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.

1914 - 1929 WW I & the Twenties

 

Arreola, Daniel D. “The Mexican American Cultural Capital.” Geographical Review 77 (Jan. 1987): 17 – 34.
San Antonio historically has served as the Mexican American cultural capital of the United States. Railroad linkages to Monterrey in the late nineteenth century ensured that Mexican influences would continue to flow into the Alamo city. It helped make San Antonio function as the center of the migrant workforce in the early years of the twentieth century. Mexican communities established themselves on the west side of San Pedro Creek. They established a number of important institutions: La Prensa, the Order of the Sons of America, and the League of United Latin American Citizens, and Communities Organized for Public Service. Arreola also considers the origins of Mexican cuisine and conjunto music. Even if Los Angeles has a larger Mexican American population, San Antonio has a much heavier concentration (or percentage) of the population hailing from Mexico and remains the nation’s Mexican-American cultural capital.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.)

 

Ayala, Adriana. “Negotiating Race Relations Through Activism: Women Activists and Women’s Organizations in San Antonio, Texas During the 1920s.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Texas at Austin, 2006.
Examines the role of race and gender in a number of local community organizations and especially in the lives of their female members: Cruz Azul, the Young Women’s Christian Association, the Pan American Round Table, the San Antonio Mission Home and Training School, the Mexican Christian Institute, the House of Neighborly Service, The Wesley Community Center, and the Catholic Community Center. Although San Antonio is sometimes described as a tolerant community, the study finds the city’s residents about as racist and xenophobic in their thinking and behavior as citizens elsewhere. Based on organization records, oral histories and newspapers.

 

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. San Antonio’s barrio was created through legally enforced racial covenants that prohibited homeowners from selling to minorities. Opportunities for economic advancement were undermined by discriminatory practices that kept minorities out of expanding industries and relegated them to the shrinking sectors of the economy. Each of these cities provided only limited urban services to their Hispanic neighborhoods until Spanish-speaking residents organized as a political force. [See also Badillo, David A. “From South of the Border: Latino Experiences in Urban America.” Ph. D. diss.: City University of New York, 1988.]

 

Barker, E. Shannon. “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.



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.

 

Briscoe, Edward Eugene. “Pershing’s Chinese Refugees in Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly (April: 1959): 467-488.
Chinese immigrants in Mexico assisted the Pershing Expedition and later returned with him to San Antonio in 1917. Many of the 427 male immigrants went to work at local military bases during World War I. Their presence violated the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, but after a long congressional fight they won permanent residency and about half the “Pershing Chinese” eventually settled in San Antonio. [See also Edward Eugene Briscoe, “Pershing’s Chinese Refugees: An Odyssey of the Southwest.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1947. (153 pp.)]

 

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.



Christian, Carole E. “Joining the American Mainstream: Texas’s Mexican Americans During World War I.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 92 (Apr. 1989): 559-595.
The Great War represented the first effort by the United States government to assimilate Texas’s Hispanic population and involve them in the national effort. San Antonio had experienced a recent influx of Mexicans fleeing the Revolution who kept their distance from American culture in their isolated colonias. La Prensa, the Spanish Language newspaper, did not provide extensive coverage of the war at home or abroad, but it did promote liberty bonds.

 

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.

 

Drennon, Christine M. “Social Relations Spatially Fixed: Construction and Maintenance of School Districts in San Antonio, Texas.” Geographical Review 96 (Oct. 2006): 567-93.
Drennon examines the origins of San Antonio area school districts beginning with the formation of Alamo Heights in 1913. Initially, segregated housing enforced through covenant restrictions kept the schools racially and economically homogenous. School districts were formed between 1920 and 1950 to accomplish the same purpose. The new boundaries were deliberately drawn to allow wealthy neighborhoods to funnel their tax resources strictly to their own schools and set in place educational inequities that are still with us.

 

Dunn, Patricia A. “The Cementville School: A Study of Education, Labor and Segregation in a Company Town.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1997.
The Alamo Cement Company hired a large body of Mexican workers to process the limestone at what is today the intersection of Jones Maltsberger and Highway 281. The community was cut off by a high fence and the children attended a segregated and inferior school administered by Alamo Heights ISD between 1922 and 1952. The school promoted “Americanization” with a curriculum emphasizing English language skills. Few students remained in school beyond the 6th grade. The school was closed when state courts banned segregating Mexican students. Based partly on oral interviews. (77 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.

 

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.

 

Fuchs, Maura L. “’Revista Mexicana:’ Constructing the Conservative Mexican Nation in Exile.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Houston, 2006.
Revista Mexicana was published in San Antonio between 1915 and 1920 by Nemesio García Naranjo. It reflected the interests and mindset of the exiles associated with the regime of Porfirio Diaz that was ousted at the outset of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. The newspaper curried to the elite cultural tastes of the Mexican upper class, while raising funds for armed counter revolutionary Félix Diaz (nephew of the deposed president). This dissertation from the discipline of modern languages mostly examines rhetorical devices employed by the magazine’s authors to promote their agenda.

 

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 patriarchical 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.

 

Janke, Linda Sharon. “Prisoners of War: Sexuality, Venereal Disease, and Women’s Incarceration During World War I.” Ph. D. diss.: State University of New York at Binghamton, 2006.”
Studies the activities of the Commission on Training Camp Activities in San Antonio, Louisville and San Francisco. The physicians and social workers attached to the agency were determined to stamp out venereal disease among the troops. (In San Antonio, about 30% of the soldiers were infected.) They did so by inspecting, incarcerating and ultimately quarantining women thought to be involved in the sex trade. Women who protested being branded prostitutes expressed a new moral code with regard to sexual conduct. Draws heavily on government records and professional journals in the fields of medicine and social work.

 

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.)

 

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.)

