San Antonio History Matrix

A searchable bibliography of sources on the history of San Antonio from the early eighteenth century to the late twentieth century.

1877 - 1901 Gilded Age

 

Davies, Christopher S. “Life at the Edge: Urban and Industrial Evolution of Texas, Frontier Wilderness – Frontier Space, 1836 – 1986.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 443-554.
Davis presents a geographer’s perspective on the San Antonio – Austin area. Numerous maps, charts and tables focus on economic and demographic changes as these (and other) Texas urban areas evolved from frontier havens to modern metropolises. Monopoly capital coupled with “frontier insouciance.” San Antonio and Austin are “predator cities” that draw population and capital from Houston and elsewhere.

 

Everett, Donald E. San Antonio, The Flavor of its Past, 1845-1898. San Antonio, 1983.
A series of short vignettes on the interesting personalities, customs and events in the city's past, mostly taken from contemporary newspaper accounts. Lengths vary from a paragraph to a full page or two. Several items discuss the German and Mexican immigrants, tourism, the river and the acequias, and the doings of the city's well-to-do.

 

Everett, Donald E. San Antonio Legacy. San Antonio: 1979.
Short accounts, running 2 to 4 pages in length, on various topics on San Antonio as drawn from the San Antonio Express newspaper from 1865 to 1929. Topics covered include: stage coaches and shipping, gambling, barbed wire, women’s organizations, a lynching, local folklore.

 

Mayer, J. A. “San Antonio, Frontier Entrepot.” Ph. D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1976.
Mayer attempts a broad survey of the city’s economic development over the nineteenth century. After enjoying relative prosperity during the Civil War due to its cotton trade with Mexico, the local economy boomed further as a commercial center for South and West Texas. The cattle industry expanded as did the military. Local entrepreneurs and government officials provided the infrastructure to ensure urban growth.

 

McLemore, David. A Place in Time, A Pictorial View of San Antonio’s Past. San Antonio: 1980.
A collection of black and white photographs, sparsely annotated. Many photos were taken by Ernst Raba, spanning the late nineteenth century to the early part of the twentieth century.

 

Adams, Paul. “The Unsolved Murder of Ben Thompson.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 48 (Jan. 1945): 321 – 29.
In 1882 Thompson gunned down well known San Antonio saloon keeper Jack Harris insisting it was a matter of self-defense. Harris’s friends presumably avenged his death in 1884 when Thompson paid a return visit to the city. Thompson was an infamous gambler and lawman linked to a number of murders.

 

Allen, Deborah E. “Laurel Heights: The Life of a Suburban Neighborhood.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1987.
The neighborhood just north of San Antonio College illustrates how the historical phenomenon of suburbanization occurred here much as elsewhere. Allen follows the life cycle of an early San Antonio “streetcar suburb” from when it was developed in the 1890's to its decline beginning in the late 1920's, when it lost its upper middle class, residential character. Uses newspapers and city directories. Numerous tables, maps and illustrations. (100 pp.)

 

Altgelt, Emma. “Emma Altgelt’s Sketches of Life in Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 63 (Jan. 1960): 363-84.
Altgelt arrived in San Antonio after the Civil War and wrote her reminiscences in German in 1887. She was the wife of a prominent local lawyer and developer. They built their first home on King William Street. They also had a ranch in the Hill Country. Edited and translated by Henry B. Dielmann.

 

Badillo, David A. Latinos and the New Immigrant Church. Baltimore, MD: 2006.
An analysis of the Catholic Church’s historic relationship with its diverse Hispanic parishioners in San Antonio, New York, Miami and Chicago beginning in the late nineteenth century. Devotes particular attention to San Antonio’s archbishop Robert Lucey and the civic activism he courted.

 

Barr, Alwyn. “Black Urban Churches on the Southern Frontier, 1865-1900.” Journal of Negro History 82 (Autumn 1997): 368-83.
A study documenting the experiences of Afro-American churches in San Antonio, Houston, Little Rock and Shreveport following the Civil War. Initially many functioned with poorly prepared former slaves as preachers and with the financial support of white churches of their denominations. Educated black ministers appeared in the 1870's along with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The churches were very active in the lives of their parishioners – especially the women – and their communities.

 

Belgian American Club of Texas. The Belgian Americans of Texas. San Antonio, Tex.: 1986.
Offers brief family histories – about 60 in all – of Belgians who settled in the San Antonio area, most of them as farmers.

 

Boryczka, Raymond. “’The Busiest Man in Town’: John Hermann Kampmann and the Urbanization of San Antonio, Texas, 1848 – 1885.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 115 (April 2012): 329-63.
German immigrant Kampmann (1819 - 1885) arrived in San Antonio in 1848 and engaged in a variety of trades and businesses: “architect, contractor, politician, fireman, banker, brewer, railroad booster, rancher, soldier, civic leader, manufacturer, hotelier.”  He was active in local politics, promoted various public works projects, donated to various philanthropies and was a pillar of the German community.   This biographical profile serves as an excellent survey of the politics and urban development of San Antonio in the mid-nineteenth century.

 

Bowser, David. San Antonio’s Red Light District: A History 1890-1941. San Antonio: 1992.
This sixteen page pamphlet covers the city’s sex industry in its heyday when it was located just South of Market Square. San Antonio tolerated and even regulated prostitution by requiring women to undergo periodic physical exams. A 1911 directory listed 106 brothels. The military forced the city to close the establishments down at the outset of World War II. Maps detail the location of many of the brothels and “cribs.”

 

Bowser, David. West of the Creek: Murder, Mayhem and Vice in Old San Antonio. San Antonio: 2003
Short vignettes uncover the crime and vice associated with the west side of San Pedro Creek. The neighborhood was home to gambling establishments, brothels and saloons during its heyday around 1900.

 

Bushick, Frank H. Glamorous Days. San Antonio: 1934.
Brief chapters offer vignettes on various aspects of San Antonio life and some of its more colorful characters from the Gilded Age to the Twenties. A potentially rich source for social histories dealing with the era’s customs and social settings. Topics covered include: notable eateries, saloons, gambling dens, vaudeville, chili queens, Chinese laundries, Bryan Callaghan, local politics, gunfights, desperadoes, cattlemen, cowboys and John Wesley Hardin.

 

Butler, Anne M. “Building Justice: Mother Margaret Murphy, Race, and Texas.” Catholic Southwest 13 (2002): 13-36.
Margaret Murphy (1833 – 1907), a rich widow, arrived in San Antonio in 1887 and established a Catholic school for Afro-Americans at St. Peter Claver Church. At this time civil authorities in San Antonio operated a segregated school system with far less funding for “colored” schools. Murphy met with local opposition to her plans and even Catholic religious orders were reluctant to cooperate. She founded the Sisters of the Holy Ghost and Mary Immaculate to work in her school. Murphy proved an able administrator and recruited many nuns from her native Ireland.

 

Bybee, Larry Lane. “Germans in San Antonio, 1844 – 1920: A Study in Cultural Persistence.” M. A. Thesis: University of Texas at San Antonio, 1980.
German immigrants enjoyed prominent status in mid-nineteenth century San Antonio because of their large numbers and comfortable economic status. The arrival of the railroad in 1877 brought more Americans to the community that diluted the German presence and accelerated the process of assimilation. Although Germans increasingly mingled and identified with non-Germans in the workplace and elsewhere, they retained much of their culture into the twentieth century. (106 pp.)

 

Cantrell, Gregg. “’Our Very Pronounced Theory of Equal Rights to All’: Race, Citizenship, and Populism in the South Texas Borderlands,” Journal of American History 100 (Dec. 2013): 663 – 90.
In 1896 Mexican immigrant Ricardo Rodriguez’s application for U.S. citizenship was challenged in a San Antonio court. It was charged that Rodriguez and other Mexicans did not qualify for citizenship because they were not “white.”  Some viewed this legal test case as an effort to disfranchise Hispanics.  The author believes the suit was undertaken to counter massive vote fraud across South Texas that was keeping the Democrats in power. The case had a chilling effect on the Populist Party’s outreach efforts among Mexican Americans in South Texas.

 

Chabot, Frederick C. Life and Memoirs of Emil Frederick Wurzbach. San Antonio: 1937.
Wurzbach arrived from Germany as a child in 1844 and lived in Austin. During the 1850's he served with the Texas Rangers and volunteered for the Confederacy. He later moved to San Antonio, where he recorded his memoirs in 1915. He died in 1930.

 

Cude, Elton. The Free and Wild Dukedom of Bexar. San Antonio, 1978.
San Antonio in the nineteenth century was not known for its devotion to “law and order.” This study of the underside of San Antonio society revels in murders, saloons, gambling and in the numerous "bad men" and gangs that frequented the city.

 

Davies, Christopher S. “Life at the Edge: Urban and Industrial Evolution of Texas, Frontier Wilderness – Frontier Space, 1836 – 1986.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 443-554.
Davis presents a geographer’s perspective on the San Antonio – Austin area. Numerous maps, charts and tables focus on economic and demographic changes as these (and other) Texas urban areas evolved from frontier havens to modern metropolises. Monopoly capital coupled with “frontier insouciance.” San Antonio and Austin are “predator cities” that draw population and capital from Houston and elsewhere.

 

De Leon, Arnaldo. “In Re Ricardo Rodriguez: An Attempt at Chicano Disfranchisement in San Antonio, 1896 – 1897.” in En Aquel Entonces: Readings in Mexican American History.  Eds. Manuel G. Gonzales and Cynthia M. Gonzales.  Bloomington, IN: 2000.
A local court case where a Mexican immigrant’s application for citizenship was challenged on the grounds that he was not white. The claim was made that federal statutes only allowed whites to become naturalized. Much of the case turned on how “white” was to be defined. The judge ultimately ruled that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and other federal actions and documents indicated that Mexican nationals could become U.S. citizens.

 

DeLeon, Arnoldo and Kenneth L. Stewart. “A Tale of Three Cities: A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Economic Conditions of Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles, Tucson, and San Antonio, 1850 – 1900.” Journal of the West 24 (Spring 1985): 64 – 74.
Data derived from samples of the 1850 and 1900 censuses in San Antonio are matched with similar results for Tucson and Los Angeles. Hispanics in San Antonio during the last half of the nineteenth century experienced a more rapid decline in both socio-economic status and population than in the two other cities surveyed. The Anglo influx was far more dramatic in San Antonio and led to an earlier and more rapid proletarianization of its Hispanic population. The Hispanic component of the city’s population between 1850 and 1900 dropped from 47.1% to 18.7%. Tables compare the occupational profiles of the Anglo and Spanish surnamed populations in each city as well as their reported wealth.

