Tuttle family had early hotels

The Cyrus Tuttle family came to Fayette County from Ohio, where they owned land in the Ohio Refugee Plot in Perry and Licking counties. The grant was made during the Revolution to colonist sympathizers.
Eight children accompanied the family when they made the long journey to Vandalia over the National Road, with four more born after reaching here.
They included John Dennison, Martha, Samuel, Solomon, William Harrison, Sarah, Lydia and Cyrus W. Tuttle, all born in Ohio; and Almira, Francis M., Austin and Marcella Tuttle, born in Seminary Township.
In 1849, three of the Tuttle boys – Samuel, Solomon and William – joined 64-year old Lemuel Lee and his youngest son, George A., on a journey out west to the gold fields. After six weeks on the trail, Lemuel died of cholera and was buried on the banks of the Platte River near Cotton Creek, Colorado.
The Tuttle boys stayed out west four years, all the while remaining in contact with relatives in Vandalia, so that they were at the beside of their mother, Sarah, when she passed away on April 10, 1853.
Six months after returning home, Samuel bought out the Vandalia mercantile of J. & L. Seaman. Where Seaman asked for debtors to come in and pay up, in the same newspaper, The Age of Steam, Samuel advertised for sale fancy dry goods, crockery, paints, medicine and ready-made boots for sale at his store on Washington Street, opposite the Steam Mill.
With war clouds looming, Solomon and William both joined infantry units during the Civil War, returning home after their service.
It was after this time they opened their first hotel, the Tuttle House, and then the Union Hotel, which they operated into the late 1870s.
The Union Hotel stood on the corner of Fifth and Johnson streets, the current site of The Leader-Union plant.
Constructed by George Leidig, Solomon also made this building a home for his wife, Priscilla, in addition to renting out rooms and providing meals. His stable was available for stabling and feeding of horses.
The Hotel Register, spanning years 1872-92, in the possession of this writer, indicates that many county people having business in town would stay overnight at the Union Hotel, and have meals.
Prisoners at the local jail, as well as county officials attending meetings at the county seat, were also fed through the kitchen of the hotel.
On Sept. 17, 1875, the seven-member “Nights Comedy Combo” of Carrie Night and her manager husband, Edwin Night, lodged at the Union Hotel.
At this time, Vandalia had several theaters and venues where traveling performers could ply their trade.
Sol Tuttle rented out the hotel to several people in the 1880s, with Andrew Heiz shown as proprietor when the federal census taker came around that year.
A separate residence, attached to the main house, was occupied by Solomon and wife, Priscilla.
In 1884, Sol Tuttle rented out the hotel to Mrs. Hannah Pace for a period of year.
Dinners sold for $2 and lodging was $3.50 per week. At his death, he was first buried in the Old State Burial Ground, with later removal to South Hill Cemetery in the Tuttle family plot.

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