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Albion Hotel, Iowa

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Albion Hotel
Viewed across the highway
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General information
LocationAlbion, IA, United States of America
Address106 S Main St.
Technical details
Size0.32 Acres
Floor count2

The Albion Hotel is a historic building located in Albion, IA in rural Marshall County. It was built in the town LaFayette in 1857 which got its name change to Albion a year after its construction. The building was constructed and intended to be a hotel to increase tourism. It was during that time that in 1879 when famous outlaw Jesse James stayed in the town. Some years later, the building was no longer needed as a hotel. It was changed into a single family residential house.


Sales History[edit]

It has been sold 5 times since its change. First was on September 10, 1997 from Mary L Tappe to Mac D Thornes for $21,000. It was sold again on August 18, 1999 from Mac D Thornes to Rayleen Y Raveling for $18,000. It was sold again on March 30, 2005 from Marshall County Sheriff to Wells Fargo Bank for $27,651. It was sold again on June 13, 2006 from Wells Fargo Bank to Alfredo & Maria E Cisneros for $16,900. It was finally sold on April 27, 2022 from Alfredo & Maria E Cisneros to Dabi & Priscila Rios to its current owners.[1]

Jesse James[edit]

​In 1879, the notorious outlaw Jesse James stayed at the Albion Hotel during his travels through the Midwest. James and his gang were known for robbing banks, trains, and stagecoaches across the region in the late 1800s. It's believed that James stopped in Albion to lay low from law enforcement for his children. James' stay in the small Iowa town caused quite a stir among the local residents, many of whom were likely unaware they were hosting one of the most wanted outlaws in the country. While there are no reports of any crimes committed by James during his time in Albion, his presence there was certainly a noteworthy and intriguing part of the hotel's history. The James arrived in Albion, checking into the local hotel as Mr. and Mrs. Howard Smith. Days later, they rented a house and then a home in the country, with their children Mary and Jess Edward. Zee (Mrs. Smith) said the children would be "better off in the country. By mid-summer, the Smiths had left Albion without saying goodbye. After Jesse James was killed, his wife Zee admitted to a reporter that Jesse was her husband. The obituary mistakenly said the James family had lived in Albia, Iowa, not Albion. Years later, a writer named F.S. Whealen visited Albion and spoke with Evelyn Spindler, a young girl who had befriended Zee in 1879. When Whealen showed Evelyn photos of Jess and Zee James, she exclaimed "Why, it's Mr. and Mrs. Smith!" So the Albion Hotel, now a private home, is where Jesse James stayed under the alias of Howard Smith.[2]


  1. "Parcel Details for 841806412010". Retrieved March 25, 2024.
  2. "Albion Iowa - Welcome to Albion". Retrieved March 25, 2024.

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