 

Dielmann, Henry B. “Dr. Ferdinand Herff, Pioneer, Physician and Surgeon.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 57 (Jan. 1954): 265-284.
Herff, a native of Germany, moved to San Antonio in 1850. At that time there were no hospitals or nurses in town. Herff had a lucrative practice where he proved a skillful surgeon ready to adopt the latest medical innovations until his death in 1912.

 

Du Terroil, Rubye. “The Role of Women in Nineteenth Century San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1949.
Reviews the various, mostly middle class, occupations women have held since the mid-nineteenth century. The survey includes teachers, shopkeepers (especially millinery), writers, musicians, and hotel keepers. Includes a chapter on women’s clubs and their leaders, especially the San Antonio Women’s Club formed in 1898 and devoted to civic improvement. Numerous brief sketches of largely on Anglo women as drawn from newspapers and directories. (135 pp.)

 

Everett, Donald E. San Antonio's Monte Vista: Architecture and Society in a Gilded Age, 1890-1930. San Antonio: 1999.
San Antonio’s earliest suburb lies between Trinity University and San Antonio College. Local developers appeared in the 1890's with the help of a streetcar line along San Pedro Ave. connecting the area to Alamo Plaza. Chapters examine the residences of the well-to-do street by street. A later chapter reports on the historic preservation efforts undertaken in the 1970's.

 

Fisher, O. Clark. “The Life and Times of King Fisher.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 64 (Oct. 1960):232-47.
Fisher was a notorious gunman of the border region. He was killed in San Antonio on March 11, 1884 during the assault on Ben Thompson.

 

Foley, Neil. The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture. Berkeley: Calif.: 1999.
A study of race relations and labor conditions in a 50 county region lying between San Antonio and Dallas. The development of large scale agriculture resulted in the rural proletarianization of small scale farmers. They were replaced by machinery and a largely Mexican workforce of sharecroppers and migrant workers. Racism undermined the ability of Anglo farmers, some of them Socialists, to resist these changes by uniting with similarly threatened black farmers. [Based on the author’s “The New South in the Southwest: Anglos, Blacks and Mexicans in Central Texas, 1880 – 1930.” Ph. D. dissertation, U. of Michigan, 1990.]

 

Fox, Anne A. and Marcie Renner, Robert J. Hard. (eds.) Archeology at the Alamodome: Investigations of a San Antonio Neighborhood in Transition. San Antonio, 1997.
In the early 1990's UTSA’s Center for Archeological Research undertook an extensive archeological excavation of a racially mixed neighborhood known as Denver Heights. A series of reports by different authors discuss the artifacts, physical structures and architecture. The community was first settled in the 1880's, but most of the material dates to the early twentieth century when the Alamo Iron Works took over the site. The area was soon to be demolished to make room for the Alamodome.

 

Gabaccia, Donna R. and Jeffrey M. Pilcher. “’Chili Queens’ and Checkered Tablecloths, Public Dining Cultures of Italians in New York City and Mexicans in San Antonio, Texas, 1870's – 1940's.” Radical History Review Issue 110 (Spring 2011) 109 – 26.
Mexican women running their outdoor restaurants in San Antonio’s plazas and New York’s Italian males with their food carts both came under attack for their plebeian fare. Both offered a form of “street food” (chili, pizza, spaghetti, tamales) common in their native societies. Both businesses offered exotic food items; San Antonio’s chili queens offered as well a “fantasy heritage” to draw the tourist trade. Italians would prove more successful in moving their businesses indoors while the chili queens largely disappeared.

 

Griswold del Castillo, Richard. La Familia: Chicano Families in the Urban Southwest, 1848 to the Present. Notre Dame, IN: 1984.
Griswold’s study of Chicano families is based on 4 cities: Los Angeles, Tucson, Santa Fe and San Antonio (by far the largest of the four at the outset). Unlike elsewhere, San Antonio’s Hispanic elite were marginalized as Anglo domination grew during the mid to latter part of the nineteenth century. The patriarchal family structure was in decline but still evident in San Antonio in the 1920's. The census and other data explore various facets of Hispanic family life including the role of women, racial intermarriage, infant mortality, illegitimacy and the role of godparents.

 

Hernández-Ehrisman, Laura. Inventing the Fiesta City: Heritage and Carnival in San Antonio. Albuquerque, NM: 2008.
A broad overview of the people, organizations and events associated with the cultural performance of Fiesta from 1891 to the present. In its early years the Battle of Flowers parade and the Order of the Alamo reflected Anglo dominance in the community and the ideological hold of the “Texas Modern.”  Local boosters used the festivities to highlight the city’s Mexican past without acknowledging the presence of its large Mexican American population.  The appearance of a Fiesta Commission, Rey Feo and Cornynation after World War II evidenced an effort at greater inclusion.  Research draws on local newspapers, manuscript collections and oral histories.

 

Janert, Edwinna Kirkpatrick. “San Pedro Springs.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
Irrigation ditches attached to the springs serviced the fields of Mission San Antonio de Valero. Janert relates the many public purposes of the surrounding park area from prehistoric times to the present. Spanish authorities designated the site a public space in 1729. The park catered to various forms of popular entertainment, which in the nineteenth century included cockfights, bullfights, picnics, rodeos and zoo. After restoration in the early twentieth century it sported a library and various sports facilities for swimming, tennis and even ice skating. (111 pages.)

 

Johnson, Charles Theodore. “Edgewood: A History of a San Antonio Suburb, 1870 – 1959.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1960.
The area began as a rural village outside San Antonio. Belgian farmers moved in around the time of World War I. Mexican Americans moved in to the neighborhood during World War II when many were displaced by the construction of the Alazan – Apache Courts and later Victoria Courts. The expansion of Kelly Air Force Base during the war also afforded low paying jobs as laborers and construction workers. The city of San Antonio annexed the area in 1942 and began providing sewers, police protection and garbage removal. Yet many homes were built without water or sewage access well in to the 1950's. Depressed property values prevented the segregated school system from building schools fast enough to keep up with population growth. Indexed with numerous appendices reporting longitudinal statistical data. Based on interviews and government documents for Bexar County and the Edgewood School District. (127 pp.)

 

Jones, Billy M. “Health Seekers in Early Anglo American Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 69 (Jan. 1966): 287 – 99.
The dry climate and hot springs of San Antonio, “the Sanitarium of the West,” were thought to have salutary effect, especially for those suffering from tuberculosis (“consumption”). The railroad brought numerous tourists and immigrants seeking to regain their health. The Hot Wells Hotel just south of town was a popular destination after it opened in 1886.

 

Kallison, Frances B. “100 years of Jewry in San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1977.
This survey of religious and civic leaders and institutions begins with the arrival of the first adventurers during the Spanish era to the early part of the twentieth century. After 1880 many Jews originated in Eastern Europe and were more “tradition oriented.” Jews were well integrated into the San Antonio community and enjoyed a prosperous existence while they carried on their traditions. Based on oral interviews, city directories, and organization records. (136 pp.)

 

Marks, Paula Mitchell. Turn Your Eyes Toward Texas: Pioneers Sam and Mary Maverick. College Station, Texas: 1989.
Marks portrays two of the most prominent early Anglo settlers of San Antonio, who settled permanently in 1847. Samuel (1803 - 1870) was very active in city politics and acquired extensive land holdings in West Texas. Mary (1818-1898) was involved in relief work and the city’s cultural institutions while raising 10 children. They lived near Alamo Plaza.

 

Martinello, Marian L. The Search for a Chili Queen on the Fringes of a Rebozo. Fort Worth: TX: 2009.
The Chili Queens operated outdoor restaurants in Military Plaza (behind San Fernando Cathedral) and elsewhere around town between roughly 1870 and 1940. They served up a Tex-Mex fare of chili as well as tamales and enchiladas that were washed down with coffee or hot chocolate. Martinello details her research steps and findings as she describes the women’s homes, clothing, cooking, customers and workplace in the 1880's. An excellent introduction to the craft of local history that draws on a variety of sources. Numerous illustrations.

 

Martinez-Catsam, Ana Luisa. “Frontier of Dissent: El Regidor, the Regime of Porfirio Díaz, and the Transborder Community.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 112 (Apr. 2009): 388 – 408.
Pablo Cruz (1866 – 1910) was part of a transborder coalition of liberal journalists formed in the 1890's to oppose the Porfiriato. He charged that the Mexican President’s recurrent re-elections were accomplished with vote fraud and intimidation. Cruz came to the defense of Mexican journalists imprisoned for criticizing the regime. His San Antonio Spanish language newspaper defended activities along the border aimed at ousting the regime while the San Antonio Daily Express characterized the rebels as bandits. He used the paper to raise funds in defense of Tejanos prosecuted by American governments and to challenge school segregation.

 

Martinez, Ana Luisa. “Pablo Cruz and ‘El Regidor:’ The Emergence of a Bicultural Identify in San Antonio, 1888 – 1910.” Journal of the West 45 (Fall 2006): 21-28.
Mexican immigrant Cruz used his Spanish language San Antonio newspaper to promote Mexican identity among his readership while pledging fealty to the United States. He served as an intermediary with the Anglo power establishment through the local Callaghan machine linked to the Democratic Party. Cruz believed education and Americanization was the proper route for Mexican Americans, but he wanted them to preserve their language and customs. He also condemned school segregation and came to the aid of Mexican Americans whose civil rights were under attack. [See also Martinez, Ana Luis R. “El Regidor, A Late Nineteenth Century Approach to Mexican American Political Integration.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1997. (74 pp.)]

 

Martinez, Ana Luisa R. “The Voice of the People: Pablo Cruz, ‘El Regidor,’ and Mexican American Identity in San Antonio, Texas, 1888 – 1910.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas Tech U., 2003.
Martinez follows Cruz’s journalistic career beginning with his establishment of the Spanish language weekly El Regidor in San Antonio in 1888. Cruz and his paper reflected a bicultural identity. On the one hand, his paper celebrated Mexican heritage and provided extensive coverage of events in the homeland; on the other, it promoted use of the English language, urged local political participation, and defended the rights of Mexican Americans while attacking lynching and segregated schools. Cruz and other middle class Hispanics enjoyed good relations with the Anglo community, suggesting that race relations in San Antonio were more complicated than an “us versus them” mindset.

