72
      Wednesday
      90 / 70
      Thursday
      92 / 70
      Friday
      91 / 72

      Martha Tolton's story comes to life

      Father Augustus Tolton is on the path to sainthood, but it's his mother, Martha Tolton, who was honored Saturday.

      A handful of people showed up to Hannibal Free Public Library to watch Martha's story come to life.

      Father Tolton is well-known for being the first African American Catholic priest.

      Tolton lived as a slave before escaping from Missouri to Illinois and then studying at a seminary in Rome.

      His mother, Martha Tolton crossed the Mississippi into the Quincy area with him.

      Despite her role in Father Tolton's life, there is very little information about her history.

      Mettazee Morris was inspired to develop and act out a script depicting what Martha's life must have been like.

      "When this was first presented to me I was really inspired by Martha's strength and it really reminded me of the strength my grandmother had with 13 children all in the south. I just thought it was a very inspiring story," Morris said.

      Morris searched through records of Father Tolton's history to find references to Martha.

      She combined that information with her own experiences to develop the act.

      Morris has another performance planned in Quincy this February.