Letter to the Editor

Hotel's role

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dear Editor,

Isn’t it interesting how history will reveal itself to those who search for it?

On page three of your “Memories” book, recently published by the Gazette, there is a wonderful view of McCook mainstreet. On the left-hand side of that photo is the “Commercial Hotel.”

It was, unwittingly, Indianola’s contribution to McCook’s history.

Few people are aware that the first hotel in Red Willow County was built during the summer of 1873.

It was one of three buildings on the townside and called the “Indianola House,” a structure 16 by 24 feet. When the railroad came through in 1880, a much larger hotel was constructed.

With the founding of McCook and the extension of the railroad to that place, the owners of this new building (Jones and McGee of Red Cloud) sold it to Bryan Churchill of Atwood, who, in turn, decided both he and his hotel would move to McCook.

Sound hard to believe? I think so.

According to the Tribune of June 8, 1882, the Indianola House was to be “cut into sections” and shipped by rail to McCook, “put up on lots 7, 8 and 9 of Block 15.

It was dubbed the ‘Churchill House.’”

Isn’t that a story? There are lots of them. Thanks for the space.

James J. Sughroue


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