 

Martinez-Catsam, Ana. “Frontier of Dissent: El Regidor, the Regime of Porfirio Diaz, and the Transborder Community.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 112 (Apr. 2009): 389 – 410.
The San Antonio newspaper El Regidor joined other liberal press in Mexico in denouncing the regime of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz during the 1890's. The paper denounced the elections as a farce given the intimidation and corruption, and the government’s crackdown on dissident newspapers. The paper was sympathetic to armed uprisings against the Porfiriato organized on both sides of the Texas border. Publisher Pablo Cruz also used the paper to denounce the discrimination Tejanos met with in Texas and the Southwest, the poor quality of the segregated schools, the disfranchisement accomplished with the poll tax, and recurring lynching of minorities.

 

Mason, Kenneth. African Americans and Race Relations in San Antonio, Texas, 1867-1937. New York: 1998.
Mason argues that the experience of Afro Americans in San Antonio’s more nearly resembled that of other western cities rather than the South. Blacks enjoyed more economic opportunity and an improved social standing – though still subject to Jim Crow and paternalistic white control. The Mexican American presence was particularly important in tempering the racial regime. [Based on the author’s 1994 Ph. D. dissertation at the University of Texas at Austin, "Paternal Continuity: African Americans and Race Relations in San Antonio, Texas, 1867-1937."]

 

Maverick, Mary A. The Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick, A Journal of Early Texas. San Antonio: 2005.
Mary Maverick arrived in San Antonio in 1838 and later moved to a house on Alamo Plaza. She gave birth to 10 children but saw only 5 of them reach adulthood. She recorded her recollections in the 1880's. They mostly dwell on events of the 1840's and 1850's. She furnishes an eyewitness account of the Council House Fight of 1840, the severe cholera epidemic of 1849, and her husband’s varied military, political and economic ventures. Maverick also documents the customs and lifestyles of the Anglos, Germans and Tejanos who inhabited the city.

 

Menger, Johnowene B. Crutcher. “M. Eleanor Brackenridge, 1837 – 1924, A Third Generation Advocate for Education.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1964.
Brackenridge worked with the Woman’s Club of San Antonio in a variety of programs to promote education for women such as kindergartens and instruction in home economics. She took an interest in children’s issues, such as juvenile delinquency and was very active in the suffrage movement. The sources include local newspapers, club minutes and oral histories. (166 pp.)

 

Miller, Char and Heywood Sanders. “Parks, Politics and Patronage,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. Char Miller. 83 – 98. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Historically, San Antonio’s elite have been indifferent to developing parks inside the city limits. The interests of private development have come before those of public space. The establishment of Commission government in 1914 elevated the profile of parks as they were the bailiwick of one of the city’s five commissioners. In the decades that followed far more was invested in developing parks mostly through bond proposals. But park placement was determined by electoral clout during the first half of the twentieth century; white and Afro-American neighborhoods sprouted parks while the Hispanic east side was largely neglected.

 

Nixon, Pat Ireland. A Century of Medicine in San Antonio. San Antonio 1936.
The time frame covered by the book really exceeds a century since it reviews the history of medicine and more particularly the medical profession and its practitioners from Spanish times to the New Deal. Prior to late nineteenth century San Antonio suffered a dearth of doctors but there was no shortage of medical quacks. The book covers epidemics, medicines and forms of treatment, medical facilities and the Board of Health. Nixon documents the appalling living conditions of the Hispanic population after 1910 and their consequently high mortality rate.

 

Pilcher, Jeffrey M. “’Who Chased Out the Chili Queens? Gender Race and Urban Reform in San Antonio, Texas, 1880 – 1943.” Food and Foodways 16 (July 2008): 173 – 200.
Women began serving chili in the city’s plazas about the time the railroad started bringing tourists to the area. The chili queens were portrayed as erotic and transgressive figures who offered exotic and unclean fare. Middle class reformers – Anglo and Mexican – made recurring efforts to regulate and eventually outlaw their outdoor restaurants in the interests of urban hygiene. Additionally, the better economic opportunities afforded by World War II induced Mexican women to work in some other business. Meanwhile, Anglo owned food processors began popularizing chili powder and other key ingredients.

 

Prassel, Frank Richard. “Leisure Time Activities in San Antonio, 1877 – 1917.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1961.
San Antonio played host to numerous saloons and gambling establishments. Forms of popular entertainment varied by the city’s different ethnic groups. Germans had their singing societies and Mexicans attended their bull fights and cock fights. As the city evolved from a frontier village to a urban metropolis newer forms of more standardized forms of popular entertainment emerged. Prassel also considers the role of secret societies and other fraternal or military or women’s associations as outlets for entertainment and relaxation. Research relies on personal interviews and newspaper accounts. (159 pp.)

 

Reeve, Frank D. “The Apache Indians in Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 50 187 – 219.
Reeve covers the period spanning from early Spanish colonization up to the late nineteenth century. The Lipan and Anglo populations frequently met in or near San Antonio, on friendly or unfriendly terms.

 

Reimherr, Joan. “The Belgian Colony of San Antonio.” Texas Historian (May, 1971).
The immigrants established truck farms just outside San Antonio on its west side during the 1880's. They grew fresh produce year round for the local market.

 

Sexton, Kathryn and Irwin Sexton. “Edward Dixon Westfall.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 58 (July, 1964): 1 – 13.
Westfall was a nearby San Antonio rancher and ranger who kept a journal between 1886 and his death in 1897. He was particularly interested in the weather and made pointed commentary on political matters. He left his estate to the San Antonio Public Library.

 

Shannon, Barker E. “Los Tejanos de San Antonio: Mexican Immigrant Family Acculturation, 1880 – 1929.” Ph. D. diss.: George Washington U., 1996.
An analysis of the adjustment of Mexican immigrants to American society that primarily draws on a statistical analysis of the 1880, 1900 and 1920 manuscript censuses. Oral histories and newspapers were also consulted. The data offer insights into occupational mobility, family and household structure, marriage patterns and women’s occupations. The immigrants resisted assimilation into the American mainstream, and they preserved much of their Mexican culture through their Catholicism and Spanish language. Nonetheless, the west side barrio Americanized in certain important respects especially when it came to work and consumer culture.

 

Wall, Barbra Mann. “Science and Ritual: The Hospital as Medical and Sacred Space, 1865-1920.” Nursing History Review 11 (2003): 51-68.
Women nurses in religious orders and institutions looked after the city’s burgeoning immigrant population between the Civil War and World War I. They ministered to their patients’ souls as well as bodies and thereby preserved Catholic culture. Among the religious orders chronicled in this study is San Antonio’s Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

 

Walraven, Edward Lee. “Ambivalent Americans: Selected Spanish-language Newspapers’ Response to Anglo Domination in Texas, 1830 – 1910.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas A & M U., 1999.
Spanish language newspapers reflected the ambivalence of the Tejano/Mexicano population with their status as American citizens. While many newspapers were established for purely political reasons, those that survived were run by business minded editors who relied on advertising and printing jobs to stay in business. The papers pressed an accommodationist approach to defend the civil rights of la raza, but they also exhibited the same racist, stereotypical thinking about Afro-Americans as the Anglo press. Among the San Antonio editors and newspapers discussed are Francisco A. Chapa of El Imparcial de Texas and Pablo Cruz of El Regidor

 

Austerman, Wayne R. Sharps Rifles and Spanish Mules: The San Antonio - El Paso Mail, 1851-1881. College Station: 1985.
The mail route between San Antonio and El Paso continued on to Santa Fe and San Diego and was seen as the precursor to a transcontinental rail line across the region. Austerman provides the reader with an extensive analysis of the pre-railroad era mail route and the maintenance and manpower costs it entailed.

 

Barr, Alwyn. “Occupational and Geographic Mobility in San Antonio, 1870 – 1900.” Social Science Quarterly 51 (Sept. 1970): 396 – 403.
The study follows a sample of one in every four male wage earners in the 1870 census to see whether their economic circumstances improved or suffered over time. Almost all Negroes were classified as unskilled laborers in 1870 as were almost as many Mexican Americans. European immigrants dominated the skilled and white collar occupations. They also enjoyed the most upward social mobility over the 30 year time period. The native white population also improved its social standing. Afro Americans and Mexican Americans experienced net downward social mobility, but were relatively better off than Afro-Americans in contemporary Atlanta. Lower skilled workers tended to be more geographically mobile, relatively few of them hanging around from one census to the next.

 

Barnett, Douglas E. “Angora Goats in Texas: Agricultural Innovation on the Edwards Plateau, 1858 – 1900.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 90 (April 1987): 347-72.
San Antonio was an important processing center for the wool industry that emerged north and west of the city. The American Mohair Growers Association was formed in the city in 1886, and the essay follows some of the important technological and marketing developments of the late nineteenth century.

 

Boryczka, Raymond. “’The Busiest Man in Town’: John Hermann Kampmann and the Urbanization of San Antonio, Texas, 1848 – 1885.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 115 (April 2012): 329-63.
German immigrant Kampmann (1819 - 1885) arrived in San Antonio in 1848 and engaged in a variety of trades and businesses: “architect, contractor, politician, fireman, banker, brewer, railroad booster, rancher, soldier, civic leader, manufacturer, hotelier.”  He was active in local politics, promoted various public works projects, donated to various philanthropies and was a pillar of the German community.   This biographical profile serves as an excellent survey of the politics and urban development of San Antonio in the mid-nineteenth century.

 

Campbell, Suzanne. “John W. Twohig, Irishman, Banker, and Texas Patriot.” West Texas Historical Association Yearbook 81 (2005):131-43.
Twohig emigrated to San Antonio in 1830 and was active in many of the major episodes leading to Texas Independence, including the siege of Bexar. He started off as a merchant and later moved into banking, eventually becoming one of the wealthiest men in the state. He also funded a bread line for the city’s malnourished population that continued after his death in 1891.