 

Ledesma, Irene. “Unlikely Strikers: Mexican American Women in Strike Activity in Texas, 1919 – 1974.” Ph. D. diss.: Ohio State U., 1992.
A study of the Mexican American women involved in a series of strikes in the cigar (1933) pecan shelling (1938) and garment (1936, 1937, 1938, 1959 and 1972) industries. When strong union leadership was absent, women assumed leadership roles and were very creative in organizing resistance. When the mostly Anglo leadership of the International Ladies Garments Workers Union took charge, it relegated women to traditional strike roles on the front lines. In the latter case, women felt powerless and ignored by their own Union, and turned to Mexican culture and even violence directed at strikebreakers. Ledesma also considers the sometimes brutal and illegal activities of employers to break the strike. Based on newspapers, government documents, union records, and oral interviews.

 

Martinez-Catsam, Ana Luisa. “Desolute Streets: The Spanish Influenza in San Antonio.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 116 (Jan. 2013): 286 – 303.
The deadly influenza epidemic, which was responsible for more deaths than World War I, hit San Antonio between October and December of 1918.  The essay discusses the efforts of San Antonio’s military and civil authorities to counter the outbreak. Officials insisted San Antonio’s salutary climate, a major theme in its appeal for tourists, would spare the city. The large military encampments created by World War I, however, continuously brought infected individuals to the area. The city eventually banned all public assemblies (schools, theaters, funerals, and sporting events) to stem its spread. It ultimately proved less deadly in the Alamo City than regions previously visited by the disease.

 

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, Maury. A Maverick American. New York: 1937.
Maverick presents a collection of anecdotes and political tracts from his life as a schoolboy, World War I veteran, businessman in the lumber trade, amateur and “very inefficient” hobo, politician and public speaker. In the midst of the Great Depression and his two terms in Congress, he seeks “to tell an ordinary story of an ordinary man with ordinary ideas, hoping to solve a few elementary problems.” In the process Maverick offers his thoughts on contemporary issues such as the New Deal, anti-lynching legislation, labor organizing, San Antonio’s local political machine, the Supreme Court, while taking numerous historical side trips. The scion of a locally prominent family, Maverick would later serve one term as mayor of San Antonio.

 

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.

 

Morales, Cynthia A. “A Survey of Leadership, Activism and Community Involvement of Mexican American Women in San Antonio, 1920 – 1940.” Journal of South Texas History 13 (Fall 2000): 193 – 206.
The most popular organizations of the time were the “mutualistas” set up to provide insurance and loans to “Mexicanos” in times of sickness, death or dire poverty. There were 19 such mutualistas in San Antonio between 1915 and 1930, but they were wiped out by the Great Depression. The Woodmen of the World offered similar relief. Women were active in these and other organizations that defended the rights of Mexicanos. Through these bodies they founded schools and libraries, opened free medical clinics and raised money for victims of the 1921 flood and the Mexican Revolution. Women in middle class organizations were especially eager to assimilate into American society. They would provide ethnic leadership in the future and create a Mexican American identity. [See Cynthia Ann Morales, “Todo por la Raza: Community Activism Among Mexican American Women in San Antonio, Texas, 1920 – 1940.” M. A. Thesis, Texas A & M U., Kingsville, 2001. (69 pp.)]

 

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.

 

Petit, Jeanne. “Working for God, Country and ‘Our Poor Mexicans’: Catholic Women and Americanization at the San Antonio National Catholic Community House, 1919 – 24.” Journal of American Ethnic History 34 (Spring 2015): 5 – 33.
For five years the Catholic Church administered a social service agency to minister to the Mexican American community at 520 Matamoras Street. They desired to Americanize the immigrants and bolster their Catholic faith. The professionally trained Catholic lay women staffing the facility faced numerous challenges that ultimately led the Church to abandon the effort. Many Mexicans envisioned returning to Mexico and resisted efforts to become American citizens or adopt its language or values. The local Anglo Catholic population was largely indifferent to the plight of the impoverished residents of the west side. The social workers themselves harbored racist attitudes and remained aloof.  

 

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.

 

Pycior, Julie Leininger. “La Raza Organizes: Mexican American Life in San Antonio, 1915 – 1930 As Reflected in Mutualista Activities.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Notre Dame, 1979.
The goals, memberships and activities of the mutual societies offer an insight into the city’s Mexican American community. Pycior estimates that 8% of the barrio’s adult males belonged to one or more of 25 mutualistas. Immigrant communities formed various mutualistas to offer their members loans, insurance and social outlets at a time when the public sector provided little or no relief, especially to minorities. The organizations died out in the 1930's owing to the depression and the departure, in some cases deportation, of many Hispanic residents.

 

Rhoads, Edward J. “The Chinese in Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 81 (July 1977): 1-36.
Prior to 1917, about 50 or so Chinese immigrants lived in San Antonio operating laundries and restaurants. The arrival of 300 or more “Pershing Chinese” from Mexico insured that San Antonio would be at the center of Chinese American life in Texas until the 1950s. They met with various forms of discrimination. Most came originally from the Canton region and lived on the west side of San Antonio where they opened up grocery stores and other businesses.

 

Rivas-Rodriguez, Maggie. “Ignacio E. Lozano: The Mexican Exile Publisher Who Conquered San Antonio and Los Angeles.” American Journalism 21 (2004): 75 – 89.
Mexican immigrant Lozano (1886 – 1953) founded La Prensa in 1913, the city’s premier Spanish language newspaper. (He also established La Opinion in Los Angeles). The paper mostly catered to the city’s more newly arrived and relatively well-off Mexican American population displaced by the Mexican Revolution. He urged his readers to preserve their Mexican culture in preparation for the day when they would one day return to Mexico. La Prensa’s circulation extended into Mexico and across much of the Southwest. Lozano never became a U. S. citizen. La Prensa took a conservative approach to issues involving Mexico but not necessarily to political matters in the United States.

