Originally built in 1899 by Philadelphia transplant Wilke Power as the Power Hotel, the Midland Railroad Hotel was once considered among the premier hotels in the Midwest. A magnificent, limestone building rising three stories high and comprising 28 elegant rooms—and lit by the day’s latest method, acetylene gas—it was popular stop along the Union Pacific Railroad between Kansas City and Denver. Businessmen stopped there so often to show their wares, in fact, that the hotel’s basement became known as the Sample Room (and still is today.
After a November 1902 fire gutted the hotel, it was restored and reopened as the Midland Railroad Hotel. Rebuilt with modern heating, it maintained its status through the roaring 1920s as one of the finest, modern-day hotels in the region.
Once the Great Depression hit, the hotel suffered with the rest of America, making ends meet by raising chickens on the third floor to serve to dinner guests. Over the next several decades, the Midland continued to operate, even serving as a backdrop for many scenes in the 1973 film “Paper Moon,” starring Ryan O’Neal and daughter Tatum.
The Midland’s previous owners, John and Agnes Hill, closed the hotel in 1978 after 18 years in business. Then in 1997, the Wilson Foundation purchased the historic building for $35,000, launching six-year, $3.2 million renovation, earning the organization a Kansas Preservation Award for its painstaking restoration.
The Midland Railroad reopened in 2003 to its 1920s glory and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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“It was a quiet and pleasant place to stay for the weekend. Within walking distance to the Czech Egg, and a short drive to the Wilson Lake.”
“Great place, love the historic feel. Real good restaurant. Liked it so much, will be staying on my return trip!”
“This was so wonderful! I will be back if I come thru Kansas! A very special unexpected treat. Amazing room, high ceilings, old charm, quaint town, beautiful sunset, great breakfast, awesome bathroom and bed. Great light. Thank you!”
“Great place, beautifully historic, fantastic breakfast options! couldn’t ask for more!”
“The Midland Hotel, and Wilson, KS, are well worth getting off I-70 two miles! The hotel is very nicely restored, with a beautiful dining area and lobby in front. The room was a bit small, but the bed was very good and had nice linens. The restaurant is good, with a broad menu and a full bar. There is a small grocery store and liquor store nearby, and it’s fun to walk around the streets and take in the area’s history as the Czech capital of Kansas!”
“Loved our stay! We enjoyed the historic feel and the bar downstairs. A little treasure on our drive through Kansas!”
“Beautifully restored. Great staff. Great food.”
“Very neat place, I highly recommend. Great for pets and staff are accommodating.”
“Excellent restoration..modern comforts with an authentic historic look and feel. Unique restaurant and bar in the basement with top-shelf single malt Scotches to choose from!“
“What a cool little apartment! It’s not actually part of the Midland Hotel, but right down the street at an old school that has been converted to apartments. The space was clean, comfortable, unique, and had everything we needed. The restaurant downstairs at the hotel was delicious, and everyone we encountered was very friendly. We hope to return!”
“Great small hotel in a very small town in Kansas. Room was nicely appointed. Good restaurant and bar with great service even though they had a large party in that night.”
“Friends of our who frequently make a trip from Central Illinois to the Boulder, CO area recommended this hotel. The hotel is located just minutes from Interstate 70 making it a very convenient place to stop overnight. This historic hotel is a treasure! The rooms are small but included all of the necessary amenities. The rooms gave you the feeling you were sharing in the hotel’s history. The Midland Railroad Hotel is located in a small town. We were surprised to find that the hotel had a restaurant with very good food. Even more amazing, they had a variety of good bourbons available to buy. There was a piano concert in town and the restaurant was full adding to the already terrific ambiance. This hotel/restaurant/town is not a NYC, Chicago, or Denver experience. Instead, you are treated to a restored creative version of small town Americana! The trump card: it was much less expensive than boring sterile motels you are likely to experience near the highway when you travel.”
“We met another couple here for a birthday weekend getaway. Melinda responded very quickly to messages. The hotel is absolutely beautiful and the food at the basement restaurant was amazing. We sat outside on the heated patio before we had dinner. Sunday morning we were stuck at the hotel until interstate reopened after a snow storm during the night. Melinda was more than hospitable, she let guest keep their rooms longer and she also served soup and pie to her guests! We can not wait to come back, and will recommend the Midland to all of our friends for a weekend getaway!”
“The apartment was perfect for our overnight stay while passing through Kansas. It was spacious, clean and located close to the interstate and downtown Wilson, and had all the essentials for a stay. Grandma’s Soda Shop nearby has great burgers also!”
“I love staying here when I drive through. Its such an adorable historical hotel with fine touches!! Even allowed me to have my dog in one of the pet rooms. Bed is wonderful! Slept great! I even walked across the street after getting my coffee at the hotel and saw the world’s largest Czech egg displayed!”
“We love the hotel and average at least one visit a month. The rooms are beautifully restored with period photos and stories of the families that settled the area. The staff is great! They’re always very friendly and helpful, always happy to share insights about the hotel and things to do in the area. There’s a restaurant in the basement called, The Sample Room. It’s only open for dinner but I had a great chicken quesadilla there the night we arrived. Melinda is a strong supporter of the community and you can see that in the concerts she sponsors and the nod to the areas Czech heritage in the lobby. I recommend grabbing some coffee at the breakfast bar in the dining room and spending some time in the sitting room learning about the history of the hotel and the area. You can also check out publicity stills from the movie Paper Moon which used the hotel as a location.”
“This was a wonderful place to stay! I would highly recommend staying here. The apartment was very clean and it was great being able to use the hotel’s amenities.”
“This place is one of a kind! Clean and comfortable accommodations in a quaint town. Well worth the 2 miles drive off I-70. Everyone was welcoming and friendly, The service and food in the dining room were good. And our dog loved it also!”
“The Midland Railroad Hotel is a beautifully renovated hotel. The staff is really helpful and they take great care of you. Whether you’re passing through, visiting in the area or ghost hunting it’s a great place to stay. Keep in mind that it’s an old hotel with “Railroad” in the title. The train passes in front of the hotel. We only experienced it during the day. It may bother some people but we enjoyed watching it from our window. Also, the rooms aren’t huge – the hotel was built and rebuilt around the turn of the 20th century – but they’re comfortable and nicely appointed. There’s an early continental breakfast in the lobby and a restaurant below that. We’ll definitely be back.”
“The Historic Midland Railroad Hotel is an absolute must stop for all travelers looking for a period-like experience with modern amenities and really good food. Wilson is a charmingly sleepy town and the hotel at its center. This was my second stay at this hotel and it was as wonderful as I remembered. They even upgraded us when there was an issue with our original room.”