 

Claude Aniol & Associates. San Antonio and Your First National Bank Through the Years, 1866-1953. San Antonio: 1953.
Cotton trader George W. Brackenridge founded the city’s first national bank in 1866. Most of booklet is devoted to a chronology of San Antonio history, preceded by a 2 page history of the bank. Illustrated, with color postcards of the bank circa 1953.

 

Davies, Christopher S. “Life at the Edge: Urban and Industrial Evolution of Texas, Frontier Wilderness – Frontier Space, 1836 – 1986.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 443-554.
Davis presents a geographer’s perspective on the San Antonio – Austin area. Numerous maps, charts and tables focus on economic and demographic changes as these (and other) Texas urban areas evolved from frontier havens to modern metropolises. Monopoly capital coupled with “frontier insouciance.” San Antonio and Austin are “predator cities” that draw population and capital from Houston and elsewhere.

 

Dodd, Doris MacDonald. “The History of the Menger Hotel, From 1877 to 1968.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
Drawing primarily from newspapers and guide books, Dodd juxtaposes the development of the hotel along with the development of the city. Much of the hotel’s hospitality went to local business and military groups. The study also covers the buildings many renovations. Appendix includes sample menus of prominent banquets. (136 pp.)

 

Du Terroil, Rubye. “The Role of Women in Nineteenth Century San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1949.
Reviews the various mostly middle class occupations women have held since the mid-nineteenth century. The survey includes teachers, shopkeepers (especially millinery), writers, musicians and hotel keepers. Includes a chapter on women’s clubs and their leaders, especially the San Antonio Women’s Club formed in 1898 and devoted to civic improvement. Numerous brief sketches, largely of Anglo women, as drawn from newspapers and directories. (135 pp.)

 

Everett. Donald E. “San Antonio Welcomes the ‘Sunset’ – 1877.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (July 1961): 47 – 60.
It was a propitious occasion when the first railroad train made its way to San Antonio on the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio line in February of 1877. The city hosted a torchlight procession, a series of balls, dinners and orations to mark the occasion. Based mostly on newspaper accounts.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. C. H. Guenther & Son at 150 Years: The Legacy of a Texas Milling Pioneer. San Antonio: 2001.
A richly illustrated business history of the family and firm associated with the Pioneer Flour Mills located near the King William district. German immigrant and miller Carl Hilmar Guenther (1826 – 1902) arrived in San Antonio in 1859 after first setting up business in the Hill Country. The family owned business has weathered a century and a half of economic change and remains one of the city’s larger industrial establishments.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. River Walk: The Epic Story of San Antonio’s River. San Antonio: 2006.
The San Antonio River has played a vital role in the community’s past – both good and bad. It has been the source of irrigation, floods and tourist dollars. Fisher especially looks at various technological innovations to control or exploit the river with dams, channels, businesses and beautified walkways.

 

Foley, Neil. The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture. Berkeley: Calif.: 1999.
A study of race relations and labor conditions in a 50 county region lying between San Antonio and Dallas. The development of large scale agriculture resulted in the rural proletarianization of small scale farmers. They were replaced by machinery and a largely Mexican workforce of sharecroppers and migrant workers. Racism undermined the ability of Anglo farmers, some of them Socialists, to resist these changes by uniting with similarly threatened black farmers. [Based on the author’s “The New South in the Southwest: Anglos, Blacks and Mexicans in Central Texas, 1880 – 1930.” Ph. D. dissertation, U. of Michigan, 1990.]

 

Fox, Anne A. The Archeology and History of Alamo Plaza. San Antonio: 1976.
This report details excavations of the Plaza undertaken by UTSA’s Center for Archeological Research during the summer of 1975. Several maps and numerous illustrations of artifacts and the trenches dug to unearth them. A chapter is devoted to a history of the Plaza as it evolved from a mission, to a military post, and thence to a commercial center.

 

Gabaccia, Donna R. and Jeffrey M. Pilcher. “’Chili Queens’ and Checkered Tablecloths, Public Dining Cultures of Italians in New York City and Mexicans in San Antonio, Texas, 1870's – 1940's.” Radical History Review Issue 110 (Spring 2011) 109 – 26.
Mexican women running their outdoor restaurants in San Antonio’s plazas and New York’s Italian males with their food carts both came under attack for their plebeian fare. Both offered a form of “street food” (chili, pizza, spaghetti, tamales) common in their native societies. Both businesses offered exotic food items; San Antonio’s chili queens offered as well a “fantasy heritage” to draw the tourist trade. Italians would prove more successful in moving their businesses indoors while the chili queens largely disappeared.

 

 

Gross, Kevin J. and Guillermo Mendez. "An Examination of Acequias, Wells, and Cisterns in San Antonio, Texas, Ca. 1850-1930," in Archeology at the Alamodome: Investigations of a San Antonio Neighborhood in Transition. Eds. Anne A. Fox, Marcie Renner and Robert J. Hard. San Antonio, 1997.
An excellent survey documenting the city's shift from the acequias and wells to sewer systems and indoor plumbing at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The authors note the many health hazards posed by open sewers and contaminated wells. Research is based on an extensive archeological dig in early 1990's conducted in a neighborhood that was destroyed to make way for the Alamodome.

 

Guerra, Mary Ann Noonan. The Gunter Hotel in San Antonio’s History. San Antonio: 1985.
This short booklet was prepared to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Hotel’s founding in 1909. It discusses the various structures that preceded it at the corner of St. Mary’s and Houston Streets dating back to the Frontier Inn (1837), the military headquarters (1851), Vance House (1872) and Mahncke Hotel (1886). Illustrated.

 

Mayer, J. A. “San Antonio, Frontier Entrepot.” Ph. D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1976.
Mayer attempts a broad survey of the city’s economic development over the nineteenth century. After enjoying relative prosperity during the Civil War due to its cotton trade with Mexico, the local economy boomed further as a commercial center for South and West Texas. The cattle industry expanded as did the military. Local entrepreneurs and government officials provided the infrastructure to ensure urban growth.

 

McCallum, Henry D. “Barbed Wire in Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 61 (Oct. 1957): 207-19.
The first public demonstration of the practical benefits of barbed wire in Texas occurred in 1876. A barbed wire pen was installed in front of the Menger Hotel to demonstrate that it could indeed restrain cattle for the benefit of skeptical cattlemen. The event is credited with spurring sales thereafter.

 

McGill, Allan Cleveland. “100 Years with a Newspaper, The San Antonio Express, 1865 – 1965.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1965.
A journalism student follows the major personalities involved with the Express, the business dealings and evolving technology, editorial styles and daily coverage. Based on the James P. Newcomb papers, oral interviews and the newspaper itself. (140 pp.)

 

Miller, Char. “Where the Buffalo Roamed: Ranching, Agriculture, and the Urban Marketplace,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 56 – 82. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
During the mid to the late nineteenth century the cattle and sheep industry established itself on the Edwards Plateau and the coastal plain. Anglo ranchers pushed Tejanos off the land in many spots and struggled with an arid environment and thin soils. Miller highlights the role of railroads in helping San Antonio better exploit the local ranches and develop as a city.

 

Nelson, James L. “A Business History of the San Antonio Brewing Association (Pearl Brewing Company) 1886 – 1933.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1976.
The brewery industry in San Antonio boomed in the late nineteenth century due to the local German population. Profiles several local beer barons, most notably: Otto Koehler, Oscar Bergstrom, Otto Wahrmund and John J. Stevens. Extensive analysis of the manufacture, distribution, and promotion of beer in San Antonio, and the industry’s efforts to counter the prohibition movement. During the 1920's the company shifted to producing alternative products without much success. Based on business records of the Pearl Brewing Company and local unions. (271 pp.)

 

Pilcher, Jeffrey M. “’Who Chased Out the Chili Queens? Gender Race and Urban Reform in San Antonio, Texas, 1880 – 1943.” Food and Foodways 16 (July 2008): 173 – 200.
Women began serving chili in the city’s plazas about the time the railroad started bringing tourists to the area. The chili queens were portrayed as erotic and transgressive figures who offered exotic and unclean fare. Middle class reformers – Anglo and Mexican – made recurring efforts to regulate and eventually outlaw their outdoor restaurants in the interests of urban hygiene. Additionally, the better economic opportunities afforded by World War II induced Mexican women to work in some other business. Meanwhile, Anglo owned food processors began popularizing chili powder and other key ingredients.

 

Plylar, David H. “A History of Organized Labor in San Antonio, Texas, in the 1890s.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1967.
Plylar studies the evolution of the collective bargaining process, wage rates and hours (which were generally not as generous as elsewhere) and the rare political activities undertaken by unions. In the early 1890's the city’s businessmen and workers carried on a cordial and cooperative relationship that suggested no class identification on either side. Labor organizations enjoyed considerable local support. Even the Socialist Party received a respectful hearing. San Antonio’s foremost labor leader of the era was Walton Peteet, head of the Typographical Union and member of the city council. The unsuccessful telephone operators strike of 1900 demonstrated that unions confronted a formidable foe in the national corporation. Draws on the records of the San Antonio Typographical Union 172 and Carpenters Local 14, city council minutes and census data. (106 pp)

 

Reimherr, Joan. “The Belgian Colony of San Antonio.” Texas Historian (May, 1971).
The immigrants established truck farms just outside San Antonio on its west side during the 1880's. They grew fresh produce year round for the local market.

 

Richter, Rudolf William. The Story of William Louis and Emma Solcher Richter and Richter’s Bakery. San Antonio: 1980.
A family album covering lives of William (1859-1940) and Emma (1864 – 1961) who ran a bakery in the city. William was active in city government (1897 – 1912). Illustrated.

 

Rogers, Will Chapel, III. “A History of the Military Plaza to 1937.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
The plaza was first laid out to protect the early settlement. By the mid-nineteenth century its military role was overtaken by its commercial one as it became the locale of the city market, the chili queens and various forms of popular entertainment, gambling, and public events – including hangings. The study ends when city health inspectors closed down many of the market’s commercial establishments in the name of sanitation. Mainly drawn from newspaper accounts. (105 pages.)

 

Seaholm, John Leonard. “The Economic Effect of the Cattle Industry on the Urban Development of San Antonio, 1877 – 1900.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1989.
The expansion of the cattle industry is documented through the records of the H. P. Drought Company, a British investment company with offices in San Antonio. It specialized in making loans to South Texas ranchers. The firm had a hand in the Union Stockyards and various businesses catering to the ranching industry, as well as other “spin off” businesses established in the city. (84 pp.)