 

Schement, Jorge Reina and Ricardo Flores. “The Origins of Spanish-Language Radio: The Case of San Antonio, Texas.” Journalism History 4 (2) (1977): 56 – 58.
Spanish language programs started to air in San Antonio in 1928. The first Spanish Language radio station was KCOR, which began broadcasting in February of 1946. The biggest challenge owner Raul Cortez confronted was in finding advertisers; many businesses did not believe there was enough of a customer base among the Mexican American community. The programming included locally produced soap operas (“novelas”) and music popular in Mexico (mariachi, polkas, cumbias and ballads). Based on interviews with the general manager of KCOR and its public relations director.

 

Shah, Courtney Q. “’Against Their Own Weakness’: Policing Sexuality and Women in San Antonio, Texas During World War I.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 19 (Sept. 2010): 458 – 82.
The U.S. War Department pressured San Antonio to cut down on prostitution to protect the health of the many new recruits trained in the city.  Middle class club women mounted campaigns aimed at violating the civil rights of poor and minority women charged with consorting with the soldiers.  Policewomen, a novelty to the force, patrolled movie theaters and hotel lobbies looking for girls without escorts.  Women suspected of “lustfulness” could be arrested and incarcerated indefinitely in girl’s detention homes; about 100 such local women were assigned to the Live Oak Farm.

 

Smith, Marvin H. “A History of the San Antonio Scottish Rite Cathedral: Its Genesis, Erection and Financing,.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1959.
The Scottish rite organization established a local lodge in 1907. Membership grew considerably during World War I thanks to the military encampments. Construction was started on its new temple near the Alamo in 1921 and completed three years later. The structure cost $1.5 million to build and furnish and left the lodge heavily in debt. Membership and initiation fees fell during the 1920's. The thesis mostly focuses on various financial schemes to pay off the debt and the ensuing legal battles. During the 1940's membership rebounded and the debt was cleared by 1953. Based on organization records, interviews and legal documents. (112 pp.)

 

Trevino, Roberto O. “Facing Jim Crow: Catholic Sisters and the ‘Mexican Problem’ in Texas.” Western Historical Quarterly 34 (Summer 2003): 139 – 64.
White Texans looked down on Hispanics, whether native Texans or immigrants, in much the way they did African Americans around 1900. Women in religious orders, like the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, provided desperately needed services to the Hispanic community, but often perpetuated the social subordination of Mexican Americans. Mexican nuns were denied education and often assigned menial, domestic tasks. Nuns were closely acquainted with the needs of immigrants and the poor, and between 1910 and 1950 began to confront prejudice and inequality in the schools, in social services and within their own ranks. The nuns stopped training Mexican American girls to be domestics and instead encouraged them to become social workers through the Worden School of Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake College.



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.

 

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 the 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.

 

Denver, Tom. “Folk Culture and Urban Political Economy: The Ice Houses of San Antonio.” Social Science Journal 28 (4) (1991): 425 – 50.
Denver does homage to a Texas institution that emerged during the 1920's. “Beer” county has carried on a long love affair with ice cold beer from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The prototypical ice house served as a local gathering place for a mostly working class clientele. San Antonio had a reputation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as a city of drinking and gambling. The popularity of ice houses peaked in the 1950's, and now they seem to be on the way out as the city becomes more impersonal and metropolitan.

 

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.)

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.]

 

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.

 

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 the Mahncke Hotel (1886). Illustrated.

 

Knox, William J. The Economic Status of the Mexican Immigrant in San Antonio, Texas. San Francisco: 1971.
A reprint of a short (39 page) undergraduate thesis done at the University of Texas at Austin in 1927. Knox surveyed 1,550 homes for information on language, occupations, incomes, the migration patterns of both spouses, and the incidence of child labor. Numerous tables document the prevalence of low incomes in unskilled occupations and high rates of illiteracy. The study is especially interested in identifying factors associated with higher earnings.

 

Ledesma, Irene. “Unlikely Strikers: Mexican American Women in Strike Activity in Texas, 1919 – 1974.” Ph. D. diss.: Ohio State U., 1992.
A study of the Mexican American women involved in a series of strikes in the cigar (1933) pecan shelling (1938) and garment (1936, 1937, 1938, 1959 and 1972) industries. When strong union leadership was absent, women assumed leadership roles and were very creative in organizing resistance. When the mostly Anglo leadership of the International Ladies Garments Workers Union took charge, it relegated women to traditional strike roles on the front lines. In the latter case, women felt powerless and ignored by their own Union, and turned to Mexican culture and even violence directed at strikebreakers. Ledesma also considers the sometimes brutal and illegal activities of employers to break the strike. Based on newspapers, government documents, union records, and oral interviews.

 

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. “Streetscape Environmentalism: Floods, Social Justice, and Political Power in San Antonio, 1921 – 1974.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 118 (Oct. 2014): 158 – 77.
Reviews the response to major floods in the city’s history. After the deadly and devastating flood of Sept. 10, 1921 the city built the Olmos Dam and took other initiatives to protect downtown. The needs of the city’s Hispanic population on the west side were ignored by the Anglo dominated political structure. Consequently when another major flood hit the city in 1974 the west side suffered the bulk of the damage. In its aftermath Communities Organized for Public Service put pressure on city officials to build infrastructure to curb chronic flooding in minority communities.

 

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.

 

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.)

 

Smith, Charles. “San Antonio Chamber of Commerce: A History of Its Organization for Community Development and Service, 1910 – 1960.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1965.
The Chamber evolved from a membership based organization to a professionally managed one by the 1960's. It played a significant role in nurturing two of the city’s major assets – its historic sites and its military installations. The Chamber also promoted various projects to foster economic growth. Smith consulted the records of the Chamber, newspapers and oral interviews. (133 pp.)

