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We've all heard of the Hilton Hotel, a national chain of average to really fancy hotels. But are you aware that the chain was started right here in the Lone Star State furthermore, in West Texas? The founder and namesake of the hotel chain Conrad Hilton had originally intended to purchase a bank instead.

The Very First Hilton Hotel Was In Cisco Texas In 1919

When Conrad first came to Texas he arrived during the height of the oil boom in the early 1900s. However, Mr. Hilton bought his first hotel instead, the 40-room Mobley Hotel in beautiful downtown Cisco, Texas, in 1919, when his attempted bank purchase failed.

It's been said that Conrad's Cisco hotel did such a booming business, that the rooms would change hands as much as three times a day during the oil boom of the 1920s. He was doing so well that he converted the hotel's dining room into more rooms to keep up with demand.

Hilton went on to buy and build hotels throughout Texas, including the infamous highrise Dallas Hilton in 1925 and the Abilene Hilton in 1927. Interestingly enough, The Abilene Hilton was later sold and the name changed to "The Windsor Hotel."

The Windsor Hotels penthouse suite would eventually become occupied by one of the first AM and FM radio station combos in Abilene in the early 1960s. The Station owners were utilizing the height of the 11 story hotel to mount antennas for broadcasting.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Those very stations would later become Townsquare Media radio stations. thus the reason I learned about the Abilene Hilton/Windsor Hotel. There were many days when this broadcaster would get stuck in the elevators or would have to climb eleven flights of stairs just to get to work.

On a side note, Conrad Hilton did not build his first hotel outside of Texas until 1939 and it was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Today there are Hiltons nearly everywhere, just keep in mind that the entire chain got its start because of a failed bank deal and a booming oil industry.

Source: Texas Fort Trails

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