 

Shapiro, Harold A. “The Labor Movement in San Antonio, 1865 – 1915.” Southwest Social Science Quarterly 36 (Sept. 1955): 160 – 75.
Highlights some of the major strikes and labor organizing drives in the city. The Knights of Labor enjoyed a brief tenure as San Antonio’s premier labor organization in the mid-1880's with six assemblies (one representing the “colored” workers) before rapidly falling apart. Thereafter, it was mostly the skilled workers who organized. Forty unions in the city formed together to form the Trade Council in 1900. Many of their efforts focused on a reduction of hours. In these early years many strikes won broad support from the public, the city council and even the Business Men’s Club. Business began putting up more resistance after the National Association of Manufacturers helped organize a local Citizen’s Industrial Association to press for the open shop around 1903. Unionization thereafter was at a standstill in the city, and its organized labor force was already smaller than in Houston, Galveston or Fort Worth.

 

Sibley, M. George W. Brackenridge: Maverick Philanthropist. Austin, 1973.
Brackenridge was a San Antonio entrepreneur, banker and philanthropist in the cause of education. He arrived in San Antonio at the close of the Civil War after prospering in the cotton trade. He organized the San Antonio National Bank in 1866 and the San Antonio Water Works company in 1883. He donated a portion of his estate for the park bearing his name, and was a major benefactor to the University of Texas where he was a regent.

 

Smith, Horace R “History of Alamo Plaza from its Beginning to the Present.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1966.
Smith documents the changing appearance and function of the public space in front of the Alamo Mission. It first served as the courtyard of the original mission. After the mission was secularized the grounds were used by Spanish troops. It suffered many years of neglect after the battle. The area’s revival as a commercial center began with the opening of the Menger Hotel in 1859 and later appearance of the streetcar. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas eventually laid claim to much of the space to better preserve the Alamo shrine. The study utilizes newspapers, directories and city records. (90 pages)

 

Strong, Bernice Rhoades. “Alamo Plaza: Cultural Crossroads of a City, 1724 – 1900.” M. A. Thesis, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 1987.
The urban space in front of the Alamo Chapel has served many purposes. It began as an enclosed mission, and following secularization became a military post for Spanish, Mexican and American troops. Once the army had decamped for Fort Sam Houston in the 1870's the spot developed into a commercial center before becoming the city’s premier historic site. Strong presents profiles of various individuals and institutions associated with the site. Illustrations. (123 pp.)

 

Swaney, Eugene L. “The Cattle Industry in San Antonio, Texas, 1718 – 1961.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1961.
This extensive survey covers the introduction of cattle under the Spanish, local ranches and dairies, the nineteenth century trail drives, the impact of the railroad, the opening of the Union stockyards in 1889, and, in the twentieth century, the establishment of the Stock Show and rodeo and the consolidation of the cattle industry. Numerous profiles of prominent cattlemen and cowboys. Sources mostly published records and accounts. (287 pp.)

 

Wimberley, Laura Anne. “The ‘Sole Source:’ A History of San Antonio, South Central Texas, and the Edwards Aquifer, 1890s – 1990s.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas A & M U., 2001.
San Antonio has been slow to properly regulate its only source of drinking water. Most of the nineteenth century settlers to San Antonio came from regions where water was abundant and failed to appreciate the need for proper management of the Edwards Aquifer. Only the severe drought of the 1950's forced residents in South Central Texas to begin to cooperate by forming the Edwards Underground Water District. Farmers, environmentalists, developers and suburbanites squabbled over a water supply that is in ever greater demand due to population increase and modern conveniences. In recent years only the prodding of the federal government has forced users to confront a variety of water management issues.

 

Young, Hugh H. “Two Texas Patriots.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 44 (July, 1940): 16 – 32.
Recollections of the author’s parents includes brief accounts of his boyhood in San Antonio during the 1870's and his father’s failing businesses.

 

Alonzo, Armando C. Tejano Legacy: Rancheros and Settlers in South Texas. Albuquerque, N. M.: 1998.
This book challenges both Anglo triumphalist and Chicano revisionist accounts of the history of South Texas in the last half of the nineteenth century. Alonzo notes that Anglo dominance in South Texas was generally limited to county governments, whereas Tejanos remained dominant in many other social settings. The bulk of South Texas farms were small – not sprawling haciendas. Many Hispanic farmers and ranchers lost their holdings because of a lack of access to capital, land tenure practices and occasional droughts rather than through the machinations of the Anglo legal system.

 

Baum, Dale and Worth Robert Miller. “Ethnic Conflict and Machine Politics in San Antonio, 1892 – 99.” Journal of Urban History 19 (Aug. 1993): 63 – 84.
Bryan Callaghan II developed the city’s first political machine and was illustrative of urban political bosses of his time. His support derived from Catholic voters (largely Mexicans and Germans) who resented efforts of Anglo Protestants to impose their moral standards on the community on matters of alcohol or entertainment. Tables provide statistical estimates of voting by ethnic groups in state and local elections.

 

Booth, John A. and David R. Johnson. "Power and Progress in San Antonio Politics, 1836-1970," in The Politics of San Antonio. Eds. David R. Johnson, John A. Booth and Richard J. Harris. 3 – 27. Lincoln, Neb: 1983.
The essay concentrates on the role of the city’s political and economic elites in shaping the city's growth. San Antonio's leaders evidenced less cohesion, vision and initiative than city leaders elsewhere, such as Dallas and Houston. The authors broad survey covers "Boss" Bryan Callaghan II's political machine of the late nineteenth century, the implementation of commission government in the progressive era, and the later shift to the city manager form of government with the appearance of the Good Government League.

 

Boryczka, Raymond. “’The Busiest Man in Town’: John Hermann Kampmann and the Urbanization of San Antonio, Texas, 1848 – 1885.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 115 (April 2012): 329-63.
German immigrant Kampmann (1819 - 1885) arrived in San Antonio in 1848 and engaged in a variety of trades and businesses: “architect, contractor, politician, fireman, banker, brewer, railroad booster, rancher, soldier, civic leader, manufacturer, hotelier.”  He was active in local politics, promoted various public works projects, donated to various philanthropies and was a pillar of the German community.   This biographical profile serves as an excellent survey of the politics and urban development of San Antonio in the mid-nineteenth century.

 

Bushick, Frank H. Glamorous Days. San Antonio: 1934.
Brief chapters offer vignettes on various aspects of San Antonio life and some of its more colorful characters from the Gilded Age to the Twenties. A potentially rich source for social histories dealing with the era’s customs and social settings. Topics covered include: notable eateries, saloons, gambling dens, vaudeville, chili queens, Chinese laundries, Bryan Callaghan, local politics, gunfights, desperadoes, cattlemen, cowboys and John Wesley Hardin.

 

Cantrell, Gregg. “’Our Very Pronounced Theory of Equal Rights to All’: Race, Citizenship, and Populism in the South Texas Borderlands,” Journal of American History 100 (Dec. 2013): 663 – 90.
In 1896 Mexican immigrant Ricardo Rodriguez’s application for U.S. citizenship was challenged in a San Antonio court.  It was charged that Rodriguez and other Mexicans did not qualify for citizenship because they were not “white.” Some viewed this legal test case as an effort to disfranchise Hispanics. The author believes the suit was undertaken to counter massive vote fraud across South Texas that was keeping the Democrats in power.  The case had a chilling effect on the Populist Party’s outreach efforts among Mexican Americans in South Texas.

 

Chesnut, Glenn F. “The Drama in San Antonio, Texas, 1884 – 1889.” M. A. Thesis, St. Mary’s U., 1949.
Separate chapters describe the major and minor plays put on in San Antonio in the various theaters in chronological order. Another chapter discusses the major actors and actresses who visited the city. There was a wide range of popular entertainment available: sleight of hand artists, Wild West shows, minstrel shows, Shakespearean dramas and musicals. The most important theaters in the city were Casino Hall, Turner Hall and the Grand Opera House. There were 125 performances during the five year time span. The plays most often produced were Shakespearean tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, Richard III) and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Relies on advertisements and reviews appearing in the Express. (87 pp.)

 

De Leon, Arnaldo. “In Re Ricardo Rodriguez: An Attempt at Chicano Disfranchisement in San Antonio, 1896 – 1897.” in En Aquel Entonces: Readings in Mexican American History.  Eds. Manuel G. Gonzales and Cynthia M. Gonzales.  Bloomington, IN: 2000.
A local court case where a Mexican immigrant’s application for citizenship was challenged on the grounds that he was not white. The claim was made that federal statutes only allowed whites to become naturalized. Much of the case turned on how “white” was to be defined. The judge ultimately ruled that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and other federal actions and documents indicated that Mexican nationals could become U.S. citizens.

 

Edelen, Mary Beaty. “Bryan Callaghan, II: His Early Political Career.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1971.
San Antonio’s preeminent political boss (1852 – 1912) was responsible for many civic improvements in areas such as education and health during his 9 terms as mayor between 1885 and 1912. He was fluent in Spanish, French and German to better relate to the city’s polyglot population. The Mexican-American community embraced him as he was Hispanic on his mother’s side. Prohibition was a hot issue in the city and the mayor emphatically “wet.” Edelen utilizes city council proceedings and local newspapers. (145 pp.)

 

Johnson, Charles Theodore. “Edgewood: A History of a San Antonio Suburb, 1870 – 1959.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1960.
The area began as a rural village outside San Antonio. Belgian farmers moved in around the time of World War I. Mexican Americans moved in to the neighborhood during World War II when many were displaced by the construction of the Alazan – Apache Courts and later Victoria Courts. The expansion of Kelly Air Force Base during the war also afforded low paying jobs as laborers and construction workers. The city of San Antonio annexed the area in 1942 and began providing sewers, police protection and garbage removal. Yet many homes were build without water or sewage access well in to the 1950's. Depressed property values prevented the segregated school system from building schools fast enough to keep up with population growth. Indexed with numerous appendices reporting longitudinal statistical data. Based on interviews and government documents for Bexar County and the Edgewood School District. (127 pp.)

