Sedalia Missouri Hotel Bothwell

The Bothwell Hotel of Sedalia Missouri opened in 1927 on 103 East 4th Street and 317-321 South Ohio Avenue in Sedalia, Missouri. John Homer Bothwell, a prominent businessman in Sedalia, paid for the construction of the hotel. John H. Bothwell was born on November 20, 1848, in Maysville, Illinois and was educated at public schools in Clay City, Illinois After graduating from the University of Indiana with a Bachelor's degree in 1869, he graduated from law school in Albany, NY in 1871. That same year, Bothwell arrived in Sedalia, opened law offices, and worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney. He was also a Republican politician who served as a representative of Pettis County and supervised the Republican State Convention in 1904. Bothwell maintained multiple businesses in the city. He served with the Sedalia National Bank and arranged the St. Louis County Water Company. In his late 70s Bothwell withdrew from public activities and retreated to his country home, Bothwell’s Lodge, north of Sedalia on Osage street road. He was always dedicated to the progress of the city.

In November 1925, John H. Bothwell proposed a generous gift to Sedalia that involved the donation of his money to construct a hotel and to have it maintained for Sedalia & Pettis County. He aimed to build a modern fireproof hotel with at least six stories with over a hundred rooms that also included a large dining room on the first floor, a spacious lobby, a coffee shop, and meeting rooms. The hotel also had a mezzanine floor, ballroom, public lavatories, and private dining rooms. Bothwell persuaded the community that this new hotel would attract visitors coming to Sedalia to go to the Missouri State Fair and visitors passing through on the railroad and highways. In 1926 the Community Hotel Corporation was formed to manage the contributions and Dr. J. E. Cannaday served as the general sales manager and Robert Keltner served as the fundraising campaign director. Bothwell proposed that the hotel would be built on his property on the corner of Ohio Avenue and Fifth Street, but the Community Hotel Company convinced him to relocate to 103 East 4th and Ohio Streets. The business properties of Julia Pfeiffer Imhauser, Governor Charles E. Yeater, and Jack Truitt transferred to Bothwell and were demolished to make way for the new hotel. J. C. Stevenson of the H. L. Stevens Company of Chicago served as contractor for the hotel.

On June 10, 1927, the Bothwell Hotel officially opened with a grand banquet. It is a $400,000 seven-story, Classical Revival style architectural hotel with 109 rooms with a coffee shop, barbershop, and five retail stores on the first floor, and a mezzanine with a ballroom and extra meeting rooms on the second floor. There were three private dining rooms: The Palm Room, Ambassador Room, and the Peacock Room. John Homer Bothwell lived to see his monumental hotel prosper until his death on August 4, 1929, at his home, Bothwell Lodge.

The hotel became an active center for community life and hosted weddings, civic and political meetings, banquets, and organizational meetings. Some of the distinguished public figures who visited, dined, or stayed at the hotel were President Harry Truman, Truman’s personal physician Major General Wallace H. Graham, General John J. Pershing, Bette Davis, Clint Eastwood, Gene Autry, Jack Oakie, and Sally Rand.

In 1968, G. D. Whitaker and James Mathewson purchased the Bothwell Hotel and remodeled the rooms into apartments. In 1989 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the late 1990s the hotel was converted into a residential care facility as the Kensington-Bothwell. In November 1998 The Furnell Companies purchased the building and began a restoration project that reopened as a hotel in June 1999. In January 2004, Hotel Bothwell became part of the Ascend Clarion Collection Franchise of Choice Hotel's International, a historic hotel brand. The hotel continuously hosts social events and supports the community's commercial growth. Entertainment that centers on the area of the Bothwell Hotel are the annual Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, The Missouri State Fair, car shows, fourth of July, and the annual lighting ceremonies for Christmas.



103 E. 4th St. Sedalia, MO 65301 ~ At the corner of 103 E. 4th Street and 317-321 South Ohio.