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.

1929 - 1945 Depression & WW II

 

Blackwelder, Julia. Women of the Depression: Caste and Culture in San Antonio, 1929-39. College Station, Texas: 1984.
Blackwelder analyzes how the Great Depression affected San Antonio women of various racial, social, and economic backgrounds. The city’s three major ethnic groups (Afro-American, Anglo and Hispanic) had little contact with one another in the “caste structure of the 1930's.” The Depression and New Deal response had different implications for women of different classes and races, as well as for married versus single women. The study makes heavy use of census data as well as newspapers and government records.

 

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.

 

Garcia, Richard A. The Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class: San Antonio, 1929-41. College Station, Texas: 1991.
This book is a wide-ranging assessment of the Mexican middle class that arose on San Antonio’s West Side during the early-to-mid twentieth century. The Mexican American community was divided along lines of social class. The middle class most eagerly embraced assimilation and acculturation. The upper class remained more aloof. Most immigrants worked as pecan shellers or in the garment and cigar making industries. Strikes and labor organizing during the 1930's reflected a growing polarization within the Mexican community and an emerging working class consciousness. Institutional agents such as the family, church and school shaped Hispanic culture in San Antonio on many levels.

 

Granneberg, Audrey. “Maury Maverick’s San Antonio.” Survey Graphic 28 (July 1939): 421 – 422.
This short exposé of political, economic and social conditions in San Antonio was written shortly after Maury Maverick was elected mayor in 1939. The city was “corrupt and contented” under the influence of the “Callaghan Machine” that protected gambling and prostitution rings. The city’s Mexican American population endured deplorable living and working conditions in the wake of the pecan shellers strike.

 

Hughes, L Patrick. “Beyond Denial: Glimpses of Depression-Era San Antonio.” Journal of South Texas History 14 (Fall 2001): 223-58.
The Great Depression had a devastating impact on a city highly reliant on military spending a low tech manufacturing. The city’s elite failed to respond to the crisis as effectively as leaders elsewhere. A power struggle between business oriented reform types and the remnants of the Callaghan machine constituted a major distraction. One third of the city’s financial institutions were cast into insolvency. The city deposited its funds with City Central Bank and Trust Co., and for a full year could not get access to its $500,000 funds while the company reorganized with the help of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The study details the many improvements made in the city by New Deal agencies working on the Riverwalk, La Villita, the missions, zoo, post office and public housing.

 

Livingston, Mary E. San Antonio in the 1920's and 1930's. Charleston, S. C.
The author, born into an upper middle class family in 1923, describes her childhood (to age 11). The rich coverage of domestic life, local amusements, holidays, Great Depression is accompanied by numerous photographs.

 

Peyton, Green. San Antonio: City in the Sun. New York: 1946.
Short chapters address various aspects of contemporary issues in the city. Topics covered include: the local military presence, Maury Maverick, prostitution, Father Carmine Antonio Tranchese, and the cattle industry.

 

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 David A. Badillo, “From South of the Border: Latino Experiences in Urban America.” Ph. D. diss.: City University of New York, 1988.]

 

Berriozábal, María Antonietta. “Una Historia de una de Muchas Marias.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 24 (2-3) 2003: 155-67.
The former city councilwoman and mayoral candidate sketches her family background beginning with her grandparents arrival in the U. S. in 1910. The family first worked in the cotton fields and her father later moved to San Antonio. Berriozábal grew up in a poor family, attended Catholic schools, and became a professional woman during the 1940's through the 1960's before entering politics. She confronted discrimination for her race and gender from several quarters.

 

Blackwelder, Julia. Women of the Depression: Caste and Culture in San Antonio, 1929-39. College Station, Texas: 1984.
Blackwelder analyzes how the Great Depression affected San Antonio women of various racial, social, and economic backgrounds. The city’s three major ethnic groups (Afro-American, Anglo and Hispanic) had little contact with one another in the “caste structure of the 1930's.” The Depression and New Deal response had different implications for women of different classes and races, as well as for married versus single women. The study makes heavy use of census data as well as newspapers and government records.

 

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.”

 

Bradshaw, B. S. and W. P. Frisbie. “Mortality of Mexican Americans and Mexican Immigrants: Comparisons with Mexico,” in Demographic Dynamics of the U. S. Mexico Border. Eds. J. R. Weeks and R. Ham-Chande. 125-50. El Paso, Texas: 1992.
The study contrasts the death rates of the Anglo and Hispanic populations (divided between immigrants from Mexico versus those born in the U. S.) between 1935 and 1985. The differential in life expectancy between Anglos and Hispanics was stark in the 1930's, but closed dramatically during the 1940's. A far higher proportion of Hispanics died from preventable diseases (homicides, car accidents and infectious diseases) while Anglos suffered from chronic and degenerative diseases associated with aging. Infant mortality was also more than twice as high among Hispanics than Anglos in the 1930's, but the differential disappeared by the 1970's.

 

Buitron, Richard Arthur, Jr. “Who Are We? The Quest for Tejano Identity in San Antonio, Texas, 1913 – the Present.” Ph. D. diss.: Florida State U., 2002.
Buitron emphasizes the role of history in shaping ethnic identity and contrasts the situation in San Antonio with that of Los Angeles. San Antonio’s Tejano population was rooted in history while that of Los Angeles was not. Consequently, the cities developed somewhat different Hispanic cultures. San Antonio’s Hispanic middle class aimed to achieve full integration into American society, meeting resistance from an Anglo population that shared an outlook on race relations similar to that of other Southerners. Other influences from the host culture shaping Tejano identity included Progressivism and feminism.

