Commercial House (Congress, Ohio)

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  • Commercial House (Congress, Ohio)
Accommodation and Food Services
  • Accommodation
Trading names
  • Commercial House
  • Hotel
  • Date unknown
    West Salem,Ohio
  • Date unknown
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    • West Salem, Ohio



  • 1883 - December, CONGRESS: W. S. Brown has purchased the hotel property known as the Union Hotel. He has gone to a great expense in overhauling and refitting the same. It will hereafter be known as the Commercial House. Mrs. Brown is favorably known as a landlady, and guests will receive a cordial welcome, and I am sure if the stop at the Commercial once they will stop again. PEACEFUL RULER. [1]
  • 1883 - December, CONGRESS: W. S. Brown has opened a first-class country hotel in Congress and christened it "The Commercial House." All who stop at the Commercial will find its landlord a genial and accommodating host.[2]
  • 1884 - January, CONGRESS: A sleighing party from Congress last Wednesday night met with rather a serious accident. On their return, while descending the hill in the west part of the city, the sled pole became detached from the vehicle, leaving the occupants of the sled at the side of the road, the horses started down the street at a furious rate, not stopping until they came in direct contact with the Commercial House, the one horse stuck his head through the window of the office, the other struck the post of the office door, dislocating its neck and instantly expired.[3]
  • 1885 - September, CONGRESS ITEMS: Having dropped down into this quaint old town for a short sojourn I find a few leasure moments which I will devote to giving you, and the readers of the JACKSONIAN some idea of the place. Congress has always been represented to me as being one of those old dead towns with neither business nor life. Now let me here say to those who look upon it as such, to come, stop at the Commercial House, stay a few days, and if that don't change your opinion then I will say that I am no judge of what constitutes a good lively country town. And to any that may come, let me refer them to the hospitality of W. S. Brown, proprietor of the Commercial House. In justice to this place, I must say that this hotel away back here in the country where one would expect nothing grand, is second to none in Wayne County, and judging from the amount of business they do the public have found this out. At present the campmeeting at Pleasant Home is in full 'blast', and the parlors of the Commercial are filled with guests, and still they come Mr. B. we wish you success.[4]
  • 1890 - July, CONGRESS: The Commercial House, W. S. Brown proprietor, has received a new coat of paint and other improvements, which makes it look very attractive. The hostess Mrs. H. M. Brown is every ready to minister to the wants of the hungry and weary.[5]
  • 1890 - August, CONGRESS: The Landlady of the Commercial House is complaining of "pneurahigy" and sick headache. Our community has lost one of its most respects citizens in the person of John Johnson, who died on Wednesday last, aged 86 years.[6]
  • 1891 - March, CONGRESS: Last Friday afternoon a man aged about thirty-five years came walking into town from the south, leading two boys, aged about seventy-nine years. The parties were reasonably well clad, the boys somewhat better than the father. He gave his name as John Castello and said he formerly lived in Mt. Pleasant, Va. About give years ago his wife died and that he has since taken care of his boys, but owing to later difficulties he was unable to obtain work the past winter and is now on his way to Michigan, where he has friends and relatives, that he is too poor to go any other way than walk, that they walked the greater part of the way, that when he reached Michigan relatives will care for the boys, that he does not want to put them into any of the public institutions of the country if he can possibly avoid it The good people of Congress procured the foot sore and weary travelers lodging at the Commercial House, took them to Lodi on Saturday, purchased a railroad ticket for Toledo and gave them $1,75 in cash.[7]
  • 1893 - June, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Brown of the popular Commercial House, Congress, were in the city Saturday meeting many of their friends. The Commercial House is one of the most popular hotels in the county, and by far the most popular at Congress. When you visit that place don't fail to put up at the Commercial.[8]
  • 1893 - July, CONGRESS: Charles Ohliger, H. F. Osborne and Misses Minnie Bryson and _____________ ____________ Taylor, all of Wooster, were guests at the Commercial House last Friday evening.[9]
  • 1894 - February, CONGRESS: Prof. S. S. Milligan and W. N. Hoelzel, of Wooster, took supper at the Commercial House last Saturday evening.[10]
  • 1894 - February, CONGRESS: A. W. Fullerton was registered at the Commercial House last Thursday and Friday.[11]
  • 1894 - April, CONGRESS: J. A, Myers of New Pittsburg, was a guest at the Commercial House last Sunday.[12]
  • 1894 - April, CONGRESS: J. G. George and Ethel Hunt, J. H. Jacobs and Helena Conrad, of Wooster, took supper at the Commercial House last Sunday evening.[13]
