Window to the Past
A History of the Phelan Hotel
By BOB HOLDGREVE
According to an article in the Jan. 29, 1880, edition of The Delphos Herald, entitled "New Hotel" the contract for the construction of W. McShane's new hotel was let last Friday to James Clime. The building was to be of brick, three stories and monsord roof, 66 feet by 92 feet on the ground and would contain about 40 rooms, exclusive of two large fine store rooms on the first floor. The hotel would be called the Phelan House in honor of the lamented Peter Phelan. The estimated cost was $20,000.
The article stated ground had been broken for the new hotel, the Phelan House, and the walls were soon to begin to loom up.
On June 24, 1880, The Delphos Herald stated the stone foundation for the Phelan House was completed and the carpenters were engaged in putting down the joists for the first floor.
According to The Herald, Aug. 12, 1880, the brickwork on the third story of the Phelan House had been finished and the carpenters were making active preparations for putting on the mansord roof.
On Sept. 16, 1880, the work on the Phelan House was being pushed forward rapidly. The floors were nearly all laid, and the bathers would be ready for plastering to begin in a few days.
On Oct. 28, 1880, an article stated the Phelan House Mr. McShanes's new hotel building was nearing completion, and was expected to be completed for occupancy the first of December.
Mr. McShane would remove his dry goods into the store room about Nov. 15,1880. When completed this would be one of the best appointed hotels in Northwestern Ohio, and would no doubt bring to the proprietor a good return for the money and labor expended.
According to the Delphos Herald, Dec. 2, 1880, J.F. McShane and Co. were receiving new goods daily for their new store just completed. Cloaks, dolmans, and all the latest novelties in dress goods. McShane also added a new line of boots and shoes, slippers, and rubber goods of all kinds which we prepare to sell cheap for cash. The Herald also stated, the best merino hose for ladies ever sold in Delphos, were 10 cents per pair.
In Dec. 16, 1880, the show windows of J.F. McShane and Co. new store room were the most attractive ever seen in Delphos; they have a large stock of fancy goods, silk handkerchiefs, tidies, stand covers, etc.
Feb. 17, 1881, a new sign, "Phelan House 1880," had been placed upon the new hotel building. "It is by Krutsch, and is a thing of beauty."
According to the Delphos Herald, April 28, 1881, a long-felt want in our progressive little city had at last been filled, and Delphos rejoiced in having one of the largest, finest and best equipped hotels in Northwestern Ohio. This creditable and commendable enterprise was conceived and carried out by our enterprising citizen, Mr. J.F. McShane, who has very appropriately has named it the Phelan House, in honor of his father-in-law, the late well-known and highly esteemed Peter Phelan, for many years a successful merchant of this place. The house was thrown open for the reception of guests last Saturday evening, by John Roby, lessee, who was acknowledged by all, one of the most popular and competent hotel men in the state. Under his management, assisted by his wife, the new house was to become the leading hotel of the county. The furniture was new and of the latest design, in fact it was the best that could be obtained in Chicago, Ill. Each of the 40 sleeping rooms were supplied with a full marble top, oil-finished dressing case, a wash-stand of the same finish and two handsome upholstered chairs. The floors and hulls were covered with ingrain carpets. The rooms were large and airy, with two windows in each. The main parlor was furnished with a rich Brussels carpet and rich plush chairs of costly design and elaborate workmanship. An electric enunciator connected all the rooms with the office, a feature that is not to be found in any hotel in the Northwest, outside of Toledo. The bathroom, reading room, sample rooms, barber-shop, and office were all keeping with the other appointments, while the dining room was a model of elegance. The table silverware was supplied:, by Fred Krift, the jeweler. The Phelan House was ranked with the very best city hotel. Mr. McShane deserves unstinted praise for giving to the city this magnificent building. Mr. Roby was equally deserving for the good taste displayed in furnishing it.
This ad appeared in the 1908 Delphos City directory.
Compiled by Robert Holdgreve
President of Delphos Historical Society
July 25, 1998 Delphos Herald Newspaper