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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"


Chapter  40 - Hotels of Eau Claire

Galloway House

(-as transcribed from pages 541 - 543)

The Galloway House was built by Dr. William T. Galloway. Operations were commenced in 1872 but the building was not ready for occupancy until 1874. The building still stands at the corner of Gibson and Farwell streets. Dr. William T. Galloway was one of the strong and able men who helped build up Eau Claire. He was born in February, 1818, and came to Wisconsin in 1854. In 1857 he located in Eau Claire as Register of United States land office on appointment of President Buchanan. In addition to his professional duties he carried on a land business and also interested himself in manufacturing, at one time owning a foundry.

An old friend and associate says of him: "As a physician, a politician and a man he had few peers in his day. True man hood, honesty and integrity, with a strong will and determination marked every step in his life."

He was greatly interested in political matters and was one of the leading Democrats of the county. His personal magnetism and high standing as a man gave him personal political strength. Five terms he served as an Alderman from the Second Ward, 1876 to 1885, inclusive. Was again elected an Alderman in April, 1890, and the last time he left his home was to attend a meeting for the organization of the Council. He died on May 9, 1890.

In the Masonic order he was very prominent and was honored by having conferred upon him the grade of 33d degree.

A young physician, who has since attained great prominence in his profession, was associated with Dr. Galloway in the practice for several years and considers his own success in a considerable measure was brought about by his association with Dr. Galloway, whom he regards as many years ahead of his time in his treatment of diseases.

The hotel was opened by William Newton May 1, 1874, under the name of Eau Claire House. Mr. Newton closed his own hotel of the same name, corner of Barstow and Eau Claire streets, but after two years he relinquished his lease and returned to his own building, taking with him the name. The next proprietor was a Mr. Barrup, who opened the hotel under the name of the Galloway House. He was only in the business for about three months, and then a traveling salesman named LaVergne assumed the management. After six months he was succeeded by Fred Hanson, who removed to Eau Claire from Hastings, Minn., and already had a reputation as a successful hotel man. In 1885 Mr. Hanson formed a partnership with Prank J. Matchette, but this partnership terminated within two years. Mr. Hanson continued to run the hotel very successfully until his death on the night of November 3, 1887. Several years before Mr. Hanson had married a most estimable lady, a Mrs. Richardson, who had been divorced from her husband. Her husband was a resident of St. Paul, and came to this city on November 3. He had been known to threaten the life of Mr. Hanson on a number of occasions. On the night of the tragedy he had partaken freely of liquor and visiting the hotel, shot Mr. Hanson and then himself. Mr. Hanson stood high in the community and was universally respected by his fellow citizens as well as the traveling public. Great regret was felt at his death.

The property then passed from the Hanson estate to Fred S. and G. D. White, who continued the business until 1895, when the name of the firm changed to White & Smith, Charles L. Smith succeeding Fred S. White. In 1897 Mr. Smith became the proprietor and continued the business until 1902.

The title to the fee had, in the meantime, passed to the Brown estate of Madison, Wis. For some months in 1902, after Mr. Smith relinquished the management, the house was run by Dan R. Scammon.  Mr. Scammon had no previous experience in managing a hotel but opened it at the solicitation of traveling men, with whom he was particularly popular. He continued the business until the house was closed for the purpose of remodeling the building. Dan R. Scammon was born about 1860 and had resided in Eau Claire practically all his life. He was a most companionable man, generous to a fault, who never lost an opportunity to do a friend a favor or a kindness. A person in need was never turned away empty handed by Dan Scammon. Shortly after the closing of the hotel Mr. Scammon removed to the West and died suddenly while locating timber at Alder Springs, Cal., August 8, 1910.

Following the remodeling of the Galloway, the house was rented by James H. Wade. Mr. Wade was a commercial traveler but had successfully managed the Stanley House in Chippewa Falls some years before. The hotel opened under his management July 10, 1903, and for the next ten years enjoyed a high reputation with the traveling public. In February, 1913, Mr. Wade disposed of his lease to Harvey B. Crane, who is at this time the proprietor of the hotel.



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