  • 1894 - April, Mrs. Snell Asking About Wiggins - C. M. Pierce I live in Warsaw, Ind. I am a farmer and hotel keeper. The Commercial House is the name of my hotel. I know James Wiggins. He was at my place last fall just before the G. A. R. encampment. Wiggins registered at my hotel Sept. 2, 1893, as "James Wiggins, city" and letters " D. S. L." He next registered September 3d as "James Wiggins. city, and the letter "B" He registered again as "James Wiggins, city." Sept. 4th. My clerk wrote his name this time for him. I had a talk with him this day. I went to the post office and got a letter. I read it and told him here is a letter from a lady in Ohio inquiring about you. He said, "Give me that letter, I'll answer it myself." I gave it to him and he kept it. I never saw it afterwards. The letter was from Wooster, O. and signed "Sarah Snell," The letter said, "I wish you would write me and let me know where Mr. Wiggins is and let me know what he is doing." It had a postage stamp in it. The register of the "Commercial House" was here offered in evidence. On cross examination Mr. Pierce said there was nothing in the letter but the inquiry about Wiggins.[14]
  • 1894 - July, CONGRESS: Last Wednesday night Kent Young, W. S. Brown, T. W. Criss, Jo. Garver and F. M. Leiter went frong and turtle hunting. They were quite successful Wednesday evening they all feasted on frog and turtle at the Commercial House.[15]
  • 1894 - August, CONGRESS: S. Wilhelm and wife, M. Morris and Laura Hurst, of Orrville, took dinner at the Commercial House last Sunday.[16]
  • 1894 - August, CONGRESS: Mrs. Hannah Brown, landlady of the Commercial House is seriously ill. Drs. Carlin and Sullivan held consultation Monday.[17]
  • 1894 - August 27, CONGRESS: John McSweeney, C. A. McDonald. W. J. Mullins and wife, Mrs. Burrows, H. L. Kuhns and wife, or Wooster, Mrs. Bayley and Mrs. M. L. Kuhns, of Washington, D. C., and Mrs. J. W. Barnett of Shady Side, La., took supper at the Commercial House last Tuesday evening. [18]
  • 1894 - August, Hon. A. D. Metz, Esq., of Wooster stopped at the Commercial House for dinner last Thursday, on his way to West Salem. Harry E. Hileman was at Congress last Thursday and took dinner with Pa ad Ma Brown, at the Commercial House.[19]
  • 1894 - September 4, CONGRESS: After an illness of eight days, Mrs. Hannah Brown, the widely Commercial House landlady of the Commercial House, died from an attack of acute rheumatic fever, at her home in Congress, Thursday morning. Mrs. Brown was aged 53 years ad four days. She was born in Congress and was married to Wm. S. Brown 29 years ago. One child, a daughter, was born to this union, which died in infancy. The deceased was a daughter of Geo. Fresh one of the early settlers of this county, and at present undertaker of the village. By the death of Mrs. Brown one of the leading and prominent person ages of this community has been removed. In her capacity as landlady she has few equals and in fact no peer to the knowledges of the writer. Every muscle and every fibre of her entire body was as lively as a bee hive, and she ahs the double capacity of being able to cook, entertain and delight her customers at the same time. If you ever sat down to her table you never would forget her and when you returned again she would call you name, usually your given name. She was emotionally generous and kind hearted. She was interested in every thing pertaining tot he welfare of the village, and if any one was sick or in distress, Mrs. Brown was on hand, ready and anxious to lend a helping hand. While she was high tempered and quick to speak in angry tones, it may be she would never harbor malice nor revenge but willingly divide her best cookies or pies with her disputant. The Commercial House was fast becoming one of the most popular country hotels in Wayne County and a place greatly enjoyed by the elite of Wooster and other large towns. The funeral was held Saturday forenoon, with services at the house Rev. Eckerman an old class mate officiating. The funeral was largely attended, the floral decorations elaborate and beautiful in design. Kent Young the popular lumber man and a guest of the hotel had a wreath sent from Akron which was rich and elegant. The grace was handsomely decorated by admiring friends and the remains of the popular landlady were tenderly laid to rest. The sympathy of the entire community be with Mr. Brown in his hours of _____________.[20]
  • 1894 - September, Mrs. W. H. Brown, the widely known landlady of the Commercial House, Congress, died this morning after a brief illness with bowel trouble.[21]
  • 1894 - October, CONGRESS: N. M. Patterson has rented the Commercial House and will take possession in about two weeks. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson are well adapted for the business and will keep up the reputation of this popular resort for the traveling public.[22]
  • 1894 - November, CONGRESS: N. M. Patterson took charge of the Commercial House this morning. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson are pleasant and obliging and will no doubt obtain a large share of the traveling patronage.[23]
  • 1894 - November, Miss Naddie Patterson, the young daughter of the proprietor of the Commercial House, has a several attack of diphtheria. John Groul, of Cleveland, came here on business last Saturday and Sunday at the Commercial House.[24]
