A Look Back...

Westcott Hotel

at East Main and 10th Street in Richmond, Indiana.

Photo courtesy of the Wayne County Historical Museum

The Westcott Hotel was built by a group of investors in 1895 and later purchased in its entirety by John W. Westcott. The building was razed in 1977.

Photo: historical image of the exterior of the Westcott Hotel in Richmond, Indiana

Photo taken circa 1900

The Westcott name is also famous for being a brand of automobile made in Richmond, IN. This 1908 Westcott, featuring a 2 cylinder horizontal engine with opposed pistons, is in the collection at the Wayne County Historical Museum. It is thought to be the first Westcott ever made.
Photo: Westcott Automobile

John McMahon Westcott (1834-1907) a buyer and seller of grain, bought into and eventually purchased the Hoosier Drill Company which produced and sold grain drills. The company eventually became part of the American Seeding Machine Company and later became the Richmond branch of the International Harvester Company. The company was located at North 12th and "E" Streets. He was also the owner of the Westcott Carriage Company, which was closed in 1909. Mr. J.W. Westcott left an estate estimated to be worth two million dollars - an astounding figure for the time.

The Westcott Carriage Company gave way to the Westcott Motor Car Co. They produced automobiles in Richmond, Indiana from 1907 to 1915. There was a Westcott among the field of vehicles in the very first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.

Burton J. Westcott (1868-1926), son of John W. Westcott, moved to Springfield, Ohio in 1903 where he continued as a successful business man and served as Mayor of Springfield for one term. He moved the Westcott Motor Car Co. there in 1916 and they continued to produce the Westcott automobile from 1916 to 1925.

Burton and his wife contracted with the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright who built the notable prairie-style house in Springfield, Ohio between 1904 and 1908. The restoration of the Westcott House is in its beginning stage, but may be observed at 1340 East High Street in Springfield, OH. There is an excellent web site detailing information about the house and the Westcott's.

Graphic: Antique Car

Read More About It:

Westcott Motor Car by Betty Acker, RC 629.222 A 18, located in the "Richmond Collection" of the reference department at Morrisson-Reeves Library.

Also, you may request the "Pamphlet File" on the Westcott's at the Reference Desk at Morrisson-Reeves Library.

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The Levi Coffin House in Fountain City is recognized as the "Grand Central Station" of the Underground Railroad. Levi and Catharine Coffin were legendary, helping more than 2,000 former slaves escape to freedom in the North.