 

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.

 

Dublin, Thomas, Taina Del Valle, and Rosalyn Perez. “How Did Mexican Working Women Assert Their Labor and Constitutional Rights in the 1938 San Antonio Pecan Shellers Strike?” Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 – 2000. 1999.
In addition to covering the strike this essay also explores the larger role that Mexican Americans played in the local economy. Many civil rights issues came to the fore as local officials endeavored to suppress the strike through intimidation, violence and police harrassment. Includes primary sources. Much of this material is also available through their website: http://womhist.alexanderstreet.com/

 

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.)

 

Forbes, Douglas and W. Parker Frisbie. "Spanish Surname and Anglo Infant Mortality: Differentials Over Half a Century." Demography 28 (Nov. 1991): 639-60.
The study tracks Hispanic and Anglo infant mortality rates in Bexar County between 1935 and 1985. The authors find that infant mortality rates among the former were twice as high as that of Anglos during the 1930's. The differential shrank considerably over time and is relatively small by the 1980's. Improved sanitation and medical care gradually eliminated the preventable infectious diseases that afflicted the Hispanic population.

 

Fowler, Frederick Mitchell, Jr. “The Original San Antonio Register, 1931 – 1978.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1982.
The city’s black owned and operated newspaper was published by Valmo Bellinger, the son of Charles Bellinger, a local entrepreneur and political heavyweight. The paper promoted Charles’s political causes until his death in 1937. It serves as the primary chronicler of events inside the city’s Afro American community. The thesis profiles the staff of the newspaper and its business and production aspects. The newspaper’s editorial stance evolved from mobilizing the city’s black vote in the 1930's and 1940's on behalf of “the machine” to a more independent stance challenging segregation thereafter. (212 pp.)

 

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.

 

Frisbie, W. Parker. Forbes, Douglas; and Rogers, Richard G. “NeoNatal and Postneonatal mortality as Proxies for Cause of Death; Evidence from Ethnic and Longitudinal Comparisons.” Social Science Quarterly 73 (Sept. 1992): 535 – 49.
A quantitative analysis compares mortality rates for Anglo and Spanish surname infants in San Antonio between 1935 and 1985. Child deaths less than a month after birth are presumed to be “endogenous” or linked to genetic causes that preceded birth; deaths of older infants are “exogenous” or due to environmental circumstances such as a communicable diseases. While endogenous mortality rates for Anglos versus Spanish surnamed infants were very similar, the rate for “exogenous” deaths prior to World War II was four times as high for Hispanics as it was for whites. This differential reflected the impoverished conditions of Mexican Americans in San Antonio and the lack of a vigorous public health effort.

 

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.

 

Garcia, Richard A. The Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class: San Antonio, 1929-41. College Station, Texas: 1991.
This book is a wide-ranging assessment of the Mexican middle class that arose on San Antonio’s West Side during the early-to-mid twentieth century. The Mexican American community was divided along lines of social class. The middle class most eagerly embraced assimilation and acculturation. The upper class remained more aloof. Most immigrants worked as pecan shellers or in the garment and cigar making industries. Strikes and labor organizing during the 1930's reflected a growing polarization within the Mexican community and an emerging working class consciousness. Institutional agents such as the family, church and school shaped Hispanic culture in San Antonio on many levels. [See also Richard Amado Garcia, “The Making of the Mexican American Mind, San Antonio, Texas, 1929 – 1941: A Social and Intellectual History of an Ethnic Community.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of California, Irvine, 1980.]

 

Garcia, Richard A. “Class, Consciousness, and Ideology: The Mexican Community of San Antonio, Texas: 1930 – 1940.” Aztlan 9 (Fall 1978): 23 – 70.
The large body of newly arrived Mexicans who arrived in San Antonio after 1917 were divided broadly into three classes. An elite body of expatriates (“los ricos”) identified with the Porfirio Diaz regime that had been ousted in the revolution. La Prensa was their mouthpiece. They distanced themselves from American society and yearned to return to Mexico, as many did by 1940. A growing middle class represented by small shopkeepers, clerks and professionals pressed for assimilation and respectability. Many resided in the Prospect Hill area and voiced their concerns through the League of United Latin American Citizens. The vast majority of Mexican Americans held unskilled occupations. They lived in poverty in dilapidated, disease infested homes on the West Side. Newer immigrants and those who could not speak English endured the worst conditions.

 

González, Gabriela. “Carolina Mungía and Emma Tenayuca.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 24 (2-3) 2003: 200 - 29.
González profiles of two San Antonio women who devoted their lives to helping San Antonio’s Mexican American community in contrasting approaches during the latter half of the 1930's. The relatively well-off Mungía followed a conservative, maternalist path of benevolence and promoting Mexican cultural identity. Tenayuca organized Mexican Americans around economic grievances. She briefly affiliated with communism when she helped lead the bitter pecan shellers Strike and was targeted in the Municipal Auditorium Riot.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Johnson, David R. and Derral Cheatwood, and Benjamin Bradshaw. “The Landscape of Death: Homicide as a Health Problem,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. Char Miller. 99 - 120 Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
A quantitative analysis of the homicide rate in San Antonio between 1935 and 1984. San Antonio’s murder rate rose after 1960 and was appreciably higher than the national average. Murder rates were lowest among Anglos, higher among Hispanics, and highest of all among Afro-Americans. Firearms were the weapon of choice. [A version of this essay, with an additional author of Stephen Blanchard, also appeared as “A Historical Geographical Study of Lethal Violence in San Antonio.” Social Science Quarterly 79 (Dec. 1998): 863-78.]

