Wentworth Hotel

Wentworth Hotel

Hotels of the 1800’s were called ‘Town Houses’. They would often house settlers who had traveled to town with horse and wagon for supplies. Because it was usually a long trip to town an overnight stay would become necessary.
Rates were:
         Rooms    $1.00 per night
         Bath       $0.35 with hot water
         Bath       $0.25 with cold water
         Meals     $0.15 and $0.20

Other odd jobs could have been done for the guests, who were usually men. These included laundry, ironing and patching of clothes. There team of animals, usually horses would spend the night at the local livery stable.
Rates there ran as such:
         Fed Hay    $0.10
         Grain        $0.10
         Curried     $0.05

The rooms were nicely furnished with a kerosene lamp, coal stove and the Bible. The stove was small (18 inches in diameter and 8 feet tall) but heated the rooms nicely.

The residents often played card games together to pass the time.

The town of Wentworth was named after an early settler George Wentworth. Nell Wentworth’s, George’s son, quarter of land is where the town was built up off of. The railroad of Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul was built in 1880-1881 and the town was built up around it. December of 1881 Charles Kennedy of Madison surveyed the town. It was now officially a town.

The town of Wentworth was named after an early settler George Wentworth. Nell Wentworth’s, George’s son, quarter of land is where the town was built up off of. The railroad of Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul was built in 1880-1881 and the town was built up around it. December of 1881 Charles Kennedy of Madison surveyed the town. It was now officially a town.

It was difficult winter in 1880-1881 with little supplies that could get through. The floods came in the spring and after the railroad was repaired trains with supplies started to come. The first building in town was a dugout ‘lean-to’ that Mr. Adams made into a grocery store. The first lumber load was in May 27th of 1881 and was used to build the Birdsell Hotel (known here as the Wentworth Hotel). The Birdsell Hotel was 2 stories high and 18 x 26 feet. An addition of 8 x 14 feet was added later. In one of the earliest pictures taken of Wentworth the hotel is shown. The picture indicated that the third floor was indeed just a cupalo. Another early development to the town was the Filsinger Saloon. The picture showed that is was next to the hotel.
Next to the school buildings the hotel was a large social area for a town. Wentworth was lucky to have such a place. It attracted visitors from all over and of all kinds of people. These included salesmen, farmers, travelers, pioneers, and anyone else looking for a bed at night.

One of the last managers to run the place was Mrs. Hawkins. A former resident of Madison, Mrs. Susie Thompson Vickers, used to give piano lessons at the hotel twice a week. She would ride the 8 am freight train and catch the 3 pm passenger home.

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