Stewart, James H. 1827-1902, Marion Trustee & County Treasurer

James Holiday Stewart, Marion trustee and Williamson County treasurer, was born on December 28, 1827 in the Northern Precinct of Williamson County, Illinois, the son of James S. Stewart (1773-1834) and Rachel Salina Roberts (1787-1875).  They lived just south of … Continue reading

Commercial Hotel, Marion, Illinois


Commercial Hotel 303 N. Market 1904

Commercial Hotel 303 N. Market 1904

I am fairly certain that the Commercial Hotel at 303 N. Market Street was created out of necessity. For years this location had been the home of a very large family. John Henry and Almira Catherine (Barham) Reynolds had seen the birth of 12 children and already the deaths of at least three or four. Continue reading

West Side Hotel, Marion, Illinios


West Side Hotel 1903-1950

West Side Hotel 1903-1950


The West Side Motel located at 201-3 West Main Street was established in 1903 by Phillip Rick, a German immigrant, and his wife, Emma. The hotel was only one of three hotels available in Marion at the time of its opening.

Phillip, Emma and their son Earl lived at the hotel the whole term of its existence. Phillip served as owner/operator, Emma was the hotel mistress and Earl was a hotel clerk.

Just after the turn of the century when Marion was becoming an important commercial center for Southern Illinois it was frequented often by traveling salesmen and business people. They often arrived by train at either the C. & E.I. Depot on West Main or the Illinois Central Depot on N. Market St. If they came in by horseback it is likely they would have left their horse and/or buggy at Joab Goodall’s Livery at 107 N. Van Buren and walked to the West Side Hotel.

Traveling salesmen in the early days were called “drummers”, intimating that they were drumming up business sales. They often congregated in the lobbies of the hotel in the evenings.

In 1936 their son Earl passed away and was buried at Rose Hill cemetery. Emma lasted one year later, died in April 1937 and was buried next to her son.

The West Side Hotel was available to traveling people and local citizens who needed lodging from its inception in 1903 to its final days at the end of the 1940’s. Even though the hotel is still listed as a viable business in the 1947 Marion business directory, its days were numbered.

In 1948, many fire inspection reports from 1945 had still gone unheeded which included problems such as inadequate fire escapes, removal of a padlock from a rear exit, removal of kerosene stoves from hotel rooms and inspection of electrical wiring and various repairs.

In 1950, the owner, Philip Rick, passed away marking the end of the hotel’s existence. The building was demolished around 1953.

The old property fell into the possession of G.J. Frick who owned Wilson-Frick Funeral home south on Van Buren Street where ArtStarts is today. In 1954, Frick’s heirs sold the property to make way for the then new Bank of Egypt building. The building remained the Bank of Egypt and underwent a business name change to Banterra Bank around 1989.

Around 2005, Banterra vacated the building and the property has been occupied by the Williamson County Probation department as a county annex since then.


(Some data from a 1962 article by Homer Butler for the MDR and from the 1905 Souvenir History, WCHS, city directories; compiled by Sam Lattuca on 01/31/2013, revised on 10/7/2015)