Who knew there had been a hotel on our southeastern diagonal as well? Though none of these small hotels remain, we do have a number of lovely bed and breakfasts…
J. M. SOUTH, PROPRIETOR, 17 VIRGINIA AVE.
This hotel is considered one of the best $1 per day houses in the Capital City. It has been occupied for hotel purposes since 1865, being managed among others by Mr. Bills, then by Mr. Miller and by Mr. John Kelley, who was succeeded in August, 1878, by the present proprietor. The hotel building is fitted up in a neat manner with conveniently arranged office and comfortably furnished sleeping rooms, twenty-three in number. The table is supplied with the best the market affords, served in the best style of culinary art and in great abundance. Mr. South is a native of: Clearmont County, O., and was born in 1831. He was engaged in chair manufacturing until October, 1861, when he enlisted as a member of the 51st Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Company C, Colonel A. D. Strait, and was assigned the honorable position of color bearer. The regiment was first engaged at Somerset, Ky., and subsequently took a conspicuous part in the battles of Shiloh, Perrysville, Nashville and Murfreesboro. Mr. South was captured by the enemy under General Forrest and taken to Rome, Atlanta, Richmond and Belle Isle, when he was exchanged, and reached this city in 1863. He was then ordered to Nashville, Tenn., and soon after to Chattanooga, and was engaged in the battles of Mission Ridge, Franklin and Nashville, soon after which he was honorably discharged. Returning to civil life he located at Brownsburg, Hendricks County, and engaged in the manufacture of chairs until 1870.
1887 Sanborn map. South House was located on the south side of Virginia Avenue, near Washington Street, almost next to the Bank of Commerce.
South House was in operation until 1890 or ’91, at which time J.M. South became proprietor of the first-class, $2 per day, Brunswick Hotel on Circle Street (now Monument Circle).
By 1898, the Bank of Commerce had become the Indiana National Bank with a larger building built in 1896, and the former South House building was being used as a furniture warehouse.
In 1912, the adjacent Indiana National Bank demolished the former South House structure and constructed a new expansion on the site. The bank stood until 1970. We highlighted the INB bank building in an earlier article.
The site of South House, and of the Indiana National Bank, is now a concrete plaza partially used as outdoor seating by the patrons of Scotty’s Brewhouse.