YE KENDALL INN|
128 W. Blanco, Boerne
Library File #24
HISTORY: Situated a block off main street in Boerne is the
charming old Kendall Inn that has been visited through the years by stagecoach
passengers and twentieth-century celebrities. Its history began April 23, 1859,
when John James and Gus Theissen sold the land on which it stands to Erastus and
Sarah Reed for the sum of only $200. The Reeds had come to Boerne from Georgia,
and with them they brought the Southern Colonial style of architecture and built
the center section of the inn.
As the town had been founded only ten years previously, there was no regular establishment for the shelter of the traveler. However,the hearts of the few home owners were large and it became the custom for any home owner with a spare room to care for the transient guest, sometimes for pay, sometimes not. Whether or not the Reeds offered their hospitality for pay is not known, but is is believed that they did. Eventually, the place was designated as the Reed House.
The Reeds later leased the property to Henry W. Chipman. On a paying basis, he accommodated horsemen and occasional stagecoach passengers. He then opened the grounds as a wagon yard for the convenience of the surrounding ranchers who penned their cattle in what is now the city park, awaiting other cattle for a big drive up the trail.
On May 4, 1869, Colonel Henry C. King and his wife Jean Adams King, purchased the inn from the Reeds. Colonel King was a jovial man who made a host of friends. Campaigning successfully for the office of State Senator, he covered his district on horseback. While on these campaign trips, which sometimes lasted for weeks, the operation of the King Place was left to his wife. After serving one term as senator, at which time the present state constitution was written and adopted, he ran for the office of Governor, but was defeated. Later, motivated by the urge to venture into newspaper work, Henry King returned to San Antonio.
By 1878, Boerne had become famous as a resort. In that year, C.J.Rountree and W. L. Wadsworth of Dallas purchased the "King Place" and renamed it the Boerne Hotel. As visitors began flocking to the town to take advantage of the hearlthful dry climate, the hotel expanded. So great was the demand for accommodations, two long wings were added on either side of the portion built by the Reeds. It is believed that at this time the present kitchen wing was also added.
Six years later, James T. Clarke became the proprietor of the inn. For a while he was the agent for the state line that came through Boerne. It was at this time that the Boerne Hotel was truly an authentic Stagecoach Inn.
In 1882, Mr. Edmund King and his wife, Selina L. King, and children came to Boerne from England and leased the Boerne Hotel. Mr. King was killed in a hunting accident in back of the hotel on September 26,1882.
In 1909, Dr. H. J. Barnitz, a prominent San Antonio physician, adopted the name "Ye Kendall Inn" [for the hotel]The name was a tribute to George W. Kendall, eminent journalist, who was ressponsible for bringing the first sheep to the Hill Country and for whom Kendall County was named.
From 1922 to 1943, Kendall Inn was owned by Robert L. and Maude M.Hickman. It was during their ownership that many steps toward modernization took placed athe famous old inn. One of the most important was the installation of privatebaths.
Hickman had learned the hotel business while working for his father at the popular old Southern Hotel in San Antonio. Along with the Prince Solms colonists, he was civic minded; for it was during his term as mayor that the city installed the swimming pool that is immediately adjacent to the dining porch of the inn.
Through the years Kendall Inn has served as a gathering place for frontier lawmen, army personnel, cattle drovers, and many celebrities.
Mrs. William T. Grinnan purchased Kendall Inn in 1960 and lived there with her three sons. The property was sold to Ed and Vicki Schleyer in April 1982. Two years of extensive restoration brought back the historic beauty of the hardwood floor, original fireplaces,molding mantels and the 200 foot front porch with railing and columns."
Source: Boerne Public Library files.
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