The Southern was built in the year 1880 adjacent to Basin Spring and some 25 feet above it on the hillside. L.M. Rainey of Missouri, its original owner, sold the hotel to W. E. Beatty in 1886, at which time it was acclaimed to be one of the city's two finest hotels, the other being Perry House, situated on the opposite side of the spring.
Damaged in the Great Fire of 1890, The Southern was repaired and enlarged to one hundred rooms, gas lighted throughout, and boasting for a time an outdoor "elevator" which lifted guests from Basin Spring level to hotel entrance.
Wallace McQuerry owned the hotel in 1932 and had renamed it Southern Home. On November 12 that year this handsome wooden structure which stood for just over half a century was destroyed in what the Times-Echo and other newspapers described as "a spectacular blaze."