Southern Hotel, ca. 1875

Built in 1866, the Southern Hotel was the premiere luxury hotel for business travelers and the well-to-do in post-war St. Louis, located at the corner of Walnut and Fourth streets. Although the location depicted above burned to the ground in 1877 (taking the lives of 21 people), a new hotel was built in 1881. The heroism of Phelim O'Toole was shown at the fire, when O'Toole personally saved the lives of a dozen people. The second Southern Hotel closed in 1912, and was demolished in 1933. The photograph was taken by R. Benecke, portrait and landscape photographers located at Fourth and Market streets, and was located online via eBay.

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