|About Yours Truly, Hannibal Trout !
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This website focuses on the descendants of Samuel Stoner and Sarah Lina Norris Stoner. It also
features information on their ancestors. The webmaster, Ed Stoner, is one of their many great
By now, you have probably noticed that the name of this site is "Yours Truly, Hannibal Trout!" As
it turns out, however, we do not have a relative by the name of Hannibal Trout. He is, however, a
According to family lore, there was a politician in Montgomery County, Indiana, by the name of
Hannibal Trout. While he may have been a good politician, he was not much of a church goer.
This, however, did not stop him from seeking the votes of strict members of the Church of the
Brethren like Samuel and Lina Stoner.
One day, Hannibal Trout was talking to potential voters around Ladoga and found himself being
welcomed at the Stoner farm at dinner time. They gave Mr. Trout the honor of asking the blessing.
Now, praying was not something that Hannibal Trout had experienced much in his lifetime. But,
pray he did. He thanked God for Everything, and at length. But, when he got to the end, he did
not know how to end the prayer. So, he paused. He took a deep breath. And, he started all over
again! He repeated the whole prayer. He even thanked God for a few items he had overlooked in his
first rendition. But then the end of the prayer arrived again. Once again, Hannibal Trout did
not know how to end the prayer.
He paused. He took a deep breath. Just about when everyone was afraid he would start the prayer
all over for a third time, he came up with his own ending, saying to the Lord, "Yours Truly,
I do not know if he got any votes that day! The story about how Hannibal Trout finally ended his
prayer, however, became one of Samuel Stoner's favorites.
Whenever he did not know what to do next, he would laugh and say, "Yours Truly, Hannibal Trout!"
It is, we say, a "Ladoga Legend."
Many other stories are reflected in the family histories written by Sarah Lina Norris Stoner
("Songs of Home")(1945), Vera Barnhart Stoner ("Our Stoner Family")(1965) and Norris Eugene Stoner
("Our Stoner Family 1732-1991")(1992). There is even a book, published at www.blurb.com,
called "Ladoga Legends" with even more such stories from Norris Eugene Stoner. This website, we
hope, will spur your interest!
Or, at least, when you think of the name of our website, it will make you smile!
Yours Truly, Hannibal Trout!