Historical Taverns and Hotels in Little Rock, Illinois

Historic Hotels / Saturday, May 4th, 2019

When Kendall County was young, Little Rock was a flourishing community and a regular stop on the stage route between Chicago and Galena, Illinois. In 1854, the editor of the Little Rock Press noted that the village had two hotels. 1Little Rock Press, February 11, 1854.

Buck Tavern

Ephraim Buck was a widely known innkeeper who called his place Buck Tavern.

Inscho Tavern

Moses Inscho was supposed to have built the first stagecoach inn in Little Rock in about 1838. Inscho’s inn was in a log cabin on the west side of the ford across Little Rock Creek.

Arnold Dodge, Wareham Gates, Robert Matthews, and others succeeded Moses Inscho and Ephraim Buck. 2History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, p. 264.

Little Rock House

Josiah J. Shults came to Illinois in 1854 and settled in the village of Little Rock. Shults owned land on both sides of Galena Road with much of the land contiguous to the village. For many years, Josiah and his third wife, Elizabeth (Vedder) Shults operated a hotel in Little Rock. In about 1870 he built a new three-story red brick tavern on the north side of Galena Road. The hotel contained accommodations for travelers and a bar used by both transients and local residents. The entire third floor was open and frequently accommodated square dances and other social events. The hotel was closed to the public two or three years after it was built as the number of travelers seeking accommodations did not warrant its remaining open as a hotel.

After the inn closed it was used as a private residence. Michael Stymacks and his wife, Debra Stymacks were the most recent owners of the historic stagecoach inn. On August 24, 2001, a fire caused by a halogen lamp damaged the building beyond repair. The remains of the old inn have been completely removed and a lovely new home constructed at the rear of the lot.

Toombs Hotel

In the late 1840s and early 1850s, William Toombs and his wife, Alta Toombs ran a hotel in Little Rock for six or seven years. The Toombs hotel was the second building east of the Little Rock Creek on the south side of Oregon Street. On September 11, 1874, the hotel was destroyed by fire while being used as a residence by the Luke Blackmer family. 3Kendall County Record, September 24, 1874.

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1Little Rock Press, February 11, 1854.
2History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, p. 264.
3Kendall County Record, September 24, 1874.

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