 

Smith, Marvin H. “A History of the San Antonio Scottish Rite Cathedral: Its Genesis, Erection and Financing,.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1959.
The Scottish rite organization established a local lodge in 1907. Membership grew considerably during World War I thanks to the military encampments. Construction was started on its new temple near the Alamo in 1921 and completed three years later. The structure cost $1.5 million to build and furnish and left the lodge heavily in debt. Membership and initiation fees fell during the 1920's. The thesis mostly focuses on various financial schemes to pay off the debt and the ensuing legal battles. During the 1940's membership rebounded and the debt was cleared by 1953. Based on organization records, interviews and legal documents. (112 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, 1890's – 1990's.” 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.

 

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.

 

Brown, Phebe Y. “Reflections of Revolution: Press Reaction in San Antonio to the Mexican Revolution of 1910 – 1917.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1979.
Judging by the amount of space their newspapers devoted to the topic, San Antonio residents took an avid interest in the Mexican Revolution. The papers generally refrained from offering editorial comment or meddling in Mexican affairs, but instead followed the neutral stance adopted by the U. S. State Department. San Antonio was feeling the effects of the Revolution by the influx of refugees and the efforts of Mexican partisans to raise money and to funnel weapons to either side. The four newspapers surveyed for this thesis included the city’s two largest dailies (the Daily Express and the Light), the Spanish language La Prensa, and The Southern Messenger published by the Roman Catholic Church. (97 pp.)

 

Burdick, Charles B. “A House on Navidad Street: The Celebrated Zimmermann Note on The Texas Border?” Arizona and the West 8 (1) (1966): 19-34.
After immigration authorities arrested Edna Visser in San Antonio in February of 1917, her sister produced papers purporting to be from the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Mexico City. They indicated that the Mexican government intended to take some undefined action against the United States. The United States government took the documents very seriously, coming as they did on the heels of the Zimmermann Note. The principles later insisted the papers were a hoax, but Burdick contends that some part of the story might be true.

 

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.

 

Dawson, Larry. “San Antonio’s Support of World War I.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1962.
The study examines various local government agencies established to curb dissent, sell war bonds, conserve food and fuel, and maintain war production. It also considers the general welfare of the soldiers in the camps where they sought to suppress vice and promote moral entertainment. Despite its large ethnic German population, San Antonio enthusiastically supported the war effort. Primarily relies on local newspapers and numerous oral interviews. (123 pp.)



Drennon, Christine M. “Social Relations Spatially Fixed: Construction and Maintenance of School Districts in San Antonio, Texas.” Geographical Review 96 (Oct. 2006): 567-93.
Drennon examines the origins of San Antonio area school districts beginning with the formation of Alamo Heights in 1913. Initially, segregated housing enforced through covenant restrictions kept the schools racially and economically homogenous. School districts were formed between 1920 and 1950 to accomplish the same purpose. The new boundaries were deliberately drawn to allow wealthy neighborhoods to funnel their tax resources strictly to their own schools and set in place educational inequities that are still with us.

 

Henderson, Richard B. Maury Maverick, A Political Biography. Austin: 1970.
A profile of the San Antonio mayor (1939-41) and congressman (1935-39) who served in World War I, fought the local political machine, and later served in a variety of federal posts to spur wartime production. His liberal leanings, devotion to civil liberties and independent streak made him a controversial figure on the local and even national stage. Based on the sizeable Maury Maverick papers and the authors interviews and correspondence with many of Maverick’s contemporaries.

 

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.)

 

Martinez-Catsam, Ana Luisa. “Desolute Streets: The Spanish Influenza in San Antonio.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 116 (Jan. 2013): 286 – 303.
The deadly influenza epidemic, which was responsible for more deaths than World War I, hit San Antonio between October and December of 1918.  The essay discusses the efforts of San Antonio’s military and civil authorities to counter the outbreak. Officials insisted San Antonio’s salutary climate, a major theme in its appeal for tourists, would spare the city. The large military encampments created by World War I, however, continuously brought infected individuals to the area. The city eventually banned all public assemblies (schools, theaters, funerals, and sporting events) to stem its spread. It ultimately proved less deadly in the Alamo City than regions previously visited by the disease.

 

Matthews, John Herbert. “Newspaper Reaction in Urban Central Texas to German Violations of United States Neutrality on the High Seas, 1914 – 1917.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1969.
Initial coverage of the war did not betray much interest or alarm. The tone in the papers changed after the sinking of the Lusitania in May of 1915. The Light became bitterly anti-German, a stance replicated by the Express within a few months. The Statesman remained anti-war until the Sussex sunk early in 1916. Thus, all three newspapers turned against Germany well before war was declared. Based on coverage in the Austin Statesman, the San Antonio Express and San Antonio Light. (238 pp.)

 

Miller, Char. “Streetscape Environmentalism: Floods, Social Justice, and Political Power in San Antonio, 1921 – 1974.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 118 (Oct. 2014): 158 – 77.
Reviews the response to major floods in the city’s history. After the deadly and devastating flood of Sept. 10, 1921 the city built the Olmos Dam and took other initiatives to protect downtown. The needs of the city’s Hispanic population on the west side were ignored by the Anglo dominated political structure. Consequently when another major flood hit the city in 1974 the west side suffered the bulk of the damage. In its aftermath Communities Organized for Public Service put pressure on city officials to build infrastructure to curb chronic flooding in minority communities.

 

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, Char and Heywood T. Sanders. “Olmos Park and the Creation of a Suburban Bastion, 1927 – 39,” in Urban Texas: Politics and Development. Eds. Char Miller and Heywood T. Sanders. College Station, Texas: 1990.
The Olmos Park subdivision was the brainchild of developer H. C. Throman. He saw its potential once the Olmos Dam improved access to the area. Throman designed the community with the automobile in mind. He used restrictive covenants and demanding building codes to insure the neighborhood was populated solely by comfortably well off whites. Even though Olmos Park was outside the city limits, San Antonio provided free police and fire protection. The locality incorporated in 1939 to avoid paying city taxes. Hence, Olmos Park residents enjoyed city services without having to assume any of the larger metropolitan area’s burdens.

