From the Baldwyn News dated May 7, 1970 after fire completely destroyed the hotel:
Just when the hotel was erected is a matter of conjecture. Some reported it was built in 1898. However, Mrs. Tom (Lavada) Gower tells us that the hotel was already constructed when her mother was married in December of 1885. In fact she tells that her mother always related to her that the trees near the hotel were planted or transplanted on her wedding day. She further adds that there were three Walker girls who had hands in the the hotel. First, Miss Hattie Walker, Miss Mannie Walker and Miss Laurie Walker.
Regardless of the age of the hotel, it was a familiar landmark to the people of this area for many years. During its heyday it was a mecca for traveling salesman, drummers and peddlers who traveled by train in the horse and buggy days to peddle their wares. Many came for miles to stay at this hostelry and travel to Kirkville, Pratt, Bethany, Jericho, Geeville, Wheeler and other communities to sell their goods. The traveling from Baldwyn was done by horse and buggies or on horseback using the services of the local livery stable.
Noted for its' fine meals, many people of this area made it a Sunday treat to come to Baldwyn to enjoy "Sunday Dinner" in the elegantly appointed dining room. Miss Laurie Walker operated the hotel for many years. Located just across the street from the hotel was the M and O Railroad. The hotel was a beehive of activity when six passenger trains a day passed through Baldwyn. George Pearce, the porter, met each of the incoming trains to assist travelers with their baggage. He pushed a two wheel cart to and from the railroad station to meet the trains.
The register at the hotel which was kept by George Pearce now rests at the Brice's Crossroads Museum in Baldwyn. It is noted in the register that George had a fine handwriting and entered the weather for the day when he opened each new page of the register.
The following clipping is from the Baldwyn Home Journal which was found in the papers of Miss Laurie Walker after her death and passed on to us by Mrs. R.B. Caldwell. While there is no date shown on the clipping, it is assumed that this is one of the wonderful meals prepared during the days the hotel was operated by Miss Laurie.
OUR HOME HOTEL
Cream of Tomato Soup
Turkey with Oyster Dressing and Giblet Gravy
Cranberries, English Peas, Cream Potatoes, Escalloped Asparagus,
Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows, Pumpkins, Crystallized Apples, Peach Sweet Pickles,
Celery, Olives. Frozen Fruit Salad on Lettuce
Coffee and Milk
Please make reservations by Wednesday.
The operators of the hotel passed on several years ago and now the hotel has gone up in smoke, but there are those who still remember the days when it was the center of activity in Baldwyn.
Note: What appears to be George Pearce's two-wheeled cart is sitting near the west steps in the photo. The front of the hotel once faced the railroad, but was turned around to face the north for some reason. -CH