 

Jones, Harry F. “Depression Era Repatriation from San Antonio, Texas, 1929 – 1940.” M. A. Thesis, U. of Wyoming, 1988.
Unlike other cities (like Los Angeles or Detroit) San Antonio did not organize a major deportation effort during the 1930's. Institutions within an entrenched Mexican American community (one third of which was native born) helped residents cope with the Great Depression. The Catholic Church and later the New Deal also offered relief, employment and housing. The press, the Mexican consulate and some city officials encouraged emigration, and for a time the Bexar County Central Relief Committee offered free transport to the border. But city agencies did not coerce Mexicans to return, partly because they did not have the funds. The agricultural, pecan shelling and services industries still offered employment, however meager the wages. (96 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. “Texas Newspapers and Chicana Workers’ Activism, 1919 – 74.” Western Historical Quarterly 26 (Autumn 1995): 309-31.
Newspaper coverage of strikes involving Chicana workers in San Antonio and El Paso reflected popular notions of gender, class and ethnicity. The Red-baiting Anglo press often portrayed the Mexican Americans as the alien and unassimilated “other” – “lazy, impressionable and stupid.” The Spanish language press was more supportive (if the women behaved) but remained patronizing. The unions tended to portray the strikers as mothers and wives rather than as workers and sole breadwinners for their families. Much of the essay discusses the 1938 Pecan Shellers Strike and the two year Tex-Son garment makers strike of 1959.

 

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.

 

Livingston, Mary E. San Antonio in the 1920's and 1930's. Charleston, S. C.
The author, born into an upper middle class family in 1923, describes her childhood (to age 11). The rich coverage of domestic life, local amusements, holidays, and the Great Depression is accompanied by numerous photographs.

 

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."]

 

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.

 

Matthew D. and O. L., Davis Jr. “Elma Neal, ‘the Open Door’ Readers, and Mexican American Schooling in San Antonio, Texas.” American Educational History Journal 28 (2001): 21-25.
Neal introduced a curriculum that catered to San Antonio’s Mexican American community during the 1930's and 1940's. She co-authored a reader that portrayed a family with a Hispanic surname but who enjoyed a privileged social status and Anglo lifestyle.

 

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. 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. Throught 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 also 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.

 

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 1950's. 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.

 

Santos, John Phillip. Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation. New York: 1999.
Santos recalls growing up in a Mexican American family in San Antonio in the mid-twentieth century. The author relates his family’s history, and his travels as a young man to Mexico and around Texas, while he reflects on the Mexican American experience.

 

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.

 

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.)

 

Sweeney, Mary Francis. “The Social and Religious Customs of the Spanish Indian Population of San Antonio, Texas.” M. A. Thesis, Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College, 1938.”
A sociological exploration of contemporary economic issues and cultural life of the descendants of San Antonio’s earliest settlers.

 

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.

 

Beasley, Wanda Edna. “Historical Development of the San Antonio River Authority.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1961.
The forerunner to the River Authority was the San Antonio Canal and Conservancy District established by the Texas legislature in 1937. The initial goal was to improve navigation along the river so as to make San Antonio a port – a project later abandoned though technically possible. Its main responsibility evolved into flood control in Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad counties. Describes the various laws that have shaped the Authority’s activities over the years, its financing and expenditures, and its major projects – generally undertaken with the help of the U. S. Corps of Engineers. Mostly draws on government documents and interviews.



Blackwelder, Julia. Women of the Depression: Caste and Culture in San Antonio, 1929-39. College Station, Texas: 1984.
Blackwelder analyzes how the Great Depression affected San Antonio women of various racial, social, and economic backgrounds. The city’s three major ethnic groups (Afro-American, Anglo and Hispanic) had little contact with one another in the “caste structure of the 1930s.” The Depression and New Deal response had different implications for women of different classes and races, as well as for married versus single women. The study makes heavy use of census data as well as newspapers and government records.

 

Blackwelder, Julia Kirk. “Women in the Work Force: Atlanta, New Orleans, and San Antonio, 1930 to 1940.” Journal of Urban History 4 (3) (1978): 331 – 58.
Drawing mainly on the federal censuses of 1930 and 1940, Blackwelder contrasts women’s role in the paid labor force in three cities. Unlike in the two other cities under review, San Antonio’s manufacturing sector shrank during the 1930's. Occupational segregation by sex and race was the norm; different occupations were reserved for men and women based on their race, though these patterns tended to weaken in San Antonio during the decade. Anglo women monopolized the better paying positions as office workers. The domestic and service sectors were dominated by Black women. Mexican women worked in the manufacturing sector, many doing piecework in their homes. The pecan shelling industry also employed many Mexican women during the winter months when they and their families were not tending crops elsewhere.

