Chenery House

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Springfield Journal Register, date of paper which originally published the following is unknown.

"When Springfield became the capitol of Illinois in 1837, Elijah Iles built a hotel to accommodate legislature members, on the southeast corner of Adams and Sixth streets, which he called the American House. The hotel was at the time the finest in the entire state. It was operated from 1852 to 1855 by William D. Chenery and his eldest son, John William, till they purchased the City hotel, built additional stories thereon and named it Chenery House, which they operated till 1877. It was located on the northeast corner of Fourth and Washington streets.

William Dodd Chenery came from Massachusetts in the summer of 1830 and located on a farm near Jacksonville, returning 10 Massachusetts for his family when the deep snow for that winter began, going on horseback with four companions, all wearing leather suits to protect them from the abnormally cold weather of that winter, via Chicgago. The first sale of town lots was in progress in Chicago and he purchased lots on the west shore of Chicago river, in what is now the loop. Riding his horse across the river to inspect the lots he was chased back by prairie wolves, and had so poor an opinion of the locality that he traded his lots for four lots on the river front in Cairo to a real estate speculator who happened to be in Chicago at the time. The Chicago lots became worth millions, but the Cairo lots were sold for a few hundred dollars after taxes were paid on them for many years.

Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.