Creal Springs “Home of the Wonder Waters of the World”
Image courtesy of Mark Motsinger
The marker is located in Dippy Motsinger Memorial Park, 507 East Walnut Street, Creal Springs.
The Williamson County Historical Society, Family of Mary Delilah Murrah Hulett, and the Illinois State Historical Society
Mineral rich spring waters were discovered along the French trail called the “Grand Trace” south of this location around 1720. A trading post called Eau Mineral, later Sulfur Springs, was established there and by 1846, Sulfur Springs boasted a post office, a blacksmith, several merchants, and three doctors who dosed their patients with the mineral water.
After Edward Creal noticed the curative properties of the water on his property, he plotted a town site and sold lots. In February 1883, the Sulfur Springs post office was relocated and named Creal Springs and the city was incorporated August 10, 1883. That same year, Dr. Curtis Brown established the first resort hotel called Brown’s Creal Springs Hotel. In 1884, six original springs were tested and shown to have potential curative powers. More resort hotels followed including George B. Chamness’ East Side Hotel in 1885, the Ozark Hotel in 1891, the Park Hotel in 1892, and the Avenue House.
After the railroad arrived in 1889, five trains a day brought visitors to Creal, but patrons were thirsty for more than mineral water, which brought its own problems. In 1903, the community voted the city dry, spelling the decline of the resort business. A bottling plant in the basement of the Ozark Hotel continued to ship mineral water by mail until the market dried up, Fire claimed the Creal Springs Hotel, followed in 1915 by the Ozark Hotel. An attempt was made in 1918 to rebuild the resort business, but the new Ozark Hotel closed in 1928 and was demolished in 1938
Print marker information