To Bank of Nevada

Hotel Mitchell

To Moore's Opera House
  1884 - 1999  
Hotel Mitchell, c. 1900
c. 1900
Hotel Mitchell, 2008

On the northwest corner of Cherry and Washington streets stood Hotel Mitchell, the grandest hotel in Nevada. Commissioned by Colonel Harrison Mitchell, it was finished in 1884 by John L. Beagles, who also built Cottey's Main Hall and Hotel Rockwood. The new Mitchell Hotel had a lobby, parlor, dining room, barber shop, and a "gentlemen's bar with mirrored back, brass footrail and gleaming spittoons..."1 On the second and third floors were 50 guest rooms, none with bathrooms. (Eight bathrooms would be added in 1886.) Its balcony had a great view of Moore's Opera House across the street. In 1887 electricity came to the hotel, and by 1900 every room had a telephone.

In 1907 Col. Mitchell retired and sold the hotel ― on the condition that its name never be changed. In 1918 Senator W.M. Bowker bought the building minus its west half (including the bar), which was sold off separately. When saloons were banned, the bar moved to the "teahouse" at Radio Springs Park, and the original space became a display room for traveling drummers. In the 1970s it was the site of Bussinger Music Store. By this time Sen. Bowker's granddaughter, Margaret Workman, and her father owned Hotel Mitchell. They completely renovated it and added 50 bathrooms.

The hotel's banquet room was once a popular meeting place, regularly hosting groups like Nevada's Rotary and Talk of the Month clubs. It also had a Coffee Shop, where the Nine O'Clock Coffee Club met for decades until the shop was shut down.5

Hotel Mitchell has had many famous guests over the years, including Missouri governors, Congressmen, Senators, and jurists.1 Its most famous guest was then-Vice President Richard Nixon, who visited Nevada in 1954. A photo of Nixon shaking hands with Mitchell's proprietor, Elsie Gilbert, hung on a wall in the lobby for many years afterward.

Hotel Mitchell lasted 115 years, but in 1999 the building was razed and turned into a parking lot. Only the west end remains, including the original saloon. This space is now occupied by the Cherry Street Grill and apartments.

Hotel Mitchell, c. 1900
c. 1900.3 Note the carriages parked in front.
Hotel Mitchell, c. 1910
c. 1910.2
East Cherry Street, c. 1905
East Cherry Street, with Hotel Mitchell on the right, c. 1910.3
East Cherry Street, c. 1905
Hotel Mitchell on right, c. 1920.4
  Hotel Mitchell mural, 2008
Hotel Mitchell mural, 2008. The mural was painted in 1999.

Works Cited:

  1. Sterett, Betty. "Hotel Mitchell Boasts a Grand History." Scenes From the Past (of Nevada, Missouri). Ed. Donna Logan. DGL InfoWrite: Boulder, CO, 1985. pp. 135-140. Print.
  2. "Nevada Souvenir." c. 1910.
  3. Baker Owens, Linda. "Picture Post Cards From Vernon County, Missouri." RootsWeb. Web.
  4. Rediscover Nevada, Missouri. Web. [Now defunct.]
  5. Pokorny, Ralph. "Coffee Club's new members carry on tradition." Nevada Daily Mail. Nevada, MO. 21 Nov. 2006. Web.
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