May 19, 1904 the Fraternal Inn Association was formed by the incorporation of the Odd Fellows and Masons to begin the planning for an impeccable vast new hotel in Butler Missouri. The Fraternal Inn had begun to initiate the plans to have a one of the most complete and modern hotels of any town its size in the state. The building cost was projected at 35,000 dollars in 1904 and the architect J.O. Hogg from Kansas City Missouri whose firm occupied offices in the New York Life Building was hired. The hotel and the building itself which is located on the Northwest corner of the square is still one of the architectural delights of Butler.
The original design of the building included the kitchen, store rooms, and furnaces in the basement; however a fine dining atmosphere is also present today. The dining area consists of exposed 109 years young red brick from Coffeyville , KS, a wine cellar , stone fireplace, and a lounge that will reminisce that of the old speakeasies. Stroll up the stairs from the basement to the main floor where you will find the main lobby with central court skylights, and fireplace all which now provides guests a café filled with light jazz music, original baroque tile floors, and ambiance of yesterday. Just off the main lobby guests can unwind and enjoy wine, wine tastings, and bourbon tastings. The grand staircase in the lobby proceeds to the second floor that originally had 25 sleeping rooms that were centered around a central court or hall.
Today the central court still exists with one and two bedroom furnished suites. The original doors and transom windows still present. The third floor originally devoted to two big lodge rooms with a banquet hall between was used by the Odd Fellows on one side and the Masons the other. The Masons and Odd Fellows occupied the third floor for 76 years. The cornerstone that was laid by the two lodges, the Masons Lodge 254 and the Odd Fellows I.O.O.F 180 dated October 25 1906 with appropriate ceremonies in which two orders working in harmony were responsible for the splendid edifice, which became one of the pride and glories of Butler is present on the east side of the building were a copy of their bylaws and other items still remain. In 1906 the whole building was heated by steam or hot water and lighted by electricity. Some of the original lights still exist today.
Interesting historical facts about the building: At the end of 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair the Chicago Wrecking Co. was awarded the contract to dismantle all the buildings. The Chicago Wrecking Co. sold the remnants of rough lumber, windows, plumbing, heating, furniture and numerous other items from the dismantling of the buildings. The rough lumber for the building was purchased from the Chicago Wrecking Co, lumber that once supported grand buildings at one of the greatest World’s Fair. Take a tour of the building where you will venture into the unfinished portion of the basement that proves evident that the lumber was used when you witness notches in large beams that are out of place, and nails that exist for no reason.
The Fraternal Inn Association was a group of wealthy businessmen that either belonged to the Masonic lodge or Odd Fellows that raised the financial means to erect this grand building. The Fraternal organization was not specific to Bates County but many Fraternal Organizations formed in the early 1900’s whereas buildings were erected to house more than one Fraternal Society and share the space. In 1902 the Fraternal Associations across the United States were requested to contribute financially to the building of the Fraternal Temple at the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis. The Fraternal Associations across the United States raised 200,000 dollars and built the Fraternal Temple at the Fair. The Temple displayed to the World all the Fraternal Societies, both men and women and their purpose.
Both organizations still exist today in Butler Missouri that contributed to the building of the Temple as well. The construction of the building was performed by the Masons. The architect J.O. Hogg has been noted for his steel reinforced brick buildings. J.O. Hoggs architectural imprint can be seen not only in Butler, but other areas in Kansas City such as buildings in the Crossroads Freight District, and the Kansas City, KS School District. Further, travel to Hannibal, Missouri where he designed the Hannibal Court House, the old police station and jail along with numerous other buildings and homes.
The Hotel was one of elaborate and fine accommodations, enough so that Harry S Truman stayed here when he was a senator for Missouri. The silverware was ordered from the Adrian Missouri Jewelry store in 1906 and an original fork inscribed with the words Pennell is on display.
The Fraternal Inn Building and/or The Hotel Pennell are located at 100-112 W Ohio and 100-102 N Delaware on the Northwest Corner of the Butler, Mo Square. The construction of the building required 300,000 well pressed red bricks from Coffeyville, KS. The building is a U-Shape Two-part Vertical Block Hotel with a terra-cotta stringcourse running between the first and second stories creating a horizontal plane that clearly separates the first story from the dominant two stories above. The two upper stories are treated exactly the same with no features separating them. They are further defined as a whole by the deep, elaborate geometric-paneled entablature and cornice located above a simple, single projecting brick stringcourse.
The building is also a commercial open plan department store that allows for customers to go from area to area. The South Façade includes two large decorative plinth columns with a recessed portico. The main entry door is a large glass English Style door with oversized decorative sidelights that extend across the entire portico. The foundation is rough limestone.
The rectangular windows are 1 over 1 double hung window and are single windows on all facades except the south facade second story center which is paired single windows. The rectangular windows all include limestone sills. The corners of the building are of red brick angle quoins that are offset and extending to the top of the building giving it an ornate edge. The frieze along the top of the building is inset with yellow brick banding separating the entablature. A magnificent building worth visiting for the day or stay the night with us where spa services, fine dining, casual dining, wine and bourbon tastings, and a stroll around the Butler square where our picturesque Courthouse is centered. Enjoying shopping, dining and lodging without getting in your car.