After the railroad was built in 1868, two hotels were built near it.
Peter Gisler’s Railroad Hotel was just north on Walnut. (Today, it’s the Rail Shake Brewery at 504 Walnut. The original hotel had been three stories, but when the third floor and roof burned, the hotel was remodeled and the third story was removed.)
The second hotel near the new depot. It was called the Hotel Zimmermann and was run by Jacob Zimmermann Sr. This hotel was later called the Western Hotel and was on the south side of 6th Street, between Walnut and Laurel.
It was on Lots 3 and 4 of Block 49 and also Lot 71, which is located at the northeast corner of that addition. It was in the first addition to Highland, made by Bernhard Suppiger, laying south of the railroad tracks.
Never miss a local story.
Thanks to Kathy at Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library. The library has both books of abstracts of the Village of Highland, No. 1 and No. 2. Book No. 2 just goes to 1901. It shows that “Francise” Zopf, purchased these two lots, and the front lot, in November 1865. A later reference says “Franzes Zopf and husband” sold these three lots in March 2, 1867 to Charles Hammer.
There is no mention in the abstract book about Jacob Zimmermann Sr. So did Charles Hammer build the hotel for Zimmermann?
Charles Hammer and his wife sold the hotel building in 1885 to August Junod, who had a store on the northeast corner of the Square (now Broadway Battery & Tire, runs by Dennis Bellm).
In October 1889, the hotel building was sold to John Guggenbuehler, who had sold his Jefferson Brewery and was listed as a bar tender. Guggenbuehler sold the hotel building to the Highland Brewery Co. on November 1891. (The Highland Brewing Co. also purchased my grandfather’s, John Willman, East End Hotel and Saloon in Alhambra in 1891. They also purchased many other saloons in Highland and held them until after the Prohibition Act was passed in 1918.)
The next information about the Western Hotel is from the Good Old Days column photo in 1963, showing the Western Hotel, by Emil Mohrman in 1912. The sign at the door reads “Highland Beer”.
The next information I have, from the 1940s, is that Leo Stoecklin owned the building and changed it to the Harmony Apartments. Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Boeschenstein were running the saloon at that time.
In 1946, Grace Schrumpf Giffhorn converted the tavern into into a grocery store. She and her sister, Hilda Schrumpf, operated it until Grace’s husband, Pete, came home from the service. They sold the grocery business in December 1948 to Eugene Remmert and Bernice Marti Remmert. The Remmerts sold to Lester Voegele on Nov. 1, 1953.
My column of May 1, 2014 covered the Western Hotel.
Here’s what I had then: “The Hotel Zimmermann of Highland was built just before the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terra Haute Railroad was completed in July of 1868. The hotel was managed by Jacob Zimmermann Sr., and in the late 1880s was sold to Henry Utzinger.
“The Henry Utzinger family came from New Berlin, Ill., and had moved to Highland in 1886, when Henry purchased the Joseph Speckart Butcher Market, at Main and Pine. (I do not have this date. Did he have the Meat Market & Hotel at the same time?)”
I didn’t know, because I had no information for a space in time between when Jacob Zimmermann sold his hotel and the hotel started being operated by Henry Utzinger.
However, I purchased some old Madison County Fair books somewhere that were terrible shape, including the 1898 book, which was almost scrapped, but some of the advertisements, which I saved. One of them had the information that I was looking for.
An ad in the 1898 book said that John Schwarz and Reinhard Schaub were operating the Western Hotel and Stalls.
So, the answer to the question I posed was, “Yes. Schwarz and Schaub were running the Western Hotel, and Henry Utzinger was running the meat market, that was formerly owned by Joseph Speckart.”
The following paragraph was information that was in the Sesquicentennial book in 1987, Page 45 and 46, written by Charles Utzinger’s daughter Vesta Utzinger Silver of California.
“Henry changed the name to H. Utzinger Western Hotel. Henry, in 1904, sold this hotel to his son Charles Utzinger. Just two years later, Charles Utzinger died, leaving his widow, Ella, and a year-old-daughter, Vesta. Mrs. Ella Utzinger managed the hotel for just two years and then sold.”
Thanks to her daughter, Vesta Utzinger Silver of California for her information in the Sesquicentennial Book.
I can’t find who Mrs. Utzinger sold to, but later, the Western Hotel was shut down and turned into the Harmony Apartments.
Still later, the late Al Wellen purchased the old hotel/apartments from the Leo Stoecklin estate, had them torn down, and built his Maytag washer service and coin operated laundry, on that corner. Today, it’s were NAPA McKay Auto Parts is located, 820 6th St.