National Hotel

From Bloomingpedia

The National Hotel was a large and fine hotel located on the eastern half of the 6th Washington 5th Walnut Block.

At some point near the end of the Civil War, Alex Sutherland had been the proprietor, but the hotel seemed to change hands every few years.

In 1870, Charles Showers was the proprietor. He had purchased the hotel from James W. Cookerly, but late that same year sold it to Lawson McKinney. In 1872 McKinney traded his interest in the hotel to E.T. Taylor for a house in town and a farm, but the following spring the hotel burned to the ground. Taylor committed suicide.

In 1875 it appears to have been reopened by a Mr. Hodges, and in 1883, the landlord was Leroy Sanders.

William McCoy purchased the hotel in 1885 from a Mr. Guyman of Indianapolis.

In 1895 a consortium headed by the Showers Brothers took possession. John Waldron, W.J. Allen, and T.E. Lawes were also involved. Lawes was the primary manager of the hotel.

That year, the main building was expanded out to Washington Street with a full-length porch, and a mansard roof was added. A tiled floor was added to the office, with reading rooms and steam heat. The hotel boasted bathrooms with hot and cold running water.

The next year, the hotel passed out of the control of Lawes to the Gentry Brothers, and Theodore Treadway took over management, but in the summer of 1898 the hotel suspended business, throwing 15 people out of employment. It may have re-opened that August.

In 1905 Gentry sold the hotel to Edward Showers for $8,500. Showers apparently did some remodelling but quickly sold to lawyers Henry Duncan and Ira Batman for $10,000. The two planned further remodelling.