 

Chambers, William T. “San Antonio, Texas.” Economic Geography 16 (July 1940): 291-98.
A largely upbeat assessment of the Alamo City that concentrates on its economic sectors: commerce, industry, tourism and the military. Major industries of the time included publishing, baking, foundries and textiles. Includes a map of the city’s residential sections identified as “good” and “poor”.

 

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.)

 

Dublin, Thomas, Taina Del Valle, and Rosalyn Perez. “How Did Mexican Working Women Assert Their Labor and Constitutional Rights in the 1938 San Antonio Pecan Shellers Strike?” Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 – 2000. 1999.
In addition to covering the strike this essay also explores the larger role that Mexican Americans played in the local economy. Many civil rights issues came to the fore as local officials endeavored to suppress the strike through intimidation, violence and police harassment. Includes primary sources. Much of this material is also available through their website: http://womhist.alexanderstreet.com/

 

Filewood, David Lewis. “Tejano Revolt: The Significance of the 1938 Pecan Shellers Strike.” M. A. Thesis, U. of Texas at Arlington, 1994.
The 1938 strike was the culmination of years of labor organizing within the city's Hispanic community. The Anglo labor leaders of the CIO-affiliated UCAPAWA (United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing and Allied Workers of America) developed a good working relationship with the nueceros (pecan shellers). Support for the nueceros within the Hispanic community divided along class lines. The poor and isolated working class Tejano community used traditional Mexican forms of protest and resistance to prosecute the strike. Their success in mobilizing their community prompted the violent crackdown by city authorities. Although the strike was ultimately unsuccessful (the industry moved production elsewhere) it demonstrated to the Tejano population that they could challenge a racist economic and political regime. (146 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.

 

Fowler, Frederick Mitchell, Jr. “The Original San Antonio Register, 1931 – 1978.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1982.
The city’s black owned and operated newspaper was published by Valmo Bellinger, the son of Charles Bellinger, a local entrepreneur and political heavyweight. The paper promoted Charles’s political causes until his death in 1937. It serves as the primary chronicler of events inside the city’s Afro American community. The thesis profiles the staff of the newspaper and its business and production aspects. The newspaper’s editorial stance evolved from mobilizing the city’s black vote in the 1930's and 1940's on behalf of “the machine” to a more independent stance challenging segregation thereafter. (212 pp.)

 

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.

 

Garcia, Richard A. The Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class: San Antonio, 1929-41. College Station, Texas: 1991.
This book is a wide-ranging assessment of the Mexican middle class that arose on San Antonio’s West Side during the early-to-mid twentieth century. The Mexican American community was divided along lines of social class. The middle class most eagerly embraced assimilation and acculturation. The upper class remained more aloof. Most immigrants worked as pecan shellers or in the garment and cigar making industries. Strikes and labor organizing during the 1930's reflected a growing polarization within the Mexican community and an emerging working class consciousness. Institutional agents such as the family, church and school shaped Hispanic culture in San Antonio on many levels.

 

Gower, Patricia E. “Unintended Consequences: The San Antonio Pecan Shellers Strike of 1938.” Journal of South Texas History 17 (Fall 2004): 88-103.
The Pecan Shellers strike was a watershed event in the lives of Mexican Americans in San Antonio. The immigrants had been controlled by the local political machine, but Mexican Americans turned against it when they saw it come to the support of the owners during their strike. The police used especially harsh and violent tactics claiming that communists were using the strike to foment revolution. The strike was settled by arbitration, but a few months later the businesses shut down rather than pay the newly enacted minimum wage. The aroused Mexican American community nonetheless helped elect Maury Maverick as mayor in 1939 and installed the first city administration to seriously consider their needs.

 

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

 

Jones, Harry F. “Depression Era Repatriation from San Antonio, Texas, 1929 – 1940.” M. A. Thesis, U. of Wyoming, 1988.
Unlike other cities (like Los Angeles or Detroit) San Antonio did not organize a major deportation effort during the 1930's. Institutions within an entrenched Mexican American community (one third of which was native born) helped residents cope with the Great Depression. The Catholic Church and later the New Deal also offered relief, employment and housing. The press, the Mexican consulate and some city officials encouraged emigration, and for a time the Bexar County Central Relief Committee offered free transport to the border. But city agencies did not coerce Mexicans to return, partly because they did not have the funds. The agricultural, pecan shelling and services industries still offered employment, however meager the wages. (96 pp.)

 

LeCompte, Mary Lou. “Colonel William Thomas Johnson, Premier Rodeo Producer of the 1930s.” Canadian Journal of History of Sport 23 (May 1992): 61 – 86.
Johnson was a San Antonio businessman credited with keeping rodeo alive and well during the Depression decade. He controlled a rodeo circuit that included most of the major cities in the northern states. Never a cowboy himself, he was not always liked by those who participated in his rodeos, but he was a savvy entrepreneur.

 

Ledesma, Irene. “Texas Newspapers and Chicana Workers’ Activism, 1919 – 74.” Western Historical Quarterly 26 (Autumn 1995): 309-31.
Newspaper coverage of strikes involving Chicana workers in San Antonio and El Paso reflected popular notions of gender, class and ethnicity. The Red-baiting Anglo press often portrayed the Mexican Americans as the alien and unassimilated “other” – “lazy, impressionable and stupid.” The Spanish language press was more supportive (if the women behaved) but remained patronizing. The unions tended to portray the strikers as mothers and wives rather than as workers and sole breadwinners for their families. Much of the essay discusses the 1938 Pecan Shellers Strike and the two year Tex-Son garment makers strike of 1959.

