Hotel Josephine is a reminder of the days when 14 passenger trains daily served the Holton community. The hotel was built by prominent Holtonian A.D. Walker in 1889 who financed construction of the two story red brick building by selling stock subscriptions to fellow townspeople.
The hotel, which was named for Walker’s 9 month old daughter Josephine, opened for business on Jan. 19, 1890 and has been in continuos operation since. Josephines’ 1908 High School graduation picture is on display in the lobby.
At the turn of the century the hotel was widely known for its dining room, and served the community handsomely with lodging and sample display rooms for traveling salesmen. The hotel had electricity when built, but was heated with individual wood stoves in each room. Water was carried from a well in the basement by servants, as were the “chamber pots”.
In 1892 the hotel was renamed The Teer House featuring a dining room of considerable fame. Other names over the years include Rinehart Hotel, Sutherland Hotel and most recently the Holton Hotel.
Over the years many famous names have appeared on the registers, including John L. Sullivan, Jake Kilrain ( John L’s sparring partner), VP Chas. Curtis, Pres. Grover Cleveland (between terms), Carrie Nation, Sam Rayburn, Sr., and actor/comedian Harry W. Langdon. More recently was Kirsty Alley of TV’s Cheers and movie fame.
Today the Hotel Josephine, while retaining the charm of the past, is continuing to provide its guest with warm and caring hospitality.rn