Howard House Hotel

123 South 3rd Street      (View on map)
Click here to see City of St. Charles
Historic Landmark Document

Image credit: St. Charles Public Library

One of the many hotels that existed in St. Charles from the 1830s to 1910, the Howard House Hotel is one of the few that remains relatively intact. The north section, built in the 1840s by Joel Witherell, served as the original hotel. Two years later, Leonard and David Howard bought the building, raised its roof and added the south section. A pillared wrap-around porch trimmed the combination Federal and Greek Revival style building.

During its heyday, the hotel played host to holiday parties and military balls. It served as housing for members of the 8th Illinois Cavalry during the time the soldiers were in training at Camp Kane. Mrs. Lincoln stayed here for a time following the assasination of her husband in April, 1865. Under the alias of "Mrs. May," she often frequented the Howard home in search of spiritual guidance from Mrs. Caroline Howard.

Although the Howard House Hotel served as a hotel for many years, it has changed ownership many times and has served several other purposes as well.

Image credit: St. Charles Heritage Center
At various times in its history it has been known as the Mallory House Hotel, the Atwood Inn, and the Western Hotel. Later it was used as a paint shop, an overall factory, and a beehive factory. The old hotel served as an apartment house for many years after the businesses departed.

The building owner, Creative Assistance Development, Inc., renovated the apartments in 2005. At that time, the signature porch, long missing from the building, was restored. After the renovations, the City of St. Charles granted the old hotel building landmark status.

For additional photographs see:

    Then and Now

    Reflections of St. Charles p 92

    Celebrating History p 40

See also:

    Howard House

    St. Charles Heritage Center - "Mrs. May" external link

    Illinois Digital Archive - Atwood Inn 


  • Architectural Survey, St. Charles Central District. St. Charles: St. Charles Historic Preservation Commission, 1995.
  • Bedrosian, Ruth Ann. The Role of Historic Preservation in St. Charles, IL. Bedrosian, Ruth Ann. Thesis. Middle Tennessee State University, 1983.
  • Digitizing History in St. Charles - Digitized collection of the library's local history books, maps, newspapers and photographs.
  • Pearson, Ruth Ann. Reflections of St. Charles. Elgin: Brethern Press, 1976. p. 98-99.