Tag Archives: Southern Hotel

This week in history: March 6‑March 13

In 19th cen­tu­ry St. Louis, the South­ern Hotel was the largest and arguably the grand­est hotel.  Locat­ed at 4th and Wal­nut, it was cer­tain­ly the place to be, as well as being one of the last busi­ness ven­tures for its own­er Robert Camp­bell.  How­ev­er, a fire destroyed the hotel in 1877.  It was rebuilt, but Robert passed away before he could see the hotel reopen in 1881.  The South­ern Hotel con­tin­ued to be a well known St. Louis land­mark until it closed down in 1912.  It was torn down in 1933, a great loss of St. Louis archi­tec­ture and his­to­ry.  Today we post a reminder of that his­to­ry.  On March 13, 1879, just a few months before Robert’s death, J.M. Ran­dell writes from DC to tell Camp­bell about his meet­ing with poten­tial investors for the hotel.  We hope you enjoy this reminder of a lost piece of St. Louis.

Bres­lin & Cooke, Proprietors,
Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Col Robert Campbell
15th & Lucas Place
St Louis Mo

[Back of Envelope]
10:30 AM

Willard’s Hotel.
Bres­lin & Cooke, Proprietors
Wash­ing­ton, D.C. March 12th 1879

Col Robert Campbell
My Dear Sir
I received this morn­ing a note Thomas Allen Esq Pres­i­dent of Iron Moun­tain RR ask­ing my  views regard­ing plans for South­ern Hotel which he desires for his own pri­vate infor­ma­tion  I endorsed the Bar­net Plan sub­ject to  some improve­ments  I regret I am not in St. Louis to help this  mat­ter along, believ­ing I could explain to Mr Allen much bet­ter  than I can by writ­ing  I received the Old Plans with Bres­lin a  few moments since and have sug­gest­ed a change of loca­tion of the  Ladies Ordi­nary which will make a most perfect

[Pg. Break] Build­ing. This inquiry of Mr Allen looks as if the  South­ern will be rebuilt  I sin­cere­ly hope it which will relieve  you of much annoy­ance and expense

By the head­ing on next page you will see our present  loca­tion enjoy­ing sun­shine where we expect to remain for one week longer. We hope you and your fam­i­ly are all well.  I sup­pose I  need not add if there [spelled their] is any thing going on that  my ser­vices could be made use­ful [spelled use­full] to you that  you have but to com­mand and I obey

Let me know how you are all and when I may expect to see you.

Mrs R joins [spelled joines] me in love and regards to  self Mrs C and the young gentleman
Tru­ly Yours
J M Randell
Regards to Mr Hugh and family

[2nd let­ter]

Willard’s Hotel.
Bres­lin & Cooke, Proprietors
Wash­ing­ton, D.C. March 13th 1879

Col Robert Campbell
My Dear Sir
Since writ­ing you  yes­ter­day I have received yours of 9th for­ward­ed from New York  and have antic­i­pat­ed its con­tents  On my return to New York I  will stop over in Philadel­phia to see Kings­ley of the Con­ti­nen­tal and talk South­ern Hotel as I learn he is not mak­ing mon­ey at the Con­ti­nen­tal and has plen­ty of means and might be like­ly to take hold of such an enter­prise  I shall sound him at all events. I  have a friend prepar­ing the way for my coming

I am glad to hear you are all so well and wish you were  here with us to enjoy the sun shine and splen­did weath­er of  Wash­ing­ton  All join me in regard to self Madam and the young  gen­tle­man   Hop­ing to see you soon
I am Tru­ly Yours
J M Randell