 

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.

 

McCaffery, Isaias James. “Organizing Las Costureras: Life, Labor and Unionization Among Mexicana Garment Workers in Two Borderlands Cities, Los Angeles and San Antonio, 1933 – 1941.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Kansas, 1999.
As elsewhere, garment workers in San Antonio and Los Angeles participated in several major strikes during the New Deal. They were less successful in the Southwest because the heavily Mexican workforce confronted special challenges owing to their low social status, the threat of deportation, the abundance of low skilled labor, and pervasive racist and sexist attitudes. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union also failed to reach out to Hispanics and underestimated the importance of Mexicana culture in fostering worker solidarity.

 

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.

 

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.)

 

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.

 

Shapiro, Harold A. “The Pecan Shellers of San Antonio, Texas.” Southwestern Social Science Quarterly 32 (Mar. 1952): 229 - 244
In 1938 about 12,000 pecan shellers worked in one of 110 different work sites in San Antonio. The locally based Southern Pecan Shelling Company took advantage of the city’s large unskilled labor pool by dispensing with the machines used elsewhere to crack and shell the nuts and having the job done by hand. A threatened reduction in the piece rate spurred workers to organize a strike in February of 1938. After 37 days the matter went to arbitration and the workers won an increase in the piece rate. Not long thereafter the Southern Pecan Shelling Company and other firms were required to boost wages to accord with the newly enacted minimum wage (25 cents an hour). At the point the industry shifted to making greater use of machinery, discharging much of the workforce, and the industry gradually died out.

 

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, 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)

 

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.)

 

Vargas, Zaragosa. “Tejana Radical”: Emma Tenayuca and the San Antonio Labor Movement During the Great Depression.” Pacific Historical Review 66 (1997): 553 – 80.
Tenayuca’s played a key role in mobilizing the Mexican American community in defense of their rights. She first became active at age 16 when joined the women striking at the Fink Cigar Company. The strikers soon looked to her leadership given her organizational skills, her education and her refusal to be intimidated by the local, white male power establishment. As secretary of the West Side Unemployed Council Tenayuca agitated for more relief for Mexican Americans. In 1938 the Pecan Shellers Strike met with fierce opposition from local authorities, the Catholic Church, and the Mexican American middle class. “La Pasionaria de Texas” became spokesperson for the strikers and wound up in jail. She briefly joined the Communist Party in 1937 for which she was vilified in the press. In 1939 Tenayuca helped organize a meeting of the Communist Party at the Municipal Auditorium that was attacked by a mob. She left San Antonio and the Communist Party not long thereafter, but she did return to her native city many years later.

 

Walker, Kenneth P. “The Pecan Shellers of San Antonio.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 69 (July 1965): 44-58.
Walker reviews the events leading up to and following the major strike of the Mexican workers in San Antonio in 1938. They were paid as little as 2 to 5 cents per pound for a bag of shelled pecans, and earned less than $2.00 per week. The “factories” where they worked were often little more than shacks without even toilets. The CIO affiliated United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing and Allied Workers Union stepped in to lead the strike. City officials sided with the pecan shelling companies and warned of communist infiltration. They sought to brutally suppress the strike by arresting one thousand peaceful picketers, but the dispute was settled with arbitration.

 

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

 

Beasley, Wanda Edna. “Historical Development of the San Antonio River Authority.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1961.
The forerunner to the River Authority was the San Antonio Canal and Conservancy District established by the Texas legislature in 1937. The initial goal was to improve navigation along the river so as to make San Antonio a port – a project later abandoned though technically possible. Its main responsibility evolved into flood control in Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad counties. Describes the various laws that have shaped the Authority’s activities over the years, its financing and expenditures, and its major projects – generally undertaken with the help of the U. S. Corps of Engineers. Mostly draws on government documents and interviews.



Blackwelder, Julia. Women of the Depression: Caste and Culture in San Antonio, 1929-39. College Station, Texas: 1984.
Blackwelder analyzes how the Great Depression affected San Antonio women of various racial, social, and economic backgrounds. The city’s three major ethnic groups (Afro-American, Anglo and Hispanic) had little contact with one another in the “caste structure of the 1930s.” The Depression and New Deal response had different implications for women of different classes and races, as well as for married versus single women. The study makes heavy use of census data as well as newspapers and government records.

 

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.

 

Chabot, Frederick C. The Mavericks on the Occasion of Maury Maverick for Congress. n. p. 1934.
This 6 page piece of campaign literature profiles the Maverick family. It begins with Samuel Augustus Maverick, discusses his children, and finally highlights Samuel’s grandson Maury’s early political career as tax collector. He was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1934 and would serve 2 terms before serving on term as Mayor.

 

Doyle. Judith Kaaz. “Digging Out of the Depression: San Antonio’s Diga Colony, 1932-33.” Locus 4 (2) (1992): 133-51.
In the depths of the Great Depression, city tax collector (and future mayor) Maury Maverick helped establish a camp about 5 miles outside of town for impoverished veterans of the Great War. Some had been recently driven out of Washington D.C. at the conclusion of the Bonus March. The camp was organized along military lines. Residents held property communally and strove to be self-sufficient through barter and exchange. For a time Maverick viewed the community as a radical experiment, but it disbanded within a year.

