Pacific House Hotel

Posted on

Frank and Jesse James, Order No. 11, residential units, River Market






Built in 1861, but rebuilt and expanded in 1868 after an 1867 fire, the Pacific House Hotel was considered the finest in Kansas City until the real estate boom of the 1880s. At the turn of the century, it still retained its stature by acquiring the nickname “Palatial Pacific.”


Frank and Jesse James were said to have played billiards and lounged at the bar.  From 1861 to 1865, the Union Troops occupied the hotel. From its lobby, General Thomas Ewing issued his infamous Order No. 11, which forced evacuation of property on anyone who could not prove their loyalty to the Union. This order was considered one of the harshest and cruelest measures of the American government against its people. Properties in Jackson, Cass, Bates and Vernon counties in Missouri were burned to the ground, animals stolen, and many families left with nothing. The goal was to stop Pro-confederate “guerillas” from finding provisions or shelter in the countryside. All hay and grain was removed from fields or burned. Some innocent civilians were stranded without shelter or food and others were still not safe even after evacuating with their wagons and leaving their homes. Wagon after wagon was looted and many families killed. This scorched-earth military policy ultimately had an inverse outcome from what was intended.

Since 1999, the Pacific House has offered 32 affordable residential units.