Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Hill Kansas, First Hotel.

Although this page is on Spring Hill my main focus will be on the old hotel.  Those of you who been to my site before know how I like old buildings and old pictures.  So when I ran across this picture I couldn't pass it up.

The first settler in the township was James B. Hovey, who arrived at the present location of the town in March, 1857. About two weeks afterward, William Mavity arrived, and settled where the railroad depot now is. Immediately afterward, S. B. Myrick and E. F. Davis came in and took up the adjoining claims. J. B. Hovey and E. F. Davis became associated in holding the town site. The survey was made May 18, 1857, and the town named by Mr. Hovey, after Spring Hill near Mobile, Ala., a town considered by him one of the most beautiful he had ever seen. It was Mr. Hovey's opinion that Spring Hill, Kan., might be made to fully rival in beauty the older town in Alabama.

In the fall, Mr. Davis sold his interest in the town site to A. B. Simmons, William A. Jenkinson, and J. P. Lockey, and Mr. Hovey sold a portion of his interest to H. E. Brown, James McKoin, and Edwin Walker. In January, 1858, a town company was organized of the above named persons, J. B. Hovey elected President, and A. B. Simmons, Secretary.

The first farmer in the township was George Sprague, whose farm adjoins the north half of the town on the east. Mr. Sprague made the first improvements in the township, building the first good board fence, the first good barn, and the first good two-story frame dwelling. Mr. Sprague settled here in 1857. Quite a large number of others came into the settlement the same fall, among them, D. F. Dayton, James Sweeting, B. H. Stiles, W. G. Davidson, David Sprong, Hiram Mitchell, J. H. Jackson, Thomas Jenkinson, William Sowers, and W. R. Rutter.

The first building in the town was known as the Spring Hill Hotel, built by J. B. Hovey, in the summer of 1857. The postoffice was established in the fall, J. B. Hovey being appointed the first Postmaster.

The postoffic was establish on September 9, 1857.

In the spring of 1858, A. D. Richardson bought an interest in the town, being admitted on the same footing as if he had been an original member. During the same spring, the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, a building erected which served the purposes of church and schoolhouse, and Rev. Richard P. Duvall became the first resident minister, L. B. Dennis the first presiding elder.

The first store was opened by W. G. Davidson, in the winter of 1857-58, the second in 1860, by a Mr. Prunty.

The first building in town was the hotel-house own by James B. Hovey, at the northeast corner of the public square.  A two-story frame known as the Spring Hill Hotel.  It was 30x40 and stood on one of the highest points in towm.

In 1874, James B. Hovey, wrote a letter and had this to say about his home in Spring Hill; "My house was used as a Hotel, Postoffice, Justice's office, Voting, Public mettings, Preaching, and just before the war for a store and stage stand. 

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