 

Doyle, Judith Kaaz. “Out of Step: Maury Maverick and the Politics of the Depression and the New Deal.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Texas at Austin, 1989.
Maverick’s relatively brief career in the U. S. House of Representatives (1935 – 1939) illustrates the South’s less than whole hearted embrace of the New Deal. His constituents supported his efforts to bring Federal relief and spending to the area. Maverick’s endorsement of other measures that threatened to bring federal intervention in state and local affairs – such as a federal anti-lynching bill and labor legislation – turned Southerners against the New Deal. His defeat in the 1938 Democratic primary was a product of his independent and liberal voting record and his abrasive personality.

 

Doyle, J. K. “Maury Maverick and Racial Politics in San Antonio, Texas, 1938-1941.” The Journal of Southern History 53 (May 1987): 194-224.
Doyle explores the racial mindset of the liberal congressman and San Antonio Mayor in his battle with the local machine in his mayoral campaigns of 1939 and 1941. Maverick was a firm supporter of equal rights in the economic sphere, but felt that Afro Americans should not press for social or political equality (including the vote). By 1941 Maverick was warning against Negro domination should the machine win. The local Afro-American population was a major electoral force in the city and resented Maverick’s paternalistic racism. The upshot was Maverick’s political demise in 1941.

 

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.

 

Fairbanks, Robert B. “Public Housing for the City as a Whole: The Texas Experience, 1934-1955.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 103 (Jan. 2000): 403 - 24.
The development of public housing during and after the New Deal is documented for 3 Texas cities: San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. During the New Deal, urban officials in Texas defined the problem of housing as one of eradicating slums rather than improving living conditions. San Antonio had the worst housing conditions in the state (especially in the Mexican populated west side) and led the drive for federal public housing initiatives. In later years, however, anti-communism and concern over the rights of property owners slowed the growth of public housing in Texas municipalities.

 

Fisher, Mary Maverick McMillan. “San Antonio I: The Hoover Era,” in Texas Cities and the Great Depression: Miscellaneous Papers. Ed. Robert C. Cotner. 53 – 68. Austin, Texas: 1973.
Fisher presents a survey of the city’s initial response to the Great Depression as tax revenues fell and city expenditures had to be lowered accordingly. Local banks failed, taking some of the city’s finances with them. The city government ran out of money to provide any further relief late in 1931. It organized a Central Unemployment Relief Committee to raise private funds to supplement efforts of local churches and the Salvation Army. Area school districts could only pay their teachers off in scrip. Local resources proved inadequate to meet the lengthening relief roles, and those engaged in the relief effort looked to the federal government to furnish the necessary funds.

 

Garcia, Richard A. The Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class: San Antonio, 1929-41. College Station: 1991.
This book is a wide-ranging assessment of the Mexican middle class that arose on San Antonio’s west side during the early-to-mid twentieth century. The Mexican American community was divided along lines of social class. The middle class most eagerly embraced assimilation and acculturation. The upper class remained more aloof. Institutional agents such as the family, church and school shaped Hispanic culture in San Antonio on many levels.

 

González, Gabriela. “Carolina Mungía and Emma Tenayuca.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 24 (2-3) 2003: 200 - 29.
González profiles of two San Antonio women who devoted their lives to helping San Antonio’s Mexican American community in contrasting approaches during the latter half of the 1930's. The relatively well-off Mungía followed a conservative, maternalist path of benevolence and promoting Mexican cultural identity. Tenayuca organized Mexican Americans around economic grievances. She briefly affiliated with communism when she helped lead the bitter Pecan Shellers Strike and was targeted in the Municipal Auditorium Riot.

 

Granneberg, Audrey. “Maury Maverick’s San Antonio.” Survey Graphic 28 (July 1939): 421 – 422.
This short exposé of political, economic and social conditions in San Antonio was written shortly after Maury Maverick was elected mayor in 1939. The city was “corrupt and contented” under the influence of the “Callaghan Machine” that protected gambling and prostitution rings. The city’s Mexican American population endured deplorable living and working conditions in the wake of the Pecan Shellers strike.

 

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.

 

Hughes, L Patrick. “Beyond Denial: Glimpses of Depression-Era San Antonio.” Journal of South Texas History 14 (Fall 2001): 223-58.
The Great Depression had a devastating impact on a city highly reliant on military spending a low tech manufacturing. The city’s elite failed to respond to the crisis as effectively as leaders elsewhere. A power struggle between business oriented reform types and the remnants of the Callaghan machine constituted a major distraction. One third of the city’s financial institutions were cast into insolvency. The city deposited its funds with City Central Bank and Trust Co., and for a full year could not get access to its $500,000 funds while the company reorganized with the help of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The study details the many improvements made in the city by New Deal agencies working on the Riverwalk, La Villita, the missions, zoo, post office and public housing.

 

Jones, Harry F. “Depression Era Repatriation from San Antonio, Texas, 1929 – 1940.” M. A. Thesis, U. of Wyoming, 1988.
Unlike other cities (like Los Angeles or Detroit) San Antonio did not organize a major deportation effort during the 1930's. Institutions within an entrenched Mexican American community (one third of which was native born) helped residents cope with the Great Depression. The Catholic Church and later the New Deal also offered relief, employment and housing. The press, the Mexican consulate and some city officials encouraged emigration, and for a time the Bexar County Central Relief Committee offered free transport to the border. But city agencies did not coerce Mexicans to return, partly because they did not have the funds. The agricultural, pecan shelling and services industries still offered employment, however meager the wages. (96 pp.)

