Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Herrin Innkeeper Ann Hindman Dies

A former co-worker at the Williamson County Tourism Bureau just contacted me that Ann Hindman, proprietor of the Park Avenue Motel in Herrin died this morning.

Hindman and her late husband and Herrin contractor Paul Hindman had opened the motel back in the early 1960s. I served with her on the Williamson County Tourism Bureau board of directors twice, and then later as executive director of the bureau. I could always count on her to speak her mind if she felt the need, which I appreciated.

She and her husband broke ground for the Park Avenue at the beginning of August 1960.

"Construction will be concrete and fireproof throughout," [Paul] Hindman [told the Southern Illinoisan at the time].

Concrete slabs will form the room and Anna stone and aluminum decorative screens will be used on the walls. Each room will be 12 by 20 feet. The portion near the entrance will house a coffee bar, office, lounge and meeting room.

Rainy weather delayed construction as her husband worked to fit it into his schedule of other work. Finally, after months of delays, the Hindmans opened the motel on April 15, 1962.

A full-page ad from July 17 that year told tourists what they could expect.

The PARK AVENUE MOTEL is a new concept in downtown motel convenience. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hindman, owners, believe in making every guest as comfortable as possible. In each of the 20 units are automatic telephones, electric heating and air conditioning, television, wall-to-wall carpeting, tile bath and showers. And something special ... courtesy coffee located in each unit! Truly, this is comfortable living.

Stop by the PARK AVENUE MOTEL the next time you’re in Herrin. Paul and Anna Hindman will be glad to show you how staying at the PARK AVENUE MOTEL will leave you rested and refreshed.

Located at 912 North Park Avenue, Phone WIlson 2-3159.

Mrs. Hindman was pretty particular who she let stay at her place. If you looked rough or ratty, she wouldn't hestitate to send you packing.

At least up to the last few years she cleaned the rooms herself. To make a telephone call, she would have to personally make the connection on the old-fashioned telephone operating board in the office.

Over the last few years I would get updates every once in a while about her condition as she struggled with some ailments. She will be missed. She was a Herrin institution.

Her husband Paul died Nov. 2, 2000, at the age of 77.

Funeral arragements are pending at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin.

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