Source: News-Journal, August 16,
1973, Centennial Section
Sheller Hotel Traces Origin
To Year 1847
North Manchester's Sheller
Hotel traces its origins to 1847 when the Lantz
House was opened. The Hotel continues to keep nearly all
of its 20 sleeping rooms filled today, over a hundred
The old registers at the hotel
include the names of entertainers Lillian Russell and
Fay Templeton, dated 1904. Frank James, brother to Jesse
James, stayed in the hotel in 1904 when he came to town
to start the races at the old fairgrounds.
Rev. Lloyd Douglas also stayed in the
hotel when he first came to North Manchester to begin
The present building located at 202
Walnut Street is thought to have been constructed in
three sections. A frame building was constructed by
Henry Lantz in 1847 and was probably located on the
corner of Walnut and Second Streets although some old
timers have said it was located nearer the alley.
The frame section was moved in 1881
and the brick front portion was added by Rufus Grimes
who operated the business as The Grimes House. Grimes
had previously operated the American House which was
located on Main and Walnut Streets. The American House
was of log construction and it burned on January 25,
1883. The brick portion of the Grimes House was made of
bricks made locally and those bricks have just recently
been painted over because they were beginning a
Horace B. Sheller, better known as
"Holly" or "Pop", made the addition of the third floor
and the kitchen section in the early 1890s. The addition
left a two foot thick brick wall between today's lobby
and dining room in the hotel.
Pop Sheller built a thriving business
from the hotel. Hacks would run to the train depot
several times a day to pick up passengers arriving in
town. The hacks ran from a livery stable located where
today's Post Office now stands offering a convenient
location to the hotel.
Many of the hotel's guests were
drummers, or salesmen, who would stay several weeks
showing their merchandise. They displayed their goods to
prospective customers in the trunk room which was
located near the present liquor store.
Pop's son Charles, was born in the
hotel as the family occupied three front rooms as their
living area. Charles took over the operation in 1935 and
his wife, Jane, continues its operation today.
Some of the original equipment is
still in use in the kitchen. Of special interest is a
five foot long and nearly three inches thick white
marble top table that "Pop" used for making candy. A
taffy pulling hook also remains in the kitchen. Dough
boxes, pots and pans of better quality than many
available today are also used in the kitchen which "Pop"
added when he took over.
Source: North Manchester
Journal, January 14, 1897
The Hotel Sheller
It is the proud boast of North Manchester that in
no city in Northern Indiana can be found better hotel
accommodations than those afforded by the Hotel Sheller,
located at the corner of Walnut and Second streets, this
city. The genial and courteous proprietor, "Holly"
Sheller, is a born hotel man, as all will attest who
have been so fortunate as to partake of the good cheer
afforded by his popular hostelry. Mr. Sheller is an
experienced hotel man and commands the patronage of the
best trade by affording every comfort and convenience
which the most fastidious guest might exact. The Hotel
Sheller has found great favor with the traveling public
and is recognized at home and abroad as North
Manchester's leading hotel. The best evidence of "Holly"
Sheller's personal popularity and the high standard at
which he maintains his hotel is the fact that
ninety-nine per cent of the commercial travelers who
visit North Manchester become his guests. Commercial
travelers possess an unerring instinct which guides them
to the best hotels along their respective routes, and
their presence in such large numbers at the Hotel
Sheller is proof strong as Holy Writ that they concede
it to be the leading hotel of North Manchester. Another
magnetic attraction possessed by the Hotel Sheller is
"George." There is but one "George" in all this wide
world and he can be found only at the Hotel Sheller.
Source: Aurora (1923) Ad:
The Place for Manchester students to bring their
Source: Aurora (1925) Ad:
Hot and Cold running water
Square North of Post Office
H.B. Sheller Prop.
Unexcelled for its
Special Arrangements for Clubs and Parties
THE NEW HOTEL SHELLER
Source: NMHS Newsletter, May 2006
The Hotel Sheller
One of the
great stories of history in North Manchester is the
story of the historic Hotel Sheller. There are so many
aspects of this story. One might be the tale of the
great and glamorous who have stayed there when they
made their brief appearance on local stages: Lillian
Russell, Faye Templeton or Dolly Fox. The author, Lloyd
C. Douglas, lived at the hotel when he was a young
pastor of Zion Lutheran Church. Thomas Marshall, Vice
President, was a guest at the hotel.
about 1925 what was called the wide-open system was used
at the hotel. This system was outlined in a sign on the
counter, placed there whenever no clerk was at the desk
at night. The sign read, "Please register. Take a key
and find your room. Pay at the desk after 5:30 a.m."
was described by a Chicago man in a letter to the
Chicago Tribune telling of an experience that had
happened on his travels. He told of stopping at the
Hotel Sheller, a "homey looking hotel", late one night
and ringing the bell for service. No one answered and
when he found the note on the table, he followed the
directions and had a good night's sleep.
came down in the morning there was still no one around,
and he left and went home without ever seeing a single
person. But he did mail the money for the room.
interview in 1983, Jane Sheller said that during her
first years at the hotel, "We wouldn't have lost pay for
more than four or five rooms using that system."