Date: c. 1930
Description: Palestine's O'Neill Hotel was located at 313 Spring Street but was actually the third hotel to sit on the site. In 1873, following the coming of the railroad to town, the Laclede Hotel was built there, but was destroyed by fire in 1876. The following year, a Dr. Manning of Oakwood erected a brick building known as the International Hotel on that location. It was purchased in 1882 by Col. George Burkitt who turned over operations to Mrs. Emma Nolen. During her tenure, the property was known as the Nolen Hotel, but when she moved to St. Louis, Col. Burkitt himself took over the management. That building was razed in 1922 and the "new" O'Neill, maiden surname of Burkitt's Irish born mother, was constructed on the site. The O'Neill boasted not only hot and cold running water in its guest rooms, it was also equipped with an electric Otis elevator and a radio receiving set on the mezzanine for entertainment of the hotel's guests. When Texas Gov. Ross Sterling declared martial law in the East Texas Oil Fields and ordered the National Guard to take it over and shut-in all wells, the O'Neill became the staging center where the command ...
Contributing Partner: Palestine Public Library