets at the time.
In 2017, little remains of the St. Louis & Hannibal. There are still some small pieces of infrastructure, such as bridges intact. However, little remains beyond this.
This historic stone arch bridge crosses Peno Creek in the town of Frankford.
It was built in 1890 by a local stonemason, Cornelius Foutes. It was abandoned in 1944, and has served as some sort of unofficial walking path since.
The bridge is in great condition for its age, and sees no real structural issues. The stones were placed without the use of grout, meaning they lock into place.
The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the historic nature of the bridge. The photo above is an overview.