  • 1895 - August, Among the many campmeeting guests of the Commercial House are: A. C. Warner and Will Bokley, leading druggists, of Ashland, and J. W. Sweeney and Miss Thomas, P. M. Fletcher and Miss Myrtle Snyder, Henry Haller, Wilt Fisher, G. E. Bucher, Frank Bell, Clyde Miller, H. L. Palmer, Iva Lovett, C. C. Miller and Ed. Snavely, all of Wooster.[25]
  • 1895 - July 22, CONGRESS: A party of hunters from Ashland, consisting of A. ______, A. C. Warner, Dr. Greenamyer and Dr. Ash, took dinner at the Commercial House last Monday. [26]
  • 1895 - December, CONGRESS: The sign of the Burgan Hotel was removed from the street yesterday and for the first time in many years Congress has but one hotel. However that is a good one and guests of the Commercial House always praise its service and the treatment they receive at the hands of Landlord and Mrs. Patterson[27]
  • 1896 - May, CONGRESS: C. E. McAfee, Wm. H. Thompson, F. P. Atkinson, J. E. Jarvis and A. R. Template:Van Atta, gentlemen and students of [[Wooster University, were guests of the Commercial House yesterday.[28]
  • 1896 - June, CONGRESS: J. C. Zimmerman and Miss Gypsy Taylor, of Wooster, and Stephen Henry and Miss Ada R. Brown, of Circleville, spent Friday at the Commercial House.[29]
  • 1897 - April, CONGRESS: A party of Wooster ladies composed of the following were guests at the Commercial House last Thursday for dinner: Mrs. A. M. Parrish, Wm. A. ______, Frances J. P. Moore, G. P. ________, W. W. Firestone, Isaac Johnson, Sarah L. Phillips, John McSweeney, W. D. Tyler, J. I. Keifer, C. V. Hard, A. Saybolt, A. S. Lehman, Martha E. McClellan, Carey W. Kauke and L. P. Philiger. The ladies seemed to enjoy their trip to the country.[30]
  • 1897 - April, CONGRESS: In Em Quad's letter mention is made of the party of ladies of Wooster, who, last Thursday, took dinner at the Commercial House in Congress.[31]
  • 1897 - April, After a prolonged illness Parker Patterson died at home of his parents at the Commercial House Saturday afternoon. Park was an exemplary young man and his passing away at the age of 25 years cost a gloom over his large circle of friends. He was a member of the M. E. Church and died in the hope of meeting his Savior in an acceptable manner. Services were held at the house, there being a very large attendance. The remains were interred Sunday afternoon in the Congress cemetery, Rev. Martindale officiating.[32]
  • 1897 - August, CONGRESS: John {{Surname|McSweeney, W. D. Tyler and C. A. McDonald, of Wooster, accompanied by their wives and children, enjoyed the hospitality of Landlord and Mrs. Patterson, of the Commercial Hotel, Sunday evening.[33]
  • 1897 - November, CONGRESS: John Westhaver and wife, of Albion, were guests at the Commercial House Sunday.[34]
  • 1899 - May, The Commercial House is doing a thriving business, under the able management of D. O. Garver and wife. Charles and Willard Ohliger, of Wooster, took dinner at the Commercial House, Sunday.[35]
  • 1901 - January, Our attention was called Saturday afternoon to the notice tacked to the outside of the Commercial House which read something as follows: "Dennis McCarthy, the great clog dancer, will be at the Blue Goose this evening. All are cordially invited." Across the street from the hotel our attention was called to the advertisement of another goose which read something as follows. "Ox tail soup free tonight." Talk about Congress being behind the times. Just look at that.[36]
  • 1901 - February, CONGRESS: Mrs. Ida Kemmerlin and son Harry, of Bucyrus, are visiting relatives and friends here and are guests at the Commercial House.[37]
  • 1901 - April, CONGRESS: D. O. Garver has concluded to quit the hotel business and will vacate the Commercial House this week.[38]
  • 1901 - April, Frank Reed and family are now settled in their new quarters, known as the Commercial House, and expect to do all in their power to make this a first-class hotel. Mrs. Reed has the reputation of a first-class cook, and the hungry traveler will find this an excellent place to supply the inner man.[39]
  • 1901 - May, On Wednesday afternoon and evening the Alumni Reunion was held. The banquet was held at the Commercial House and a most tempting spread was laid. Toasts were given by the President of the Alumni Association, Charles Kime, followed by Miss Lydia Strenick and last but not least the class of 1901 was toasts by Victor Hoppe. The exercises throughout were of the highest order and the music by the Carl Berg Quartette, Miss Stanley, Members Smith and Offindeer on the violin was very much appreciated.[40]
  • 1901 - August, Daniel Hines of West Salem, while working on the roof of the Commercial House barn at that place last Friday, slipped and fell 24 feet, breaking both bones of his left leg near the ankle and the same bone near the knee and injuring his back.[41]
  • 1901 - August, Miss Clark, of Applecreek, is spending a week with her sister, Mrs. Frank Reed, at the Commercial House.[42]
  • 1902 - January, Blain Leiter and Miss Rillie Brown were united in marriage by Rev. Hoak at the parsonage in Burbank last Wednesday evening. They were accompanied to Burbank by Leon Simon and Miss Isa Garver. Upon their return home an excellent supper was served by Blaine's parents at the Commercial House. These are popular young people, and they start in life with the well wishes of their many young associates.[43]