 

Johnson, David R. “Frugal and Sparing: Interest Groups, Politics, and City Building in San Antonio, 1870-85,” in Urban Texas: Politics and Development. Eds. Char Miller and Heywood T. Sanders. College Station, Texas: 1990.
San Antonio’s “booster mentality” during the Gilded Age made a priority of low taxes in lieu of significant investments in the city’s infrastructure that might have promoted growth. Thus, San Antonio did not make an aggressive effort to attract railroad connections to the city, or expend money to improve roads or water and sewage systems. Southerners and German immigrants, who took control of the city following Reconstruction, generally concurred with Mayor James H. French that planning and public improvements were luxuries the city could ill afford.

 

Martinez-Catsam, Ana Luisa. “Frontier of Dissent: El Regidor, the Regime of Porfirio Díaz, and the Transborder Community.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 112 (Apr. 2009): 388 – 408.
Pablo Cruz (1866 – 1910) was part of a transborder coalition of liberal journalists formed in the 1890's to oppose the Porfiriato. He charged that the Mexican President’s recurrent re-elections were accomplished with vote fraud and intimidation. Cruz came to the defense of Mexican journalists imprisoned for criticizing the regime. His San Antonio Spanish language newspaper defended activities along the border aimed at ousting the regime while the San Antonio Daily Express characterized the rebels as bandits. He used the paper to raise funds in defense of Tejanos prosecuted by American governments and to challenge school segregation.

 

Mayer, J. A. "San Antonio, Frontier Entrepot." Ph. D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1976.
After enjoying relative prosperity during the Civil War, due to its cotton trade with Mexico, San Antonio’s economy boomed further as it became a commercial center for South and West Texas. The cattle industry expanded as did the military. Mayer focuses on the role of local entrepreneurs and government officials in providing the infrastructure to ensure urban growth.

 

Miller, Char and Heywood Sanders. “Parks, Politics and Patronage,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 83 – 98. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Historically, San Antonio’s elite have been indifferent to developing parks inside the city limits. The interests of private development have come before those of public space. The establishment of Commission government in 1914 elevated the profile of parks as they were the bailiwick of one of the city’s five commissioners. In the decades that followed far more was invested in developing parks mostly through bond proposals. But park placement was determined by electoral clout during the first half of the twentieth century; white and Afro-American neighborhoods sprouted parks while the Hispanic east side was largely neglected.

 

Miller, Margaret. “A Survey of the Civil Government of San Antonio, Texas, 1731 – 1948.” M. A. Thesis, St. Mary’s University, 1948.
There is no historical analysis here, only outlines of the structure of the government under different regimes based on government documents. It begins with a description of the local political establishment under Spanish rule. Little changed locally when Mexico achieved its independence. The governor appointed a “political chief” to run the city. Miller devotes a mere 8 pages to the aldermanic form of government in place between 1837 and 1915, mostly listing the city’s major offices and their duties. Most of the analysis is given over to an outline of the commission form of government established in 1915. Includes several diagrams outlining the structure of government under the commission format. (91 pp.)

 

Paschal, George Hugh. “The Public Service Aspects of the Medical Career of Dr. Frank Paschal in San Antonio, 1893 – 1924.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1956.
After arriving in the city in 1894, Paschal devoted much of his professional career to fighting tuberculosis. Locally, he served as President of the San Antonio Board of Health and as city physician. He frequently quarreled with the mayor and city council in his efforts to improve sanitation and avert a smallpox epidemic. (169 pp.)

 

Somers, Dale A. “James P. Newcomb: The Making of a Radical.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 72 (April, 1969): 449-469.
Born in Nova Scotia in 1837, Newcomb arrived in San Antonio as a boy and published his first newspaper at age 16. He was a supporter of the Know Nothings before the war, and his devotion to the Union compelled him to leave the city for the duration of the conflict. He returned in 1867 as co-owner of the Express and a leader of the Republican Party. He was appointed Texas’s Secretary of State in 1870. He continued to establish or edit a number of newspapers after reconstruction (including the Light) and died in 1907. Draws extensively from Newcomb’s papers and newspapers. [Based on the author’s “James P. Newcomb, Texas Unionist and Radical Republican.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1964. (168 pp).]

 

Walraven, Edward Lee. “Ambivalent Americans: Selected Spanish-language Newspapers’ Response to Anglo Domination in Texas, 1830 – 1910.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas A & M U., 1999.
Spanish language newspapers reflected the ambivalence of the Tejano/Mexicano population with their status as American citizens. While many newspapers were established for purely political reasons, those that survived were run by business minded editors who relied on advertising and printing jobs to stay in business. The papers pressed an accommodationist approach to defend the civil rights of la raza, but they also exhibited the same racist, stereotypical thinking about Afro-Americans as the Anglo press. Among the San Antonio editors and newspapers discussed are Francisco A. Chapa of El Imparcial de Texas and Pablo Cruz of El Regidor.

 

Almaráz, Félix, D. Jr. “The Return of the Franciscans to Texas, 1891 – 1931.” Catholic Southwest 7 (1996): 91 – 114.
The Franciscan order, which founded the missions at the dawn of San Antonio’s history, departed when the missions were fully secularized in 1824. Beginning in the 1890s figures in and outside the Catholic Church hierarchy conducted on and off again negotiations for the Franciscans to return. San Antonio’s bishops were initially cool to the idea, but Archbishop Arthur J. Drossaerts finally consented to building the religious order a Friary next door to Mission San Jose in 1931. The return of the Franciscans coincided with a concerted effort to restore the missions.

 

Anonymous. “The Vanished Texas of Theodore Gentilz.” American Heritage 25 (Oct. 1974): 18 – 27.
The article reproduces several paintings by the San Antonio artist as taken from Dorothy Steinbomer Kendall’s and Carmen Perry’s Theodore Gentilz: Artist of the Old Southwest. A few paragraphs offer a thumbnail sketch of the artist who moved to the city in the 1840's and continued painting until his death in 1906. He had been classically trained in his native France. Although San Antonio was rapidly becoming more “Americanized,” Gentilz chose people and places that reflected its Mexican and Indian past.

 

Badillo, David A. Latinos and the New Immigrant Church. Baltimore, MD: 2006.
An analysis of the Catholic Church’s historic relationship with its diverse Hispanic parishioners in San Antonio, New York, Miami and Chicago beginning in the late nineteenth century. Devotes particular attention to San Antonio’s archbishop Robert Lucey and the civic activism he courted.

 

Barr, Alwyn. “Black Urban Churches on the Southern Frontier, 1865-1900.” Journal of Negro History 82 (Autumn 1997): 368-83.
A study documenting the experiences of Afro-American churches in San Antonio, Houston, Little Rock and Shreveport following the Civil War. Initially many functioned with poorly prepared former slaves as preachers and with the financial support of white churches of their denominations. Educated black ministers appeared in the 1870's along with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The churches were very active in the lives of their parishioners – especially the women – and their communities.

 

Boryczka, Raymond. “’The Busiest Man in Town’: John Hermann Kampmann and the Urbanization of San Antonio, Texas, 1848 – 1885.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 115 (April 2012): 329-63.
German immigrant Kampmann (1819 - 1885) arrived in San Antonio in 1848 and engaged in a variety of trades and businesses: “architect, contractor, politician, fireman, banker, brewer, railroad booster, rancher, soldier, civic leader, manufacturer, hotelier.”  He was active in local politics, promoted various public works projects, donated to various philanthropies and was a pillar of the German community.   This biographical profile serves as an excellent survey of the politics and urban development of San Antonio in the mid-nineteenth century.

 

Burkholder, Mary V. Down the Acequia Madre: In the King William Historic District. San Antonio. 1976
Short descriptions of the houses in the neighborhood. The oldest were built by German families not long after the Civil War. Wealthy businessmen built large Victorian homes with architectural flourishes and the latest amenities. The area lies just south of downtown and its major thoroughfares include: S. Alamo, Cedar, Pereida, Adams, Wickes, East Guenther, and Crofton. Illustrated. [A revised version of the author’s earlier (1973) booklet, The King William Area : A History and Guide to the Houses.)

 

Butler, Anne M. “Building Justice: Mother Margaret Murphy, Race, and Texas.” Catholic Southwest 13 (2002): 13-36.
Margaret Murphy (1833 – 1907), a rich widow, arrived in San Antonio in 1887 and established a Catholic school for Afro-Americans at St. Peter Claver Church. At this time civil authorities in San Antonio operated a segregated school system with far less funding for “colored” schools. Murphy met with local opposition to her plans and even Catholic religious orders were reluctant to cooperate. She founded the Sisters of the Holy Ghost and Mary Immaculate to work in her school. Murphy proved an able administrator and recruited many nuns from her native Ireland.

 

Cox, Isaac Joslin. William Belcher Seeley: Founder and First Principal of San Antonio Academy. San Antonio: 1948.
Seeley (1858 – 1934) moved to San Antonio partly to regain his health. He established the Academy in 1886 on East Houston Street. The book emphasizes Seeley’s educational methods and ideals. Cox was a colleague and he includes a 40 page appendix of historical documents.

 

De Zavala, Adina. History and Legends of the Alamo and Other Missions in and Around San Antonio. San Antonio: 1917.
A pastiche of stories, poems, legends and documents honoring each of the city’s five missions and San Fernando Cathedral. The book also pays tribute to Texas patriot Lawrence De Zavala and the DRT chapter named in his honor. (There are several later editions. The 1966 version has a long essay by Richard R. Flores on “Adina De Zavala and the Politics of Restoration.” It reveals her struggle with the local chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas over the restoration of the Alamo.) Illustrated.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. Saving San Antonio: The Precarious Preservation of a Heritage. Lubbock, 1996.
The greater part of this book is devoted to chronicling the San Antonio Conservation Society. The organization was not formed until 1924, but the book’s early chapters discuss the city’s cavalier attitude to most historic structures before that date (the Alamo excepted). Later chapters cover the restoration of the missions, the Riverwalk, the moving of the Fairmount Hotel and NIOSA. The women associated with the organization were more interested in aesthetic issues than the historical significance of a given site. They wielded considerable clout in political circles.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. “Preservation of San Antonio’s Built Environment,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. Char Miller. 199 – 221. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Historic preservation in the Alamo City dates back to the state’s purchase of the Alamo chapel in 1883. Various groups and disparate preservation initiatives in the years that followed were “long on inspiration and short on research.” The city began to beautify the river – especially the bend in the river known today as the Riverwalk – as early as 1913. The formation of the San Antonio Conservation Society in 1924, mostly by members of the artistic community, brought some coordination to the effort. Fisher outlines the contributions of Adina De Zavala, Clara Driscoll, Robert Hugman and the Works Progress Administration to restore the missions, La Villita, and the King William District.