 

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.)

 

Orozco, Cynthia E. “The Origins of the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement in Texas With an Analysis of Women’s Political Participation in a Gendered Context, 1910 – 1929.” Ph. D. dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 1992.
Orozco traces the origins of the Chicano movement in San Antonio and South Texas through middle class organizations such as the Order of the Sons of America in the 1910's and 1920's. As Mexican Americans crossed the border in larger numbers and stirred up heightened racial awareness among Euro Americans, the OSA and later LULAC pioneered the role of civil rights organizations. Women also played a major role in shaping the Chicano movement on a variety of gender related issues.

 

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.)

 

Preuss, Karl. “Personality, Politics and the Price of Justice: Ephraim Frisch, San Antonio’s Radical Rabbi.” American Jewish History 85 (Sept. 1997): 263-88.
Frisch served as a Reform rabbi at Temple Beth-El between 1923 and 1942. “He supported labor interests, advocated for the poor, defended freedom of speech even for communists, championed the teaching of Darwinism in public schools, eschewed the notion of a Christian America, reviled the profit motive, and played a particularly dramatic role in the standoff between conservatives and liberals at a time when religious and political ideologies were becoming polarized and unforgiving.” Anti-Semitic diatribes linking Jews with socialism and opposition from leaders of his own congregation eventually forced Frisch to step down.

 

Sanders, Heywood T. “Building a New Urban Infrastructure: The Creation of Postwar San Antonio,” in Urban Texas: Politics and Development. Eds. Char Miller and Heywood T. Sanders. College Station, Texas: 1990.
During the 1920's, when San Antonio was enjoying exceptional prosperity, it successfully issued several bonds to build libraries, sewers, paved streets and parks. The Commission form of government relied on the city’s Hispanic and Afro-American voters and saw that these groups enjoyed their share of city improvements. A taxpayer’s revolt against the local political machine broke out during the Great Depression and succeeded in putting a stop to many bond supported improvements. The mobilization of relatively well-off Anglo voters on the city’s North Side eventually led to the formation of the Good Government League (GGL) that dominated local government beginning in 1954. The GGL organized a series of bond drives thereafter that passed with the support of voters on the North side, but mostly went to promote “growth” for the city as a whole and neglected the city’s poorer neighborhoods and residents until the GGL was disbanded in the 1970's.

 

Sanders, Heywood T. “Empty Taps, Missing Pipes,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 141 – 68. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Unlike other Sunbelt cities, San Antonio has not aggressively pursued water rights to assure the city’s continued growth in a semi-arid environment. During much of the twentieth century the city government was preoccupied with upgrading a long neglected sewage system. The latter posed a serious health hazard, especially in the city’s poorer neighborhoods on the Mexican West Side. Historically, San Antonio did not provide infrastructure support (sewers or sidewalks) unless the affected residents would pay for it themselves. The City Water Board endeavored to keep rates low to attract business, even if this meant it never acquired the financial resources to tap other sources of water. Thus, San Antonio’s water system is tied solely to the Edwards Aquifer.

 

Turner, Martha Anne. Clara Driscoll, an American Tradition. Austin, Texas: 1979.
Driscoll (1881-1945), the daughter of a well-to-do rancher, was a playwright and very active in Democratic Party politics and philanthropy. From her home in Corpus Christi she managed a family business empire that encompassed cattle, oil, land and banks. She earned enduring fame for purchasing the Alamo in 1903 to insure its historic preservation.

 

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 1890's 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.

 

Arreola, Daniel D. “The Mexican American Cultural Capital.” Geographical Review 77 (Jan. 1987): 17 – 34.
San Antonio historically has served as the Mexican American cultural capital of the United States. Railroad linkages to Monterrey in the late nineteenth century ensured that Mexican influences would continue to flow into the Alamo city. It helped make San Antonio function as the center of the migrant workforce in the early years of the twentieth century. Mexican communities established themselves on the west side of San Pedro Creek. They established a number of important institutions: La Prensa, the Order of the Sons of America, and the League of United Latin American Citizens, and Communities Organized for Public Service. Arreola also considers the origins of Mexican cuisine and conjunto music. Even if Los Angeles has a larger Mexican American population, San Antonio has a much heavier concentration (or percentage) of the population hailing from Mexico and remains the nation’s Mexican-American cultural capital.

 

Badillo, David A. “Between Alienation and Ethnicity: The Evolution of Mexican American Catholicism in San Antonio, 1910 – 1940.” Journal of American Ethnic History 16 (4) (1997): 62 – 83.
With the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution, the Catholic Church faced the challenge of meeting the spiritual needs of an onrush of immigrants. San Antonio also received a number of clergymen fleeing Mexico during the occasional anticlerical campaigns mounted by the Mexican government. The administration of the Church was in the hands of non-Mexican prelates, like Archbishop Arthur J. Drossaerts (1918-40), who had some trouble relating to the Mexican laity and their cultural and religious traditions. The Church managed ultimately to unite both groups with a version of Catholicism that drew from both religious traditions.

 

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. San Antonio’s barrio was created through legally enforced racial covenants that prohibited homeowners from selling to minorities. Opportunities for economic advancement were undermined by discriminatory practices that kept minorities out of expanding industries and relegated them to the shrinking sectors of the economy. Each of these cities provided only limited urban services to their Hispanic neighborhoods until Spanish-speaking residents organized as a political force. [See also David A. Badillo, “From South of the Border: Latino Experiences in Urban America.” Ph. D. diss.: City University of New York, 1988.]

 

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.

