More Hotel History

Yesterday, our blog, Just What Went on at the Wagner Hotel?, told some stories about the Wagner Hotel which was once located in Altenburg, Missouri.  Today, we will look at a few more stories involving that establishment.

We mentioned yesterday that Gustave Wagner and his wife, Theresa, first ran the hotel.  For a while, Gustave, who was also a butcher by trade, ran a livery stable at the hotel.  This part of the business is described on this advertisement for the hotel in 1898.

Wagner Hotel ad

There was definitely a need for a livery and feed store in those days as is evident from this photo of Main Street in Altenburg prior to 1900.

EPSON MFP image
Main Street – Altenburg

One publication stated the following about the hotel:

“Long before the coming of the railroad in 1904, the Hotel Wagner was famous up and down the Mississippi river for its luscious “home cooked” meals.  Traveling was done entirely by river in those days, and the steamboat was at the peak of its importance.  Many of the passengers were representatives commonly known as “drummers” who made the Wagner Hotel their headquarters.”

We have an exhibit at the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum which highlights some of the “home cooking” for which East Perry County is famous.  It includes a photo of the hotel as well as a photo of Theresa (Palisch) Wagner.

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Hotel Exhibit at Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum

Back in those days, a hotel was probably run more like today’s bed and breakfasts where the patrons would be served food as part of the rate they were charged for staying there.  The livery stable would be comparable to a present-day rental car business where someone could rent a horse and buggy to use while conducting business in the area.

Another story was told by Robert Fiehler involving Theresa Wagner.  She reportedly had a reputation for butchering stock faster than anybody.  One time a person came to her wanting a dime’s worth of liver.  The hefty lady said it would be a minute or two and went out back.  There she applied a strong blow with a wooden mallet to a cow tied to a fence post and within a short time had some very fresh liver for the customer.

As was also mentioned yesterday, Dr. G.B. Schulz (that is how his name is spelled on the sign in front of the hotel) operated his practice from the hotel.  Here is an ad from a publication known as The Great Southwest.

Dr. Schulz ad

His name is spelled differently in this ad.  I cannot resist making a snide comment about this ad.  Certainly a doctor in today’s day and age would never claim that their specialty was in the area of Female Complaints…..as if any male could EVER be an expert in handling female complaints with any degree of success.

The building which once was the Wagner Hotel was torn down in 1962.  Here is a photo of the building which was probably taken sometime in the 1940’s.  It is the first house shown on the right.

Wagner hotel and Kasten Chev dealership

This photo shows a location just a short distance down the road from where the Main Street photo from before 1900 was taken.  A few of the houses shown in the background can still be found in Altenburg today.


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