 

Gallegly, Joseph. From Alamo Plaza to Jack Harris’s Saloon: O. Henry and the Southwest He Knew. The Hague, Netherlands: 1970.
William Sydney Porter (pen name O. Henry) was a master of the short story. He made frequent visits to San Antonio in the mid 1890's from his home in Austin. Drawing heavily from newspapers, Gallegly offers a glimpse of social conditions and local color in the city during Porter’s stay. Various features of San Antonio life made their way into his stories.

 

Hanus, Charles Eugene. “That All May Learn: A History of Curriculum in the San Antonio Public Schools to 1925.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Texas at Austin, 1997.
A review of the courses of study offered in the San Antonio Independent School District between 1892 and 1920. During this time the curriculum expanded to embrace foreign languages, vocational education and various electives. The scope and sequence evolved in response to social, economic, political and intellectual developments at the local and national level. School board politics, Mexican immigration, and World War I left an imprint on the program of study, as did superintendents Lloyd Wolfe, Charles Lukin and Dr. Jeremiah Rhodes.

 

Hernández-Ehrisman, Laura. Inventing the Fiesta City: Heritage and Carnival in San Antonio. Albuquerque, NM: 2008.
A broad overview of the people, organizations and events associated with the cultural performance of Fiesta from 1891 to the present. In its early years the Battle of Flowers parade and the Order of the Alamo reflected Anglo dominance in the community and the ideological hold of the “Texas Modern.”  Local boosters used the festivities to highlight the city’s Mexican past without acknowledging the presence of its large Mexican American population.  The appearance of a Fiesta Commission, Rey Feo and Cornynation after World War II evidenced an effort at greater inclusion.  Research draws on local newspapers, manuscript collections and oral histories.

 

Holmes, William Henry. “The Acequias of San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1962.
A historical study of how irrigating canals functioned during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Describes the construction of the acequias to service the missions. The water network was expanded to meet the needs of the Canary Islanders. The turmoil of the Texas Revolution allowed the system to fall into decay. Holmes reviews the city’s efforts to police the ditches during the nineteenth century when they were a source of drinking water. The need for the acequias diminished as residents drilled artesian wells and the San Antonio Water company was formed in 1877. They dried up and faded away rapidly after 1900 except on old mission properties south of the city. Numerous maps and poorly reproduced illustrations. (135 pp.)

 

Houston, Crosby A. “San Antonio Railroads in the Nineteenth Century.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1963.
Follows the appearance of three railroads that arrived in San Antonio in the late nineteenth century and turned it into a boom town. The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad (1877); the International and Great Northern (1881); the San Antonio and Aransas Pass (1885). The rail lines linked the city with El Paso, Kerrville, Austin, Laredo and the Gulf. Also covers the aborted San Antonio and Mexican Gulf line that was attempted in the 1850's. Houston details the financing and construction of the rail links. The railroads made their money by moving freight rather than people. They brought in lumber and grain, and shipped out cotton, wool, pecans and hides. Numerous appendices.

 

Ives, Walther John. “The History of Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, San Antonio Texas, 1857 – 1949.” M. A. Thesis, U. of Texas, 1952.
The church is located at E. Nueva and South Presa, not far from Hemisfair Park. It was established by German immigrants and much of service was conducted in German.

 

Maguire, Jack. A Century of Fiesta in San Antonio. Austin, Texas: 1990.
This richly illustrated coffee table book commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Fiesta tradition. Chapters are devoted mostly to the individuals, organizations and events associated with the week long festival such as the Order of the Alamo, the Texas Cavaliers and NIOSA.

 

Martinez, Ana Luisa. “Pablo Cruz and ‘El Regidor:’ The Emergence of a Bicultural Identity in San Antonio, 1888 – 1910.” Journal of South Texas History 18 (Fall 2005): 276-95.
An analysis of the content of the San Antonio Spanish language weekly as it addressed issues pertinent to Mexican Americans. Editor Cruz sought to assert the Americanism of the local Hispanic population while urging them to hold on to their cultural heritage. His approach is especially well illustrated in his support for the Spanish American War. See also [Martinez, Ana Luis R. “El Regidor, A Late Nineteenth Century Approach to Mexican American Political Integration.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1997. (74 pp.)]

 

Martinez, Ana Luisa R. “The Voice of the People: Pablo Cruz, ‘El Regidor,’ and Mexican American Identity in San Antonio, Texas, 1888 – 1910.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas Tech U., 2003.
Martinez follows Cruz’s journalistic career beginning with his establishment of the Spanish language weekly El Regidor in San Antonio in 1888. Cruz and his paper reflected a bicultural identity. On the one hand, his paper celebrated Mexican heritage and provided extensive coverage of events in the homeland; on the other, it promoted use of the English language, urged local political participation, and defended the rights of Mexican Americans while attacking lynching and segregated schools. Cruz and other middle class Hispanics enjoyed good relations with the Anglo community, suggesting that race relations in San Antonio were more complicated than an “us versus them” mindset.

 

Martinez-Catsam, Ana. “Frontier of Dissent: El Regidor, the Regime of Porfirio Diaz, and the Transborder Community.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 112 (Apr. 2009): 389 – 410.
The San Antonio newspaper El Regidor joined other liberal press in Mexico in denouncing the regime of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz during the 1890's. The paper denounced the elections as a farce given the intimidation and corruption, and the government’s crackdown on dissident newspapers. The paper was sympathetic to armed uprisings against the Porfiriato organized on both sides of the Texas border. Publisher Pablo Cruz also used the paper to denounce the discrimination Tejanos met with in Texas and the Southwest, the poor quality of the segregated schools, the disfranchisement accomplished with the poll tax and recurring lynching of minorities.

 

Matovina, Timothy M. “Sacred Place and Collective Memory: San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas,” U. S. Catholic Historian 13 (Winter 1997): 33 – 50.
Based on interviews with laity at the Church, the study seeks to understand this sacred site’s role in fostering a collective memory binding a religious community. It covers the eighteenth century to the present. As the size and influence of the Tejano population shrank, the church became the repository for Mexican culture. It lost some of its Mexican character when the church was elevated to a cathedral in 1874, but parishioners carry on many public rituals to preserve its Mexican heritage. The congregation’s biggest religious festival is still Our Lady of Guadalupe, as it was in colonial times.

 

MacInerney, Dorothy McLeod and William Warren Rogers and Robert David Ward. “Oscar Wilde Lectures in Texas, 1882.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 106 (Apr. 2003): 550 – 573.
The famed British art critic scheduled a stop in San Antonio in June to speak, see the sites, and visit with local artists. Wilde’s lecture was much anticipated locally, well attended and well received. He visited the missions and the Alamo (deploring its care and condition). San Antonio proved to be the favorite Texas city of “the Apostle of Aesthericism.”

 

Moore, Frances Brown. “A History of the Cultural Development of San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis, Colorado State College of Education, 1938.
A broad social history that examines education in private and public schools and local societies, hotels, landmarks, etc.

 

Moore, Harriet Brown. Saint Mark’s Church, Travis Park, San Antonio, Texas: A Parish with Personality. San Antonio: 1944.
Located near Travis Park, the Episcopal Church was constructed during the Civil War. Separate chapters consider the various personnel, organizations, and activities of the church up to 1942. (The story after that date is taken up by Olive Nesbitt Brewster’s St. Mark’s Church.)

 

Moore, John Hammond. (ed.) “Telamon Cuyler’s Diary.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 70 (Jan. 1967): 484-87.
The diary of a 15 year old Georgia boy includes a long entry on his visit to San Antonio on Oct. 29, 1888. They visited the Alamo, Mission Concepción and Fort Sam Houston.

 

Myler, Charles Bennett. “A History of the English Speaking Theater in San Antonio Before 1900.” Ph. D. dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1968.
The study is organized by discussing the city’s major theaters in turn and their various productions. The theaters established in this era included the Alamo Literary Hall (1873), the Turner Opera House (1879) the Grand Opera House (1886) and Beethoven Maennerchor Hall (1895). Vaudeville was an especially popular and risqué stage production that catered almost exclusively to men. Minstrel shows still filled the seats. Maps out theaters in the cities, and includes several reprints of advertisements and portraits of noted actors and actresses. The city attracted a number of major productions with the coming of the railroad. Edwin Booth, William S. Hart, Lily Langtry, Oscar Wilde and Eddie Foy were among the famous entertainers who appeared in the Alamo city. Based largely on newspapers and some interviews.

 

Neal, Basil Young. “George W. Brackenridge: Citizen and Philanthropist.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1939.
This biography of the San Antonio banker and businessman focuses on his efforts on behalf of education. One chapter reviews his work with the San Antonio schools where he was the first president of the board of trustees when the school system was separated from municipal control in 1899. He made numerous generous contributions to the city’s public schools. Brackenridge was a Republican who believed in providing educational access for African American children in a segregated system. Another chapter examines Brackenridge’s role on the University of Texas Board of Regents, where he stepped down in 1919. (125 pp.)



Paschal, Olive Adelaide Hill. “The First One Hundred Years of the First Presbyterian Church, San Antonio, Texas.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1979.
The first protestant church established in Texas, appeared immediately after annexation. Paschal profiles the numerous individuals who served as ministers and their efforts in fields of education and social services. The thesis mainly documents the physical and institutional development of the church. Draws primarily from church records and newspapers. (109 pp.)

 

Rabke, Barbara. “Theater in San Antonio, 1886 – 1891.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1964.
A largely chronological account that opens with the construction of a new Grand Opera House on Alamo Plaza in 1886. The thesis offers extensive discussion of various noted performers who came through the city, their productions and the local response. The Daily Express and Daily Light offer summaries and commentary on locally performed operas, dramas, and vaudeville acts. (143 pp)

 

Skinner, A. E. “Bunthorne in the Boondocks: Oscar Wilde Visits Texas.” Texana 9 (4) (1971): 356 – 66.
The English essayist and art critic visited San Antonio as part of a lengthy lecture tour of the United States. He arrived on June 21, 1882 and stayed at the Menger Hotel before leaving town the next day. Wilde later reported that San Antonio and Galveston were his two favorite sites in the state. “Those old Spanish churches, with their picturesque remains and dome, standing amid the verdure and sunshine of a Texas prairie, gave me a thrill of strange delight.”

