It seems that Hannifin, 18 at the time, and some of his friends were in Lowman playing cards around a campfire, John got up to change places with one of the other men to “change his luck.” It did. His movement caused a Lugar automatic he was carrying to accidentally discharge, sending a bullet through his right thigh and into his left leg where it lodged in his calf muscle.
His friends drove Hannifin at a hard pace all night to Idaho City where they were met by a doctor from Boise. Dr. Tukey was quoted as saying the mad dash from Lowman, 52 miles away, saved Hannifin from septicemia.
The next mention was five years later. No violence was involved. This was a love story.
This time the headline announced, “Bride of Boise Man was Nurse in Scotland.” Bella Mumm lived in Greenock, Scotland where she volunteered as an assistant to Red Cross nurses treating the casualties of WWI. But the romance took place in Seattle, where she and John Hannifin met. She had been visiting her brother in Canada and made a short trip to Seattle. Why Hannifin was in Seattle was never stated. The important thing was that they fell in love and she came to Boise later to be his bride.
The third mention of Hannifin was in an ad for a cigar store in 1926. John Hannifin hadn’t been missing for 10 years, he just hadn’t made much news. He had been working at the Salmon Cigar Store “Kitty Corner from the Owyhee Hotel” since it opened in 1908. When Edmund Salmon died in 1922, Hannifin took over. It became a Boise institution, selling cigars, pipe tobacco, beer, soda, comic books, and “gentlemen’s magazines.” The Hannifin family owned the place until the late 1960s. The store retained the name until it finally closed in 2019. John Hannifin died at age 87 in 1980.
The building where Hannifins was housed is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Boise, constructed in 1897. It was originally part of the Beckworth Building, home to a grocer, a hardware store, and a clothing store. The building where Hannifin’s was located for all those years is one of several in the Lower Main Street Commercial Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, Hannifin’s looks much the same on the outside of the building. Ryan Salamon, the barber who renovated the building for his new shop, kept many historic touches including the cast iron stove in the middle of the building. The Hannifin’s sign once above the front door is now displayed inside of the Belmont Barber Shop.