 

Cosentino, Della. “Picturing American Cities in the Twentieth Century: Emily Edwards’s Maps of San Antonio and Mexico City.” Imago Mundi 65 (June 2013): 288 – 302.
Local artist Emily Edwards (1888-1980), co-founder of the San Antonio Conservation Society, produced two artistically inspired maps of San Antonio in 1926 and Mexico City (where she resided briefly) in 1832. This essay traces the development and design of both maps.  She sought to highlight the cities’ rich historical and cultural resources that were threatened by urbanization and industrialization.

 

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.

 

Dorsey, John R. “Texas Military Institute, Its History and Heritage.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
TMI was organized in 1926 as a Christian, military school for boys. It merged two rival educational institutions: the San Antonio Academy (established in 1886) with the West Texas Military Academy (founded by the Episcopalians in 1893). TMI and SAA divided again in 1952, when the Episcopal Church again took TMI under its wings. This study mainly concerns itself with curriculum and institutional developments. (158 pp.).

 

Dunn, Patricia A. “The Cementville School: A Study of Education, Labor and Segregation in a Company Town.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1997.
The Alamo Cement Company hired a large body of Mexican workers to process the limestone at what is today the intersection of Jones Maltsberger and Highway 281. The community was cut off by a high fence and the children attended a segregated and inferior school administered by Alamo Heights ISD between 1922 and 1952. The school promoted “Americanization” with a curriculum emphasizing English language skills. Few students remained in school beyond the 6th grade. The school was closed when state courts banned segregating Mexican students. Based partly on oral interviews. (77 pp.)

 

Fenstermaker, Anne Leslie. “Conversation with Miss Emily Edwards, San Antonio, Texas.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1978.
This is a transcript of a conversation between Edwards (1888-1980) and the author mostly discussing the local art scene and Edwards’s efforts at historic preservation. Edwards was born in San Antonio and had deep roots in the city. She was co-founder and first president of the San Antonio Conservation Society (1924-26) and very active in the local art scene. Mexican muralists attracted her attention and she eventually worked with Diego Rivera. Edwards was an art teacher at Brackenridge high school and traveled widely around the country mastering her craft. (25 pp.)

 

Fisher, Lewis F. “Preservation of San Antonio’s Built Environment,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by 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.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. Christ Episcopal Church: the First Seventy-Five Years, 1911-1986. San Antonio: 1986.
A local journalist offers this extensive historical treatment of the largest Episcopal church in West Texas. The church became more socially aware and active over time through the impact of wars, depressions, urban decay and its relations with the national body. It is located a few blocks north of San Antonio College. Based partially on oral interviews. Illustrated.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. Saving San Antonio: The Precarious Preservation of a Heritage. Lubbock, Texas: 1996.
Fisher’s study is primarily a history of the San Antonio Conservation Society founded by Emily Edwards and Mary Rowena Maverick Green in 1924. Early chapters trace the historic preservation struggle over the Alamo beginning in the 1880's. The Anglo women associated with the Society mostly shared artistic backgrounds. They wielded considerable clout through their energy, social status and political connections. Chapters discuss the restoration of the missions, NIOSA, the Riverwalk, and the moving of the Fairmount Hotel.

 

Friedmann, Jonathan L. “Anna Hertzberg and the Tuesday Musical Club of San Antonio.” Western States Jewish History 45 (Spring 2013): 245 – 50.
The former Anna Goodman (1862 – 1937) arrived in San Antonio from New York City in 1882 after marrying local jeweler Eli Hertzberg. A classical pianist, she found the local musical scene seriously lacking.  She formed the all women’s Tuesday Musical Club in 1901 to stimulate classical music. The organization was dominated by amateur musicians. It played a key role in the construction of the Sunken Garden Theater in Brackenridge Park in 1930, and its club building is nearby. Hertzberg was also a founder and president of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra.  She was also active in many other charitable and educational endeavors through her participation in the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs, where she served as president from 1911-13.

 

Fuchs, Maura L. “’Revista Mexicana:’ Constructing the Conservative Mexican Nation in Exile.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Houston, 2006.
Revista Mexicana was published in San Antonio between 1915 and 1920 by Nemesio García Naranjo. It reflected the interests and mindset of the exiles associated with the regime of Porfirio Diaz that was ousted at the outset of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. The newspaper curried to the elite cultural tastes of the Mexican upper class, while raising funds for armed counter revolutionary Félix Diaz (nephew of the deposed president). This dissertation from the discipline of modern languages mostly examines rhetorical devices employed by the magazine’s authors to promote their agenda.

 

Hafertepe, Kenneth. “The Romantic Rhetoric of the Spanish Governor’s Palace, San Antonio, Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 107 (Oct. 2003): 238-277.
Hafertepe chronicles the negotiations behind the city of San Antonio’s acquisition of the Spanish Governor’s Palace in 1928 and its subsequent restoration. The building really housed the commander of the Presidio (or fort) constructed in the early eighteenth century. Adina De Zavala drummed up interest in the project in 1915 with romantic stories of San Antonio’s Spanish past. The study relies on the DeZavala papers in the Center for American History.

 

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 levels. 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.

 

Hasdorff, James C. “The Southern Messenger and the Church-State Controversy, 1917 – 1941.” Journal of Texas Catholic History and Culture 5 (1994): 25 – 46.
The Southern Messenger was published by the San Antonio Archdiocese of the Catholic Church beginning in the 1890's. The anticlericalism of the Mexican Revolution compelled many priests and nuns to flee Mexico and settle in San Antonio after 1910. These exiles induced Archbishop Arthur J. Drossaerts to support their cause. The Messenger denounced the socialistic economic initiatives and anti-establishment religious agenda of the revolutionary regimes in Mexico. The negative press ceased when President Lázaro Cárdenas reached an accommodation with the Church in Mexico in the late 1930's. [See also James Curtis Hasdorff, “The Southern Messenger and the Mexican Church – State Controversy, 1917 – 1941.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1968. (154 pp.)]

