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HAMILTON'S FIRST BUILDING

Narrator: Joseph Davis, 77, of Hamilton and Others

Mr. Davis is the first white child born in Hamilton, having been born June 13, 1856 in the first house erected in Hamilton. This was the old Davis Hotel or Lone Star Hotel, built by his father Capt. Albert G. Davis in the summer 1855. It was a two-story frame on lot 2 block 21 east side of Davis (Main). It had a frontage of 22 feet, and the lot is the north half of the Chet Martin store site.

For some months it was the only house between Richmond and Gallatin, and was a landmark to travelers along the pioneer road. It was intended as a residence for the Davis family but became a hotel by necessity to accommodate transients who came by stage or horse to look around and stay all night. The pine timber cost $70 per thousand feet, shipped from St. Louis up the Missouri river to Camden, Ray county and from there by ox teams to Hamilton.

It was finished by October 1855, and probably gave meals to those attending the first sale of lots. His family did not come up from Mirabile till April 1856. His three youngest children were born there and two children died there. The building cost $1000 when finished. The only town well was on the premises.

In 1858 Davis sold it on time to Joseph Elliott and he to Jacob Brosius and he to Perry Claypool, whose hotel Claypool House became well known. While the Claypools were there Dr. Tuttle had a suite of rooms for a doctor's office on the second floor. A.G. Davis seems to be the owner again by January 1876 for in his rent books, he speaks of $3 a month rent from Mrs. Mattie White and $2.50 rent from Dr. G.W. Tuttle for rooms there.

In 1875 E.H. Bishop had his drug laboratory in the building. By 1878 the Grange (Farmers Store) was there under M.S. Kellogg until 1879. Then A.J. Rhodus had it a few months as a general dry goods store, Dr. King being the owner.

George Rogers was the next owner. In the eighties Rogers and Wyatt had a real estate office above and a gallon store on the north room. In May 1887, it caught fire while occupied in the south room by Rush McKenzie baker - the fire being put [out] with some damage. In October 1891 it was burnt so badly that it was torn down.

Then Mr. Roger sold the lot (22 feet) to C.A. Martin for $1300, when the Martin brick was built. With the passing of time changes became so rapid in the building that Mr. Davis can not recall all who used the building for a place of business.

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998