In 1823 the land where the New Southern stands was deeded to James Greer.At that time Mr Greer built his family
home. In 1862 the house was taken over by Marsh of the 11th
Illinois as their headquarters. After the war Mr. Ben Gates purchase the property and operated it as a boarding house/hotel until 1870.
In 1870 Mr W.D. Robinson added to the structure making more rooms for boarders. He remained in business until 1874.
Mrs. Mary Trimmer began her time renaming the structure “The Trimmer House.”
The next owner was Capt.James Bright purchased the boarding house remodeling from the inside out. Gone was the wooden structure replaced by brick and all the rooms were “modernized”for boarders and hotel guest.
In 1884 “the lady” Mrs.J. H.Day purchased the building.
She renamed it the Southern Hotel creating a new dining area and an atmosphere of elegance. The guest and many of the community clubs made the Southern their meeting place of choice.
Mrs Day also introduce “High Tea” to ladies of Madison Co.and guests of the Southern Hotel. Oh yes there was a “club” where the gentlemen could enjoy a beverage and cigar in the lower level of the hotel.
(to be continued)