WITH A PAST - TEXAS HOTELS BUILT BEFORE 1950
by Murray Montgomery
Alcalde Hotel Today
Photos Courtesy Murray Montgomery
by Murray Montgomery
The old building is quiet now.
Noisy chatter from local coffee drinkers in the dining room, has been
replaced by silence - except for the distant sound of buzzing hair
clippers from Vic and Joe's barber shop - the Alcalde Hotel is a serene
reminder of another time.
In 1925, big plans were being made to build a modern hotel in Gonzales.
A hotel committee had been formed and potential investors had been
contacted. In March of 1926, the dream became a reality as the new
hotel on St. Paul street was ready for business.
The following (edited) article appeared in The Gonzales Inquirer on
July 10, 1925, and it contains a detailed description of the "new"
Structure, Costing Complete, $40,000, to be Built On Saint Paul Street
Big Cash Forfeit in Bank
Work to Be Rushed
Gonzales will soon boast another hotel, final papers having been signed
late Thursday afternoon that insure for the city a new and thoroughly
up to date hostelry of three stories, and containing no less than
forty bed rooms.
This achievement is the result of B.B. Hoskins, Jr., who is the recognized
business manager of the project.
"Cap" Smith has the contract for the erection of the building, which
will be located on the lot recently purchased by Mrs. H. Droupy, and
which adjoins the Hoskins Mercantile building on the north. The lot
faces west on St. Paul street, and is a desirable location for a hotel,
being as it is about midway between the court house and the railway
depot, on a good thoroughfare.
The site of the proposed building has long been occupied by a large
sheet iron building occupied by a blacksmith shop, and this will be
torn down immediately in order that work may begin on the new structure.
The contract calls for active work to begin on the building within
fourteen days after the signing of the contract.
The building has been leased for a period of ten years to Mr. and
Mrs. J.S. Hood, who come highly recommended both as citizens and as
experienced hotel people, who are now temporarily located in San Antonio,
but who expect to have their household effects shipped to this city
as soon as possible.
They have opened and successfully conducted hotels in different parts
of the country. After traveling over this section of Texas they came
to the conclusion that Gonzales was a good place in which to locate,
with the result that Gonzales' ambition for a new, modern hotel will
soon be a reality.
Plans for the building have already been drawn, and as soon as the
lot can be cleared, active work will start. The building with furnishings,
will cost about $40,000, and while no special line of architecture
will be followed, the building will be modern in every detail and
a credit to the city.
It will have a frontage of 44 feet on St. Paul Street, running back
for a distance of 108 feet. The first or ground floor, will have a
plate glass front, and will consist of a vestibule in the center,
27x7 feet, leading into the lobby, which will be 32x32 feet with an
additional entrance on the south side of the building.
The coffee room, 10x33 feet in size, will adjoin the lobby on the
south, while a barber shop 10x15 feet, will be a feature on the north
side front. A 6 foot hallway will extend from the lobby, and on the
south side of this hallway will be located the dining room, 20x42
feet in size. The kitchen will adjoin the dining room on the east.
To the rear of the lobby, and north of the hallway, will be a 14x20
foot sample room. A well-appointed wash room and a storeroom will
adjoin this. There will be two large bedrooms on the east end of the
On the second and third floors will be located 38 bedrooms, 19 on
each floor, and each room will have outside exposure, with mullion
windows. There will be three hallways on each of the two upper floors,
one 10x80 feet, extending from east to west, while two halls will
extend from north to south.
There will be 17 bathrooms in the building, as well as many other
modern conveniences. There will be no elevator service in the building,
as in a structure of but three stories it would entail much unnecessary
However, the walls are to be built strong enough to support one or
two additional stories should the building prove too small, and in
that event elevators would no doubt be added.
A large cash fund was deposited in a local bank Friday morning by
Mr. and Mrs. Hood as a guarantee of good faith, and the work of giving
Gonzales another first-class and much needed hotel will go forward
To Mr. Baker Hoskins, Jr. belongs most of the credit for the new enterprise,
for he has worked untiringly and in the face of many difficulties,
to bring the matter to a successful culmination.
Our special thanks to Murray
Montgomery of The Gonzales Inquirer for allowing us to print the
story of the Alcalde Hotel. Mr. Montgomery writes a historical column
for the paper called Times
Past. If your newspaper doesn't have a historical column, call
them and ask them why not. Murray is also a professional photographer
and graciously supplied us with the photos you see here. - Ed
The Alcalde is number Four in our series of Texas Hotels called
with a Past. The series will continue until we run out of hotels,
or the editor dies - whichever occurs first.
When visiting Gonzales,
try to find a copy of the book Ghosts of Gonzales by local
resident Leon Netardus. Available in some of Gonzales' better
restaurants. In addition to the Alcalde, various other buildings in
town are said to be haunted - including the Gonzales
County Courthouse. - Ed
September , 2000
My wife and I REALLY enjoyed the article regarding the old hotel,
located in Gonzales, by Murray
Montgomery. We have read other historic articles written by this
dedicated journalist and he seems to put a lot of interest and soul
into the research. We hope that more
of his articles will appear in future editions
of Texas Escapes. Incidentally we enjoy all of the articles and information
within Texas Escapes. - W.L.
Morgan, Retired, USAF, September 05, 2000
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