City Hotel (Springfield)

City: Springfield

County: Sangamon County

State: Illinois

Joel Johnson opened the City Hotel in 1840 on Washington Street, northwest of the capitol in Springfield, Illinois. An early advertisement promoted the hotel's good stable and faithful ostlers. In 1841, a reviewer of the hotel wrote, "I recently stayed two weeks at the Hotel and would earnestly recommend it to those who visit the capital town of Illinois. His accommodations are all in the best possible style and every attention is paid by the landlord to promote the comfort of his guests, and what will not be regarded as unimportant in these hard times, his charges are extremely low." Johnson expanded the hotel with an addition in 1842. A bathing house was added in 1844. On January 24, 1847, the City Hotel suffered a disastrous fire. Abraham Lincoln loaned Johnson $10 on April 30, 1847, presumably to assist in rebuilding the hotel. By June of that year, an advertisement in the Sangamo Journal announced that Johnson "has already erected another building, far superior to the old one destroyed, and which, with good fortune, and his usual energy, will be ready for occupation in a few days." Johnson sold the City Hotel in 1855 to William D. and John W. Chenery, who improved the building and renamed it Chenery House.

Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 4 September 1840, 3:5; 6 August 1841, 2:7; 20 May 1842, 4:4; 25 April 1844, 2:3; 28 January 1847, 2:6; 3 June 1847, 2:5; Richard E. Hart, Joel Johnson: Springfield Hotel Keeper,, accessed 25 April 2022, 37; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 30 April 1847,