Brettun Hotel


May 6, 1880 - Courier - Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Brettum arrived Tuesday evening are and are stopping with Charles C. Black.

May 6, 1880 - Courier - A meeting of prominent citizens was held in the office of Hackney & McDonald, Monday evening, to consider the advisability of forming a stock company for the erection of a large, three-story, brick hotel in Winfield. About $9,000 was subscribed, and committees were appointed to look up a location and solicit subscription to stock. The matter is in good hands, is being warmly advocated by most of our leading citizens, and we may expect ere long to see erected here one of the finest hotels in southern Kansas. The need of such a hotel is felt by all.

June 17, 1880 - Courier - Last Saturday arrangements were completed by which we are to have a new $12,000 hotel on the lots opposite the new stone building on north Main street. Subscriptions were made by the citizens and lots purchased and deeded to Mr. Brettun, who has given bond for the erection of the building. Winfield is in need of more hotel room, and the sooner this buildng is opened, the better. Mr. Charles Black (Grandson of S. L. Brettun) is busy perfecting the plans for the new hotel.

August 19, 1880 - Courier - Charley does not seem to like any of the bids for building the hotel. Try again boys.

The Brettun House is commenced. The excavation isprogressing.

August 26, 1880 - Courier - It is reported that Bert Crapster has got a situation as hotel clerk at Caldwell. We saw him in Winfield last Monday.

Oct. 7, 1880 - Courier - Bert Crapster has returned from Caldwell. And will remain permanently with us.

Nov. 11, 1880 - Courier - S. L. Brettun is building a magnificent hotel of magnesia lime-stone, 56 x 120 feet, four stories high, with every modern improvement, including steam, hot and cold water in rooms, passenger elevator, etc., to be completed this winter at a cost of $25,000.

April 14, 1881 - Mr. Chas. Black received a dispatch Monday afternoon announcing the severe illness of his grandfather, Mr. S. L. Brettun. Mr. Black left on the afternoon train for Hampton, Illinois.

APRIL 28, 1881. - The Moline (Illinois) Review-Dispatch of April 22nd contains the following notice of the death of Soranus L. Brettun, which is doubtless correct, though no information of the kind has been received from C. C. Black, who was there at the time named. It is with deep regret that we have to make this announcement.

Mr. Brettun has been a friend to Winfield, where he has invested large sums of money and made some of our grandest improvements and we had learned to regard him as a citizen of this place, and a man of enterprise, a warm hearted and courteous friend and a true gentleman of the old school. The citizens of Winfield will deeply sympathize with the bereaved.

"Mr. S. L. Brettun, of this place, died last night at nine o'clock. Funeral tomorrow, Sunday afternoon at one o'clock, from his late residence. His disease was lung fever. Mr. Brettun was born in Livermore, Maine, May 11, 1806, and was in his seventy-fifth year. He came to this place in 1837, and has been actively engaged in business ever since. His wife is still living, and they have three grandchildren living: Mr. Charles C. Black, of Winfield, Kansas; Mr. Brettun Crapster, of Kansas City, Mo.; and Miss Louise Crapster, who is living with her grandmother. Mr. Brettun has held many offices of trust in this county, and his death will be universally regretted. During the past few years Mr. Brettun has invested largely in Kansas real estate. His own children are the late Mrs. Francis Black, of Hamilton; Mrs. Dr. Crapster, of St. Louis; and Clarence, who was drowned in early boyhood."

June 21, 1881 - The Brettun House will require 1,200 yards of carpeting.

July 28, 1881 - Mrs. Brettun and granddaughter, Miss Louise Crapster, have returned to Winfield to remain a year. They are stopping at the Olds House until the Brettun is in running order.

July 28, 1881 - We peeped into the Brettun House Monday. Charley and Mrs. Harter, with a corps of lady assistants, are busy making the sheets, pillow cases, and linen for the establishment. It requires nearly a carload.

Aug 4, 1881 - The Brettun House engines were started Tuesday, and the pumps set to work filling the mammoth water tank in the third story. A perfect army of painters, carpenters, stone masons, and plumbers are at work and things about there look lively. One carload of furniture has arrived and three more are on the way. They will perhaps open about August 12th.

Aug 11, 1881 - Harry Bahntge runs the fine billiard rooms of the Brettun House. Nommsen and Steuven have taken possession of the tonsorial rooms of the Brettun House.

The Brettun house will open for business Monday. It is the grandest and most beautiful hotel in the state, and "don't you forget it."

We hope the two Charlies, Black and Harter, will not advertise the Brettun as a first class hotel. These are getting too common. Advertise it as the only second class hotel in the United States. This will be something new and the first fellows who have lived so long at first class hotels want a change.

Aug 18, 1881 - The Brettun House, just finished, will be in grand form next Monday when everybody, nearly, will be invited to be present. The house is built of native limestone, and has a porch on two sides, east and south. The building alone cost about $25,000, and when finished, its cost will not be less than $35,000.