  • 1902 - January, CONGRESS: Blaine Leiter and Miss Rilla Brown were married New Year's night. A large number of invited guests ate an excellent supper with the happy pair at the Commercial House. A number of useful and valuable presents were received by the bride and groom. Their young friends greeted them with an old-fashioned belling, which did not lack in noise and enthusiasm. Everybody wishes them a properous and happy journey through life.[44]
  • 1902 - June 23, CONGRESS: Pettery Bristoro and wife of Wooster, were guests at the Commercial House several days last week.[45]
  • 1906 - July 24, CONGRESS: The monthly "tea" of the Methodist Ladies' Missionary society will be held at the Commercial House Saturday evening, July 28. All are cordially invited to attend.[46]
  • 1911 - April, Father Killed in War: West Salem Reports: By the removal of Mr. and Mrs. L. V. Patterson to the infirmary, where Mr. Patterson is superintendent and Mrs. Patterson is matron West Salem loses two of her almost life long residents. Mr. Patterson was born in the old Commercial House in 1855 ____ parents soon moved to Congress staying there until after the Civil War, his father being in the army and sacrificing his life there January 186__. He lived with his mother in Pennsylvania five years and then returned to Wayne County, coming to West Salem in 1876 and live here ever since. Mrs. Patterson was born on a farm west of town and always lived in or near our town. The Misses Ruth and Harriet, who are teachers, have taken rooms in town and will remain until the close of their respective terms of school. Their West Salem friends wish Mr. and Mrs. Patterson well and hope that they may be pleased with their new surroundings.[47]


  1. Jacksonian, Wooster, Ohio. 1883 December 13, p. 4.
  2. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1883 December 27, p. 3.
  3. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1884 January 24, p. 3.
  4. Jacksonian, Wooster, Ohio. 1885 September 3, p. 4.
  5. Jacksonian, Wooster, Ohio. 1890 July 17, p. 3.
  6. Jacksonian, Wooster, Ohio. 1890 August 14, p. 3.
  7. Wooster Daily Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1891 March 12, p. 2.
  8. Jacksonian, Wooster, Ohio. 1893 June 29, p. 3.
  9. Wooster Daily Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1893 July 11, p. 4.
  10. Wooster Daily Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 February 13, p. 3.
  11. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 February 28, p. 2.
  12. Wooster Daily Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 April 9, p. 3.
  13. Wooster Daily Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 April 16, p. 3.
  14. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 April 25, p. 1.
  15. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 July 4, p.3.
  16. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 August 15, p. 2.
  17. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 August 29, p. 2.
  18. Wooster Daily Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 August 29, p. 3.
  19. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 August 22, p. 2.
  20. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 September 5, p. 2.
  21. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 September 5, p.4.
  22. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 October 3, p. 2.
  23. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 November 14, p. 2.
  24. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1894 November 28, p. 2.
  25. Wooster Daily Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1895 August 27, p. 3.
  26. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1895 July 24, p. 2.
  27. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1895 December 4, p. 3.
  28. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1896 May 13, p. 5.
  29. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1896 June 17, p. 2.
  30. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1897 April 28, p. 1.
  31. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1897 April 28, p. 3.
  32. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1897 April 7, p. 3.
  33. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1897 August 11, p. 2.
  34. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1897 November 3, p. 1.
  35. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1899 May 17, p.1.
  36. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1901 January 16, p. 2.
  37. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1901 February 13, p. 1.
  38. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1901 April 3, p. 8.
  39. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1901 April 17, p. 1.
  40. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1901 May 22, p. 1.
  41. Wayne County Herald, Wooster, Ohio. 1901 August 8, p. 3.
  42. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1901 August 28, p. 1.
  43. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1920 January 8, p. 6.
  44. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1902 January 8, p. 8.
  45. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1902 June 25, p. 5.
  46. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1906 July 25, p. 5.
  47. Wayne County Democrat, Wooster, Ohio. 1911 April 12, p. 1.