Historic Hotels in Au Sable Illinois


Historic Hotels / Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Milks Tavern, Wolf Tavern, and Patrick Stand

When stagecoaches were running, two stage routes intersected in Seward Township, the Frink and Walker stage lines between Chicago and Ottawa and Patterson stage line between Kankakee and Ottawa.

Between, November 29, 1836 and April 25, 1838 Alansing (a. k. a. Alanson) Milks and his wife Ann “Elizabeth” Milks purchased five pieces of land in Seward Township from David E. Davis. In 1836, the Milks built a tavern in section twenty-seven of the township, and both stage lines made regular stops there. 1Grantor Index. 40 acres; the west half of the southeast quarter and 40 acres; the east half of the southwest quarter of section twenty-seven.

February 3, 1838, Alansing and his wife sold the tavern to Henry Kase Stevens and his wife, Mary A. Stevens who called the tavern “Wolf Tavern.” 2History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, p. 207.

May 1, 1839, Stevens and his wife sold the tavern to Jacob Patrick, Sr. and his wife Eliza Patrick. The Patricks constructed a new tavern in section 33 of Seward Township, financed by a $4,000 loan from Joel A. Matteson. 3Joel Aldrich Matteson was an early resident and landowner of Seward Township. From 1853-1857, he was the tenth Governor of Illinois. The inn and complex was on the south side of present day Holt Road, and was known as “Patrick Stand.” 4Grantor Index. The east half of the east 80 acres (40 acres) in the northeast quarter of section 33. The tavern became the nucleus of the community of Au Sable.

The original Patrick Stand was a substantial two-story building, but the success of the business warranted its expansion. With the extension, the tavern became a tee-shaped building approximately 32 feet deep from front to rear and 110 feet across the front. It was probably the premier inn on these stage routes. The complex around the hotel included a tavern, blacksmith shop, and other support facilities for the stagecoaches and travelers. A slaughterhouse and icehouse helped supply the traveling public and employee’s needs for food and ice.

Mr. and Mrs. Norman Gray 5History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, pp. 207-8. 6Since Horace Gray was appointed postmaster of the Au Sable post office May 28, 1842, Mr. Gray’s given name may have been Horace rather than Norman., succeeded the preceding proprietors.

Pioneer taverns/stage stops were often the focal point of the community. Since the mail was moved by stagecoach they were also a logical choice for the location of a post office. Jacob Patrick, Sr. was appointed postmaster of Au Sable on May 29, 1841. However the tavern probably served as post office much earlier. The stage stop was almost certainly the equivalent of a post office when the tavern opened in 1836. March 15, 1842 the post office was discontinued at Au Sable. May 28, 1842 the post office was reopened there with Horace Gray postmaster.

When the stagecoaches ceased to run, the hotel was converted into a private residence. In 1937 the Kroehler Furniture Company of Naperville, Illinois purchased the original portion of Patrick Stand for the black walnut used in its constructed. The north half of the building was torn down and cut up for firewood. In the same year, a kit home purchased from Sears and Roebuck Company was erected on the site to replace the old tavern. 7Interview with Harvey L. Larson, April 16, 2000.

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References   [ + ]

1.Grantor Index. 40 acres; the west half of the southeast quarter and 40 acres; the east half of the southwest quarter of section twenty-seven.
2.History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, p. 207.
3.Joel Aldrich Matteson was an early resident and landowner of Seward Township. From 1853-1857, he was the tenth Governor of Illinois.
4.Grantor Index. The east half of the east 80 acres (40 acres) in the northeast quarter of section 33.
5.History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, pp. 207-8.
6.Since Horace Gray was appointed postmaster of the Au Sable post office May 28, 1842, Mr. Gray’s given name may have been Horace rather than Norman.
7.Interview with Harvey L. Larson, April 16, 2000.

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