 

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.

 

Ives, Walther John. “The History of Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, San Antonio Texas, 1857 – 1949.” M. A. Thesis, University 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 the service was conducted in German.

 

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.)

 

Linenthal, Edward Tabor. “’A Reservoir of Spiritual Power:’ Patriotic Faith at the Alamo in the Twentieth Century.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 91 (Apr. 1988): 509-531.
The essay considers the “symbolic interpretation” of the Alamo from the time the Daughters of the Republic of Texas assumed management in 1905. Veneration of the site takes on religious aspects and raises questions as to who is authorized to speak to its symbolic meaning. Over time commemorations at the Alamo have evolved from “archaic notions of heroic sacrifice” to rituals of reconciliation.

 

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.

 

Marchbanks, Lois Terry. The Pan American Roundtable. San Antonio: 1983.
Mostly a set of documents bearing on the San Antonio women’s organization organized by Florence Terry Griswold to promote better ties between the United States and Latin America. The organization was formed in 1916 when tensions with Mexico ran at their highest. Numerous other chapters were formed in an out of Texas.

 

Margolies, Daniel S. “Voz de Pueblo Chicano: Sustainability, Teaching and Intangible Cultural Transfer in Conjunto Music” Journal of American Culture 34 (Mar. 2011): 36 – 48.
Conjunto music combines the accordion with the 12 string Mexican bass (bajo sexton). While it mostly addresses the contemporary music scene in San Antonio, this article touches on the early history of this musical genre as it emerged in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley early in the twentieth century. Mexican musicians absorbed the musical instruments and styles (polka) of recent European immigrants. It represents a variety of Tejano music and preserves cultural identity.

 

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.

 

Mayer, Vicki. “From Segmented to Fragmented: Latino Media in San Antonio, Texas.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 78 (Summer 2001): 291-306.
The development of Mexican American mass media outlets in San Antonio began with the publication of La Prensa in 1913. This was followed by Spanish language radio broadcasts during the 1930's, when Latino entrepreneurs purchased air time on some local radio frequencies. Record labels cooperated with radio and television to promote conjunto music. In the 1960's local media outlets aligned with national and international business conglomerates to produce a more standardized fare for an international Mexican audience.

 

Mauricio-Esparaza, Guerrina. “The Music in the City of San Antonio from 1920 – 1949 Through the Professional Life of Estevan Cantu Sanchez.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1992.
Sanchez (1878 – 1947) was a self-taught violinist who worked with many of the important musical organizations in the city including the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Orchestra and the San Antonio Symphony. He was also a long standing member of the Musicians Union (Local No. 23). Mauricio-Esparaza examines Sanchez’s life in the context of musical developments in the city, especially the on and off again efforts to establish a local symphony. (87 pp.)

 

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.)

 

Nixon, Harry W. “The Development of Dramatic and Cultural Criticism in the San Antonio Light from 1900 to 1949.” M. A. Thesis, St. Mary’s U., 1949.
Nixon surveys the newspaper’s coverage and commentary on the city’s cultural events during January through March at ten year intervals. Prior to its acquisition by the Hearst Corporation in 1924, the reporters assigned to cover cultural events did not exhibit much artistic sensibility. The quantity and especially the quality of cultural criticism in the Light greatly improved over time. Numerous lengthy quotes reveal the paper’s reaction to various productions and performers. As motion pictures reduced the demand for drama and vaudeville by the 1930's, there was a compensating rise in interest in symphonies, operas and other musical venues. The thesis also describes the changing layout of the paper itself over the decades. (106 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.)

 

Petit, Jeanne. “Working for God, Country and ‘Our Poor Mexicans’: Catholic Women and Americanization at the San Antonio National Catholic Community House, 1919 – 24.” Journal of American Ethnic History 34 (Spring 2015): 5 – 33.
For five years the Catholic Church administered a social service agency to minister to the Mexican American community at 520 Matamoras Street. They desired to Americanize the immigrants and bolster their Catholic faith. The professionally trained Catholic lay women staffing the facility faced numerous challenges that ultimately led the Church to abandon the effort. Many Mexicans envisioned returning to Mexico and resisted efforts to become American citizens or adopt its language or values. The local Anglo Catholic population was largely indifferent to the plight of the impoverished residents of the west side. The social workers themselves harbored racist attitudes and remained aloof.  

 

Preuss, Karl. “Personality, Politics and the Price of Justice: Ephraim Frisch, San Antonio’s Radical Rabbi.” American Jewish History 85 (Sept. 1997): 263-88.
Frisch served as a Reform rabbi at Temple Beth-El between 1923 and 1942. “He supported labor interests, advocated for the poor, defended freedom of speech even for communists, championed the teaching of Darwinism in public schools, eschewed the notion of a Christian America, reviled the profit motive, and played a particularly dramatic role in the standoff between conservatives and liberals at a time when religious and political ideologies were becoming polarized and unforgiving.” Anti-Semitic diatribes linking Jews with socialism and opposition from leaders of his own congregation eventually forced Frisch to step down.

 

Schement, Jorge Reina and Ricardo Flores. “The Origins of Spanish-Language Radio: The Case of San Antonio, Texas.” Journalism History 4 (2) (1977): 56 – 58.
Spanish language programs started to air in San Antonio in 1928. The first Spanish Language radio station was KCOR, which began broadcasting in February of 1946. The biggest challenge owner Raul Cortez confronted was in finding advertisers; many businesses did not believe there was enough of a customer base among the Mexican American community. The programming included locally produced soap operas (“novelas”) and music popular in Mexico (mariachi, polkas, cumpias and ballads). Based on interviews with the general manager of KCOR and its public relations director.

 

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)

 

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.)

 

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.)