It is heated by steam, has gas, has hot and cold water, and is furnished with the East Lake and Queen Anne styles of furniture, with different shades of carpet in every room. The building was designed by Mr. Brettun, from whence it takes its name, but his death prevented him from completing his plans, and his grandson, Mr. Charles C. Black, has had them completed. Mr. Chas. Harter will manage the house.

AUGUST 18, 1881. - This hotel, the finest in the state, was opened to the public last Wednesday by Messrs. Harter & Black. They have furnished the house elegantly from top to bottom. Last Thursday evening the gas in all the rooms was turned on and the barber shop and billiard rooms were lit up. The sight was an imposing one and the magnificent building looked like a marble palace. Here can be found every comfort that the traveling public could desire. Pleasant rooms, good beds, gas and water, bath rooms, billiard hall, barber shop, telegraph office, a splendidly set table, and promenades, parlors, and verandas in abundance. Harry Bahntge is running the billiard room and Nommsen & Stueven the barber shop and bath rooms. The bath rooms are cool and pleasant, and furnished in good style and fitted with hot and cold showers.

Sept 8, 1881 - The Brettun house proprietors have another problem for consideration. Their dry well is filled up and they find it necessary to construct a sewer. It takes thirty barrels of water a day to run the house.

The putting in of dry wells to receive the deposits of waste water about the city will soon be a problem for our city dads to wrestle with. These wells are walled up without mortar, the waste water and slops turned in to seep through and poison all the ground in the neighborhood.

Besides this, some of these dry wells are put down to the gravel from which our water is obtained and mixes, without filtering, with the water we drink. The article and illustrations of Dr. Cooper, which appeared some weeks ago, has brought many to thinking of the water question and we think that about one more illustration of the animals that slide down our throats daily will influence someone to do something. We wish that everyone of our councilmen would swallow a crockodile while drinking at one of the public wells; perhaps they would do something with the garbage catchers under the pumps.


We saw a boy take two spittoons to one of our public wells the other day. He had taken a contract to clean them at five cents apiece. He was a smart boy, and having observed that the city had made splendid arrangements for cleaning spittoons, set it in the nice little square box under the pump, grabbed the handle, and began working up and down. After seeing that the stream of water from the pump struck the spittoon square in the center and that the drainage back into the well was perfect, he needed only to use one hand to pump while with the other he could throw brick bats at a dog or trade jack stones with Johnny McGree. We do not propose to tell which well this enterprising youth uses, as it might "rile" the stomach of one of our councilmen who holds forth nearby.

Oct 6, 1881 - The Brettun House draws part of its water supply from the K. C., L. & S. railroad tank.

The cooks at the Brettun House went on a strike Sunday noon, and it was only with the utmost diligence on the part of the proprietors that the boarders got their supper.

Harry Bahntge was fined $100 and costs for selling liquor in his billiard saloon at the Brettun House, on Monday.

Winfield Courier, April 6, 1882. Hon. Charles C. Black and wife, Mrs. Brettun, his grandmother, and Miss Lou Crapster, his cousin started Tuesday for Hamption, Illinois, where most of the party will spend the summer. The last named started suddenly and left her bags.

Winfield, Courier, January 6, 1883. This building is constructed of the celebrated Cowley County stone, covering an area of 55 x 100 feet, three stories high with English basement, south and east fronts, and double deck eight foot piazza along the entire front. On the basement floor is a large and pleasant billiard room, barber shop with baths, two large sample rooms, preparatory kitchen with elevator, ice rooms, steam laundry, and drying rooms. On the first floor we find a large and well ventilated office, reception room, reading room, lavatory, telegraph and ticket offices, and coat room. Adjoining the office are three large sample rooms. The dining room is large and well located, having south and west windows. Adjoining it is the kitchen, supplied with steam ranges and carving tables, china and silver closets, store rooms, etc.

On the second floor are the double parlors, bridal chamber, parlor chamber, bath room linen closets, and fourteen large and airy chambers arranged in suits. On the third floor are twenty-six rooms with sufficient number of linen closets, wardrobes, etc. The halls are spacious and extend entirely through the building north and south, and east and west. Careful attention is given throughout to ventilation. There are three flights of stairs running from the basement to the second floor and two from the second to the third floor. The entire building is heated by steam, and lighted with gas. Each room is furnished with fixed marble basins and soft water. Stand pipes with hydrants on each floor. The boiler and engine house is built separate from the main structure, thus avoiding danger by fire.

All slop and waste water is taken from the building through waste pipes and under ground drains, which are double trapped against sewer gas.

While there are some larger hotels in the State, we assert with considerable pride for Winfield, that the Brettun House is the finest, most complete, and convenient house in Kansas.