The History of the Wittmond Hotel

picture: Conrad Wittmond

Conrad Wittmond

picture: Mary Wittmond

Mary Wittmond

Conrad Wittmond immigrated from Germany to the United States around 1840. He settled in Calhoun County, Illinois with his wife, Mary, and built the first portion of what would become the Wittmond Hotel in 1847. Originally the Hotel operated as a trading post. The general store sold dry goods, furnishings, livery items, clothing and all other goods that a pioneer family might need. With the rapid growth of the riverboat trade after the Civil War, the family saw a need to provide accomodations to river travelers. In 1863 the Wittmonds constructed the two story brick house that formerly housed the Brussels post office, on the west side of the store. In 1885, they renovated the structure, adding 15 rooms for overnight guests.

picture: Charles & Caroline Wittmond

Charles & Caroline

picture: The Burch Family

The Burch Family

Ownership of the Wittmond Hotel passed on to Conrad's son Charles and his wife Caroline. In 1905, Charles and Caroline's only son, Carl Wittmond, was born. In addition to operating the Wittmond Hotel for most of his 92 years, Carl also served six terms in the Illinois House of Representatives.

With the passing of Carl Wittmond in 1997, ownership of The Wittmond Hotel transferred to the Burch family, descendents of Carl's sister Virginia Wittmond Burch. Today, two generations of the Burch family are actively involved with the Wittmond Hotel.