Lillian Parkins: Legendary innkeeper in Francitas, Blessing, Palacios

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
The Nebraska Inn

From Carol Sue Gibbs
Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Hotels were essential to the founding of many small towns in the Matagorda County area. 
   Land developers built a hotel to provide housing for the many homeseekers they lured to the newly founded towns. 
   The hotels were often the first buildings erected in the town and were built by the land company. 
   Most important to the hotel was the hotelkeeper and the keeper’s management skills.
Lillian Belle Parkins was a well-known hotelkeeper in Matagorda and Jackson counties. 
   She was born May 30, 1858, in Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa, and was one of eight children born to A.M. and Louisa Wright.
   Family history records her first marriage to Charles R. Phillips as 1876 in Kansas. They were living in Montrose, Lee County, Iowa on June 1, 1880. 
   They had two children, Maude, who died at the age of three years, and Raymond T. Phillips who was born September 19, 1880. 
   On Oct. 15, 1889, Lillian married Cyrus Christian Parkins. (April 30, 1850 - March 17, 1933) in Omaha, Neb.
When the 1900 census was taken, Cyrus, Lillian and Raymond were living in Swan, Smith County, Kansas, where Cyrus was farming. 
   The 1910 Census records Blessing as the home of Mrs. Parkins on April 15. She was apparently the hotelkeeper at the Hotel Blessing. [There was another hotel/boarding house in Blessing operated by Pearl Shurtz at the same time.]  
   Martha Wright, sister of Mrs. Parkins, a dressmaker, was living with her. There were five employees living at the hotel - a cook, assistant cook, porter, waitress and chambermaid. 
   Her long-term boarders included a trained nurse, private secretary, lumber yard bookkeeper, waterworks engineer and a laborer. 
   By December 1910, Mrs. Parkins had moved to Francitas and was the manager of the Nebraska Inn in the newly-founded Jackson County, town just 7.5 miles west of Blessing. 

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