From Enterprise Staff
Old Andress Inn, Livingston’s first hotel, was owned by James Andress, a contemporary and colleague of Moses L. Choate, the founder of Livingston. Located just south of the Polk County Courthouse, the Inn was a combination restaurant, saloon, grocery store, livery stable, bank, post office and stage station. It has been noted that General Sam Houston attended dances there. The passing of Andress and his wife left the Inn to their daughter and only heir, Mrs. Harriet Caroline Keys and it was renamed the Keys Hotel. The hotel was demolished in 1907.
A Texas Historical Marker was installed and dedicated in 1968. It was located in the 100 block of West Mill Street in front of the old Pedigo furniture store. When these buildings were demolished for the construction of the Polk County Judicial Center, the original marker was lost.
A new replacement marker will be dedicated in a ceremony hosted by the Polk County Historical Commission at 2 p.m. March 11 in front of the Polk County Judicial Center and the public is invited to attend. Following the dedication, light refreshments will be served at Miss Effie’s Cottage at 201 W. Mill St.
Choate, a native of Livingston, Tenn., has started a settlement called Springfield on his land grant in 1835 and wanted the seat of government located there when Polk County was organized out of Liberty County in 1846. He offered to give the new county 100 acres of land if Springfield was selected as county seat and the name of the town be changed to Livingston, for his former home in Tennessee. The legislature required that an election be held to determine the location of the county seat for the newly organized Polk County. By election in June 1846, Springfield was decided upon and the name was changed to Livingston.
Many new families were migrating into Texas during this period and James Andress and his family was one of these families. James and Jerusha Andress moved to Monroe County, Alabama, settling near Fort Claiborne, Alabama sometime before 1827. He was constable for Monroe County in 1827 and justice of the peace in 1835, 1843 and 1844. The last land sold by Andress in Alabama was in April 1845. He had moved to Livingston by 1846 and was very active in helping form the new Polk County and town of Livingston.