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"Passing of the Eldridge House: The Birthplace of Kansas"

 Collection — Folder: 1
Call Number: RH MS P992


The Eldridge House in Lawrence, Kansas opened in 1855 and served as a hotel and meeting place for many Free State leaders before and during the Civil War. The "Passing of the Eldridge House" collection includes newspaper clippings of The Kansas City Star's coverage of the Eldrige House history, as well as illustrations, a typed history, and a transcription of "Life at the Old Eldridge House" from Mrs. Mary Eldridge Learnard, reported on by Hannah Oliver, on mimeograph. The mimeographed transcription is badly faded.


  • Creation: February 24, 1924

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Eldridge House

The Eldridge House, known today as the Eldridge Hotel, first opened as the Free State Hotel on April 12, 1856 in Lawrence, Kansas. Sheriff Samuel J. Jones burned the Free State Hotel down May 21, 1856 during a sacking of Lawrence.

Colonel Shalor W. Eldridge, the landlord of the Free State Hotel, rebuilt the Free State House between 1856-1858, reopening the now-named Eldridge House in 1859. The Eldrige House would again burn down during Quantrill's Raid on August 21, 1863. Colonel Eldridge rebuilt the Eldridge House again with help from the city of Lawrence in 1863.

Colonel Eldridge sold the Eldridge House to George W. Deitzler May 21, 1866. In 1912, William G. Hutson became the sole owner of the Eldridge House and began planning rennovations to the hotel in 1924.

[Information pulled from Caldwell, Martha B. “The Eldrige House.” The Kansas Historical Quarterly, no. 4 (November 1940) and collection materials.]


1 folder ; Folder measures 22 x 37 cm.

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS P992

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Compiled by KU Libraries staff, 1924.

Processing Information

Previously located at KB HI 651 El24a.

Guide to the "Passing of the Eldridge House" Collection
"Passing of the Eldridge House: The Birthplace of Kansas"
Finding aid prepared by mmj. Finding aid encoded by mmj.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Passing of the Eldridge House collection, RH MS P992, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States