 

Trevino, Roberto O. “Facing Jim Crow: Catholic Sisters and the ‘Mexican Problem’ in Texas.” Western Historical Quarterly 34 (Summer 2003): 139 – 64.
White Texans looked down on Hispanics, whether native Texans or immigrants, in much the way they did African Americans around 1900. Women in religious orders, like the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, provided desperately needed services to the Hispanic community, but often perpetuated the social subordination of Mexican Americans. Mexican nuns were denied education and often assigned menial, domestic tasks. Nuns were closely acquainted with the needs of immigrants and the poor, and between 1910 and 1950 began to confront prejudice and inequality in the schools, in social services and within their own ranks. The nuns stopped training Mexican American girls to be domestics and instead encouraged them to become social workers through the Worden School of Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake College.

 

Turner, Martha Anne. Clara Driscoll, an American Tradition. Austin, Texas: 1979.
Driscoll (1881-1945), the daughter of a well-to-do rancher, was a playwright and very active in Democratic Party politics and philanthropy. From her home in Corpus Christi she managed a family business empire that encompassed cattle, oil, land and banks. She earned enduring fame for purchasing the Alamo in 1903 to insure its historic preservation.

 

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.)

 

Browning, Robert et al. A History of Military Aviation in San Antonio. San Antonio: 1996.
Separate chapters chronicle pilot training and aircraft maintenance and supply at each of the city’s major military airfields. Kelly (1917) provides large maintenance facilities; Brooks (1918) handles advanced training for instructors and added medical facilities and research centers; Randolph offers pilot training (1930) and Lackland (1942) functions as the entry level training post for all new air force recruits. The entries were prepared by the historians assigned to each base.

 

Dorsey, John R. “Texas Military Institute, Its History and Heritage.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
TMI was organized in 1926 as a Christian, military school for boys. It merged two rival educational institutions: the San Antonio Academy (established in 1886) with the West Texas Military Academy (founded by the Episcopalians in 1893). TMI and SAA divided again in 1952, when the Episcopal Church again took TMI under its wings. This study mainly concerns itself with curriculum and institutional developments. (158 pp.).

 

Fisher, Lewis F. Eyes Right! A Vintage Postcard Profile of San Antonio's Military. San Antonio: 2000.
Postcards from the military bases portray the facilities and camp life. Most cover the period between the two world wars, and some concern the border conflict with Mexico circa 1916.

 

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.

 

Haynes, Robert V. “The Houston Mutiny and Riot of 1917.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 76 (Apr. 1973): 418 – 39.
Black soldiers stationed in Houston resented the city’s segregated facilities and the racial slurs and insults they encountered. On the evening of August 23rd an armed body of black troops marched on Houston’s downtown shooting and killing about 15 whites and wounding many more. A military tribunal at Fort Sam Houston sentenced 19 Afro-American soldiers to hang at Fort Travis (near Salado Creek) on Dec. 11, 1917. Sixty-three more soldiers received life sentences.

 

Hussey, Ann Krueger. A Heritage of Service: Seventy-Five Years of Military Aviation at Kelly Air Force Base, 1916 – 1991. San Antonio: n. d.
The Office of History at Kelly’s San Antonio Air Logistics Center prepared this chronologically organized report. Kelly played a key role in pilot training, aircraft maintenance and logistics. Extensively illustrated.

 

Isbell, Frances Wyatt. “Military Aeronautics in San Antonio, 1910 – 1918.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1962.
Covers the early days of flying at Fort Sam Houston and the role of the army air corps in patrolling the border and doing scouting missions for Pershing’s Punitive Expedition into Mexico in 1916. It follows the acquisition and construction of Kelly field and its wartime operations. Kelly was the nation’s largest aviation training camp during the war. Isbell also describes Fort Sam Houston’s Dodd field, Camp John Wise and Brooks Field. She credits public spirited businessmen with bringing military aviation to San Antonio. Uses minutes of the Chamber of Commerce, government (mostly military) documents, and local newspapers. (168 pp)

 

Loeblin, John M. “The Kelly Field Jaz Wagon.” Aerospace Historian 14 (Spring 1967): 34 - 35.
A short, humorous account of a military parade in San Antonio on November 11, 1918 marking the Armistice ending World War I. The Airplane Repair Shop at Kelly Field mounted an airplane engine with its whirling propeller on a truck. The wind stirred up horse manure on the city’s streets causing havoc for paraders, onlookers and local merchants. A first person account by the former Assistant Engineer Officer in the repair shop.

 

Martinez-Catsam, Ana Luisa. “Desolute Streets: The Spanish Influenza in San Antonio.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 116 (Jan. 2013): 286 – 303.
The deadly influenza epidemic, which was responsible for more deaths than World War I, hit San Antonio between October and December of 1918.  The essay discusses the efforts of San Antonio’s military and civil authorities to counter the outbreak. Officials insisted San Antonio’s salutary climate, a major theme in its appeal for tourists, would spare the city. The large military encampments created by World War I, however, continuously brought infected individuals to the area. The city eventually banned all public assemblies (schools, theaters, funerals, and sporting events) to stem its spread. It ultimately proved less deadly in the Alamo City than regions previously visited by the disease.

 

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.

 

Shah, Courtney Q. “’Against Their Own Weakness’: Policing Sexuality and Women in San Antonio, Texas During World War I.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 19 (Sept. 2010): 458 – 82.
The U.S. War Department pressured San Antonio to cut down on prostitution to protect the health of the many new recruits trained in the city.  Middle class club women mounted campaigns aimed at violating the civil rights of poor and minority women charged with consorting with the soldiers.  Policewomen, a novelty to the force, patrolled movie theaters and hotel lobbies looking for girls without escorts.  Women suspected of “lustfulness” could be arrested and incarcerated indefinitely in girl’s detention homes; about 100 such local women were assigned to the Live Oak Farm.

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