 

Knippa, Lyndon Gayle. “San Antonio II: The Early New Deal,” in Texas Cities and the Great Depression: Miscellaneous Papers. Ed. Robert C. Cotner. 69 – 90. Austin, Texas: 1973.
Knippa focuses on relief efforts in San Antonio during Roosevelt’s first term. Requests for assistance peaked in Nov. of 1933 when 16,910 families were looking for cash or food to see them through the crisis. The Central Relief Committee looked to federal funds from numerous federal agencies. The municipal government did not undertake relief efforts, claiming it would violate its charter. The CRC used the federal and privately raised money to open soup kitchens, lodging stations and furnish some families with cash in exchange for doing street work with donated tools and supplies. But often federal funding was not available because state and local officials were not prepared to cough up the necessary matching funds. The effort was hampered by local charges of mismanagement and politics, yet racial and ethnic discrimination in dispensing the funds was minimal.

 

Lawrence, Jennifer Suzanne. “The Long Road: The Journey to Municipal Reform in San Antonio, Texas, 1939 – 1954.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas A & M U., 2004.
A study of the motivations and tactics of the reformers and local businessmen who led the effort to replace a corrupt commission form of government with a more efficient council-manager framework in 1951. Municipal reform took a somewhat different path in San Antonio due to its large Hispanic population, extreme poverty, and sizeable military presence. Personal power struggles, mostly involving Mayor Jack White, disrupted the victorious reform coalition, leading to the appearance of the Good Government League in 1954. For the next twenty years the GGL governed in the interests of the business elite, promoting economic growth and annexation. Ultimately, the city exchanged one political machine with another.

 

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.

 

McCutchen, Madison C. “The Editorial Attitudes of the San Antonio Express and the San Antonio Light Toward Neutrality Legislation, 1935 – 41.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1951.
Examines the newspapers’ evolving positions as they reacted to the Spanish Civil War, the Cash and Carry Act, the repeal of the Embargo Act, and the Lend Lease bill. The San Antonio Light, like most of the public, espoused an isolationist stance and favored neutrality legislation. The Light was intensely anti-communist and less inclined to criticize fascist regimes in Germany and Italy. The San Antonio Express, on the other hand, supported the Roosevelt administration’s shift away from neutrality. The paper was not interventionist, but did want to see the U. S. support British and French governments and defend American rights as established by international law. Numerous block quotes are lifted from the editorial pages. (88 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.)

 

Moore, James T. “The Southern Messenger and the Approach of War.” Catholic Southwest 11 (2000): 77 – 87.
The weekly San Antonio Catholic newspaper reported on events leading up to World War II and the war itself. Early on the paper was hostile to Nazi Germany because of its persecution of Catholics and Jews. It also condemned anti-clerical movements in Spain and the Soviet Union.

 

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.

 

Quesada, J. Gilbert. “Towards a Working Definition of Social Justice, Father Carmelo A. Tranchese, S. J. and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 1932 – 1953.” Journal of Texas Catholic History and Culture 4 (1993): 44 – 64.
Italian born Tranchese (1880 – 1956) took over the parish in July of 1932. In the midst of the Great Depression, Father Tranchese attacked the widespread poverty that afflicted his parish in the heart of the city’s west side – or in its Mexican American enclave. He came to the support of the Pecan Shellers in their strike, lobbied hard to improve health care services, and battled tuberculosis ravaging the community. Most importantly, he pushed a lukewarm local government to open the first federally funded public housing in the city, the Alazan-Apache Courts. Tranchese was closely associated with Congressman Maury Maverick, and corresponded with President Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt made it a point to drop by the parish when she visited the city in April of 1939. Ill health forced the priest into retirement in 1953. [See J. Gilberto Quezada, “Father Carmelo Antonio Tranchese, S. J.: A Pioneer Social Worker in San Antonio, Texas, 1932 – 1953.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1972. (96 pp.)]

 

Sanders, Heywood T. “Empty Taps, Missing Pipes,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Weiss, Stuart L. “Maury Maverick and the Liberal Bloc.” Journal of American History 57 (March 1971): 880-895.
Maverick was first elected to Congress in 1934 partly on his record of helping the destitute and fighting the local political machine. He joined a liberal bloc of about 30 congressmen who pushed the Roosevelt administration to the left. In 1938 Maverick was defeated in a closely contested Democratic primary (he soon went on to be elected as mayor of San Antonio). Maverick spoke up for organized labor, defended civil liberties (by denouncing lynching and the House Unamerican Activities Committee), and backed the president’s court packing scheme. Maverick’s defeat in 1938 -- and that of many other Democrats that year – presaged the end of the New Deal.

 

Whisenhunt, Donald W. “Maury Maverick and the Diga Relief Colony, 1932 – 33.” Texana 9 (3) (1971): 249 – 59.
Maverick established the Diga colony for the benefit of impoverished and displaced Bonus Army participants after they had been evicted from Washington D. C. It was located 5 miles from the city on Frio City Road and was organized along military lines. The camp’s peak population stood at 171 when it opened in January of 1933. It was closed by the end of 1933 as residents moved on to other relief programs. Maverick hoped the colony could sustain itself as a cooperative venture. This account draws heavily on Maverick’s papers at the Center for American History.

