THE ELLIS HOTEL
Which was moved by F. M. ELLIS from St. Mary's to Beeville when Captain A. C. JONES offered a block of land worth $100 as a bonus to the party building a hotel in Beeville. The third story was added after the S. A. & A. P. railway reached Beeville in 1886. The hotel was afterwards named Commercial Hotel and still later the Lindell Hotel. It occupied the site of the present Magnolia Super-Service Station. A livery stable, built and operated by Mr. ELLIS, was located in the rear of the hotel at the railroad track. The covered wagon, horses, and patrons of the hotel who came out on the "galleries," were typical of the day.
Operated BEEVILLE HOTEL AND LIVERY STABLE
Francis Marion ELLIS was a native of South Carolina, and was born in September, 1830. After reaching manhood he was united in marriage to Miss Martha W. MELTON, February 25, 1850. Shortly after their marriage this young couple moved to Mississippi, remaining there until 1857, when they emigrated to Texas, settling for two years in San Saba county. Due to an outbreak of Indian trouble in this locality, Mr. ELLIS moved his family to St. Mary's on the coast, where he built a hotel and operated same until 1878, at which time he moved to Beeville.
A. C. JONES, who owned business property around the courthouse square, donated a block of land valued at $100, to any man who would build a first class hotel. As Beeville was an important village between San Antonio and the coast, Mr. ELLIS decided to accept the offer. John IMPSON, Sr., father of John and Grover IMPSON, who was a carpenter and contractor, was employed to take the hotel down and rebuild it in Beeville on the block of land donated for the purpose, which location was at Corpus Christi and Washington streets. Whit PARCHMAN contracted to freight the lumber to Beeville, using eight and ten horse teams and large freight wagons. Each piece of timber was numbered and in taking the building down in order to rebuild it as it was. Moved hotel from Old St. Marys in 1878, and operated livery stable in connection with the hotel; got $100 bonus.
This hotel was about 50x50 feet square, with a second story, also a large hall in the attic, which was used for a ball room and for shows - when one came to town. Not only did A. C. JONES donate the block of land for this enterprise, but he financed the move, lending Mr. ELLIS money at 12 per cent interest.
When the work was completed and the hotel opened for business, Mr. ELLIS was in debt to Mr. JONES for the sum of $3,500.00 This amount with interest was repaid at the end of three years. In a short time more room was required to accommodate the patronage, so the roof was raised and a third story added to the building. This hotel was patronized by traveling men as well as local men. J. C. BEASLEY, before his marriage, was a boarder at the ELLIS hotel, as were other young men of the town, possibly A. P. SMITH, also Tom and Dick SKAGGS. A livery stable was run in connection for the convenience of the patrons. It was built on the west side of the block; a severe storm in July, 1886, blew down the stable, wrecking some of the fine vehicles under the ruins. Shortly before the storm Mr. ELLIS sold the hotel to Sid HOWARD, and later sold the wrecked stable to Tim WILLIAMS, who rebuilt it across the street on the block where the Commercial National Bank is today. A two-story house of Kohler & Heldenfels was also blown down in this storm. The house was filled with furniture and the loss was about $2,000. The new school building, nearing completion, was damaged. John IMPSON, who was the contractor, was the heaviest loser.
Mr. ELLIS lost his companion by death in December, 1887. They were the parents of nine children. In March, 1889, he was united in marriage to Miss Sallie O. DUNN. One child, a daughter, was born to this union, who today is Mrs. Chas. ENGLE. Mrs. ELLIS passed away in April, 1901. Mr. ELLIS died in March, of 1904.