 

Smith, Blanche Baker. “Legends and Old Tales of San Antonio and Vicinity.” M. A. Thesis, Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College, 1943.
Smith recites the various legends associated with the local flora and wildlife. She also considers stories passed down by various ethnic groups.

 

Smith, Horace R “History of Alamo Plaza from its Beginning to the Present.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1966.
Smith documents the changing appearance and function of the public space in front of the Alamo Mission. It first served as the courtyard of the original mission. After the mission was secularized the grounds were used by Spanish troops. It suffered many years of neglect after the battle. The area’s revival as a commercial center began with the opening of the Menger Hotel in 1859 and later appearance of the streetcar. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas eventually laid claim to much of the space to better preserve the Alamo shrine. The study utilizes newspapers, directories and city records. (90 pages)

 

Sobré, Judith Berg. San Antonio On Parade, Six Historic Festivals. College Station, Texas: 2003.
Each chapter in this book discusses a different ethnic festival and/or parade in San Antonio during their heyday between 1866 – 1900, among them: The Fourth of July, Juneteenth, Diez y Seis, German Volksfests and the various events associated with Fiesta.

 

Spearman. Melinda Jo. “’The Peripatetic Normal School:’ Teacher Institutes in Five Southwestern Cities (1880 – 1920).” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Texas at Austin, 2006.
Teacher institutes offered inexpensive but often mandatory professional development around 1900. Chapter 3 contrasts San Antonio’s in-service program with that of four other Southwestern cities. Superintendent Lloyd E. Wolfe (1902 – 1908) introduced a School of Methods held during the summer with racially segregated, month long workshops. Nationally known educators offered “sound pedagogical suggestions” on a variety of topics. Mayor Bryan Callaghan Jr. denounced the cost of the program and the “new fangled methods of instruction” and helped shut the program down in 1908.

 

Speiser, Adel. “The Story of the Theater in San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1948.
An overview of a wide range of theatrical entertainment beginning with Los Pastores in Spanish times. Speiser describes fandangos, medicine shows in Military Plaza, the dance hall in the Harris Theater, minstrel shows and grand opera. The Germans played a major role in promoting musical and theatrical productions at their Casino Hall and through the Turn Verein. Many of the most successful theaters in the city, like the Grand Opera House that opened in 1886, were managed by Ernest Rische. The decline of the national theater industry with the introduction of movies opened the way for the “little theater movement” in the twentieth century. The city built San Pedro playhouse in 1930 to house locally produced plays with local talent. The local government also built the Sunken Garden in 1937 as a setting for civic opera. Draws mostly on published sources and the newspapers. (112 pp.)

 

Steinbomer, Dorothy and Carmen Perry. Paintings of Nineteenth Century San Antonio, Texas by Theodore Gentilz. Austin: 1974.
Gentilz was a Parisian trained painter who first arrived in Texas in the 1840's to survey the town of Castroville. He settled in San Antonio in 1852 and later taught painting at Saint Mary’s College before his death in 1906. The artist commonly portrayed aspects of everyday life: street scenes, the local population, and Mexican customs. He was also interested in illustrating notable historic events and landmarks. The book reprints numerous Gentilz sketches and paintings (many in color). The introduction offers extensive background and insights to into each of the paintings.

 

Stone, Delza Harvick. “The Drama in San Antonio, Texas, 1889 - 1894.” M. A. Thesis, St. Mary’s University, 1944.
The study relies on the Express to describe the theatrical season’s plays in chronological order. About 150 plays were performed over the five year period in one of four theaters: the Grand Opera House, Rische’s theater, the Tremont theater and Turner Hall. The Opera House was the setting for most of the major and minor theatrical events of the time. Also devotes a chapter to the state of theatrical criticism and the audience reactions. (70 pp.)

 

Strong, Bernice Rhoades. “Alamo Plaza: Cultural Crossroads of a City, 1724 – 1900.” M. A. Thesis, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 1987.
The urban space in front of the Alamo Chapel has served many purposes. It began as an enclosed mission, and following secularization became a military post for Spanish, Mexican and American troops. Once the army had decamped for Fort Sam Houston in the 1870's the spot developed into a commercial center before becoming the city’s premier historic site. Strong presents profiles of the various individuals and institutions associated with the site. Illustrations. (123 pp.)

 

Tichicha, Richard. “Ernst Raba: San Antonio Artist and Photographer, 1874 – 1951.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1979.
Raba immigrated to San Antonio from Germany in 1891. He was a locally prominent photographer, responsible for many of San Antonio’s most famous or historic reproductions in the form of portraits or commercial images. This short, personal biography, draws on interviews with members of Raba’s family, and is enhanced with numerous illustrations. (170 pp.)

 

Valentine, Maggie. John H. Kampmann, Master Builder: San Antonio’s German Influence in the Nineteenth Century. New York: 2014.
Kampmann (1819 – 1885) designed or supervised the construction of a number of buildings in San Antonio in the mid-nineteenth century. He was trained as stonemason in his native Germany and applied his skill to the relatively soft limestone he mined locally.  Kampmann is credited with introducing a “vernacular German Texan architecture” that fused the Greek Revival style popular in the United States with German elements.  This biography is written by profiling his many projects: Menger Hotel, Casino Club, St. Joseph Church and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and much of the King William District.

 

Batz, Richard Charles. “The Development of Fort Sam Houston and its Impact on San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1972.
Although the military has a prominent place in San Antonio history, the first permanent post for the U. S. army was not established until 1876. The appearance of the railroad was vital to the establishment of a major military post. The city donated the 40 acres that now comprise the Fort’s Quadrangle. Later troubles with Mexico led the government to expand its Texas facilities. By 1890 the military was contributing about one million dollars a year to the city economy. Batz takes the outpost’s story to about the mid-1950's. The work draws largely on Army records. An extensive body of statistics can be found in the Appendix. (133 pp.)

 

Giglio, Donald F. “A Historical Retrospection of Fort Sam Houston: Some Feelings and Factors in Its Development Up to 1918.” Texana 7 (1) (1969): 38 – 55.
Giglio touches on some of the highlights of the Fort’s history after a brief overview of the local military posts that preceded it. The city arranged for donations of land totaling 93 acres in the first half of the 1870's to induce the military to stay. The famous Quadrangle was completed in 1879, but the structure was only designated Fort Sam Houston in 1890. During this time the facility supplied numerous frontier forts. In 1886 Apache Chief Geronimo was incarcerated at the fort. Early experiments in military aviation also took place at the site, which also helped launch General John Joseph Pershing’s “Punitive Expedition” into Mexico in 1916. By World War I the area around the fort encompassed additional military bases (Camps Wilson and Travis) of about 3,340 acres.

 

Handy, Mary Olivia. History of Fort Sam Houston. San Antonio: 1951.
The quartermaster post served as the headquarters for Federal forces in Texas during the frontier days. By the eve of World War II the Fort was the largest military base in the United States and housed The Eighth Corps and the Eighth Service Command. The base was home to the “Rough Riders” and generals John J. Pershing and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The author was the daughter of the commander of the post.

 

Key, M. David. “Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Alteration of Myth.” Journal of the West 37 (April 1998): 70 – 79.
The Rough Riders of Spanish American War fame trained in San Antonio for a few weeks in the spring of 1898. Many hailed from the territories of New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma. Roosevelt likened his troops to the mythic “backwoodsman” who defeated the British and conquered the frontier.

 

Lambert, Joseph I. “The Defense of the Indian Frontier of Texas By the United States Army.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s University, 1948.
San Antonio was at the center of much of the military activity taking place before and after the Civil War as the government pursued the Plains Indians.

 

McChristian, Douglas C. “Apaches and Soldiers: Mail Protection in West Texas.” Council on America’s Military Past 13 (3) (1985): 3 – 17.
The author examines the U. S. Army’s role in protecting the mail route linking San Antonio and El Paso. He focuses on the operations of Fort Davis, 470 miles west of San Antonio. The fort was established in 1854, but its efforts to control the nearby Apache and Comanche tribes were ineffective prior to the Civil War. Even after the war San Antonio sometimes went weeks without mail from the west because the region was considered too dangerous for travel. In 1867 four companies of the all Black 9th cavalry took up residence in the fort and began providing escorts for the mail. They also mounted an aggressive campaign against the Apaches. By 1881 the arrival of the railroad and telegraph rendered the army’s services superfluous.

 

Miles, Susan (ed.) “Mrs. Buell’s Journal.” Fort Concho and South Plains Journal 22 (4): 109 – 26.
Josephine Bailey Buell wrote to her family in 1877 describing her journey from San Antonio to a military outpost at Fort Concho. Her husband, James Whitcomb Buell, was an assistant surgeon in the U. S. Army. They left San Antonio accompanied by an African American unit on Feb. 9th and traveled through Comfort and Kerrville before arriving at their destination ten days later. She describes some of the frustrations and hardships of traveling mostly by wagon: the blue northers, ever present Indian threat, barren landscape, lack of roads and primitive accommodations that left them “dirty as pigs” when they made their destination.

 

Orchard, Elizabeth. “The History of the Development of Fort Sam Houston.” M. A. Thesis. University of Texas, 1937.
Orchard details the post’s creation after the Civil War and its subsequent growth and development up to 1935.

 

Rayburn, John C. “The Rough Riders in San Antonio, Texas, 1898.” Arizona and the West 3 (Summer 1961): 113-28.
The first regiment of the United States Volunteer Cavalry recruited skilled marksmen and horsemen from Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma shortly after war was declared against Spain. Second in command Theodore Roosevelt brought a body of athletes and college grads to the mix. The unit trained for a few weeks in May in Riverside Park, south of downtown. Getting the unit into shape proved a formidable task given shortages in war materials and the new recruits’ unfamiliarity with military regulations. The essay draws mostly from local newspaper accounts to describe doings in the camp.

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