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Shirley House Hotel register, 1856-1886 (majority within 1856-1858)

1 volume

This volume records the names and nativity of guests of the Shirley House (later the Missouri Hotel) in Fayette, Missouri, from June 1856-October 1858. Guests included members of at least three traveling circuses. Newspaper clippings are pasted into the first 10 pages, apparently over register entries.

This volume (around 280 pages) records the names and residence of guests of the Shirley House Hotel (later the Missouri Hotel) in Fayette, Missouri, from June 20, 1856-October 9, 1858. Many of the guests, whose names appear on approximately 270 pages of register entries, came from elsewhere in Missouri, though some traveled from other states and, on at least one occasion, from foreign countries such as Ireland. One note reports that a guest later went to jail (June 28, 1856), and another lists a guest's nativity as "no particular place" (July 6, 1857). Members of traveling circuses stayed at the hotel on three occasions: Herr Driesbach & Co. Menagerie & Circus of Brownsville, Ohio, visited on April 30, 1857; an unidentified group of performers visited on July 27, 1857; and the Spalding & Rogers North American Circus visited on May 6, 1858. The lengthy entry for Spalding & Rogers includes the names of performers, organized by profession, and ink illustrations of various types of performances, including a tightrope walker, monkeys, and men and women riding horses. Other visual material includes sketches of men and unidentified animals, and stylized lettering.

The volume's first 10 pages consist of pasted-in newspaper clippings (dated between 1866 as 1886) containing fiction stories, poetry, obituaries, and other articles of interest. A story about a "beautiful killer" is illustrated by an engraving of a woman about to stab a man, and a story about Grover Cleveland's marriage to Frances Folsom includes the couple's portraits. At least one poem commemorates Civil War soldiers.