By Frank Chamberlain
The Knox Hotel was one of the most highly utilized buildings in Thurber. It served as a home for unmarried company executives, a place of lodging for visitors, an important meeting place for various social events, and one of the last stagecoach depots in America. It was publicized in newspapers as being “the best hotel west of Fort Worth.”[Hardman 104].
This building was built in 1894 and was located on the southwest corner of the town square. It was equipped with all modern conveniences including electricity, hot water for bathing, as well as flowing mineral water in the yard. The company charged from $2 to $2.50 a night for lodging. Company employees were required to pay $18 to rent a room for the month. In addition, discount rates were given to operatic troupes that were performing in the town. The Knox Hotel also offered stagecoach transportation to and from the train depot in nearby Mingus (then known as Thurber Junction.)
[Gentry 150, Hardman 104, Rhinehart 43].
The hotel burned in 1907. It was rebuilt and renamed as the Plummer Hotel. This new incarnation was reputed to have been superior in structure and elegance to its predecessor. However, there were many who felt that the old Knox Hotel was irreplaceable [Hardman 105].
Gentry, Mary Jane. “Thurber: The Life And Death Of A Texas Town”. Unpublished M.A. thesis. The University of Texas, 1946.
Hardman, Weldon B. Fire In A Hole, Gordon, TX: Thurber Historical Association, 1975.
Rhinehart, Marilyn D. A Way of Work and a Way of Life. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1992.