 

Zelman, Donald L. “Alazan-Apache Courts: A New Deal Response to Mexican American Housing Conditions in San Antonio.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 87 (Oct. 1983): 123-50.
The public housing built during the late 1930's with federal funds addressed a severe and chronic housing crisis on the city’s west side. The pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Father Carmelo Tranchese, championed the cause of public housing with the assistance of Congressman and Mayor Maury Maverick. The San Antonio Housing Authority constructed the 1,180 family units with funding from the United States Housing Authority. The program conformed with local segregationist practices by designating the structures strictly for the city’s Mexican American population. Illustrated.

 

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 David A. Badillo, “From South of the Border: Latino Experiences in Urban America.” Ph. D. diss.: City University of New York, 1988.]

 

Bronder, Saul Edmund. “Robert E. Lucey: A Texas Paradox.” Ph. D. diss.: Columbia U., 1979.
Lucey was appointed archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio in 1941 and served until 1969. He was a tireless advocate for social justice for minorities and the poor: defending unions, promoting racial integration and reaching out to migrant workers. Paradoxically, Lucey practiced an ecclesiastical authoritarianism that would not tolerate dissent within the church’s ranks. His paternalistic attitude was out of step with the egalitarianism associated with Vatican II, and eventually Lucey was forced to step down.



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. 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.

 

Garcia, Richard A. The Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class: San Antonio, 1929-41. College Station, Texas: 1991.
This book is a wide-ranging assessment of the Mexican middle class that arose on San Antonio’s west side during the early-to-mid twentieth century. The Mexican American community was divided along lines of social class. The middle class most eagerly embraced assimilation and acculturation. The upper class remained more aloof. Most immigrants worked as pecan shellers or in the garment and cigar making industries. Strikes and labor organizing during the 1930's reflected a growing polarization within the Mexican community and an emerging working class consciousness. Institutional agents such as the family, church and school shaped Hispanic culture in San Antonio on many levels.

 

Garza, Melita M. “Sword and Cross in San Antonio: Reviving the Spanish Conquest in Depression Era News Coverage.” Journalism History 39 (Winter 2014): 198 – 207.
Reviews the coverage of San Antonio’s bicentennial celebration in 1931 of the arrival of the Canary Islanders in the San Antonio Express and Spanish language La Prensa. The former, seeking to burnish the city’s image as a tourist destination, heaped praise on the city’s pioneering Hispanic settlers and their contribution to the city’s Spanish culture. The paper applauded new initiatives to restore the Spanish Governor’s Palace and the Missions, the Alamo in particular. Yet, the Express remained oblivious to the plight and prejudice faced by the city’s Mexican population as the Great Depression ground on. La Prensa used the occasion to remind its readers of their Hispanic heritage.

 

Gutierrez, Efrain. “Rosita Fernandez: Tejano Music’s First International Super Start to Achieve Crossover Success.” Journal of South Texas History 17 (Fall 2004): 104 - 113.
Fernandez was born in Monterrey, Mexico and grew up in Laredo. Her family moved to San Antonio in 1927, and performed in the local carpas. In 1932 she began singing over the radio on WOAI, and later appeared on its television station. She toured the U. S. and Mexico, but made San Antonio her home, and often appeared at the Anson River Theater. Her rise in the musical world reflected the emergence of a musical style labeled música norteña. It developed between San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico and employed dueto singing and the accordion. Her boleros and rancheras appealed to both Mexican Americans and Anglos. “La Rosa de San Antonio” achieved more national attention as a popular guest artist performing at President Lyndon Johnson’s ranch. She also appeared in films, including John Wayne’s version of “The Alamo.” She retired in 1982.

 

Hagner, Lilli May. Alluring San Antonio, Through the Eyes of an Artist. San Antonio: 1940.
The author provides half page descriptions of some of the city’s major public buildings and private dwellings. Some had already been demolished by 1940. The work includes numerous sketches of the same produced by the author. There is also some discussion of the cultural scene in the city during the 1930's.

 

Haney, Peter Claire. “Carpa y Teatro, Sol y Sombra: Show Business and Public Culture in San Antonio’s Mexican Colony, 1900 – 1940.” Unpublished Ph. D. diss., U. of Texas at Austin, 2004
Haney examines the commercial musical comedy scene (vaudeville) in the Mexican American community during the first half of the twentieth century. Working class Mexican Americans attended these performances in a tent (carpa) while members of the middle and upper class patronized the theater (teatro). The surviving scripts, recordings and photographs document how the theater helped shape a Mexican-American identity and community. Draws on numerous oral interviews.

 

Haney, Peter C. “’Fantasía’ and Disobedient Daughters: Undistressing Genres and Reinventing Traditions in the Mexican American ‘Carpa.’” Journal of American Folklore 112 (Spring 1999): 437-49.
The Carpa – or Mexican Circus catering to working class mexicanos – traveled around South Texas starting in the middle of the nineteenth century. Many of the family owned shows were based in San Antonio. Fantasia refers to a popular style of costume around the time of the Great Depression that combined traditional folklorica dresses modified to make them more risqué. The development reflects the influence of modernity and the emergence of women into the public sphere.

 

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.

 

Holliman, Marcia Pelton. “The Development of the San Antonio Symphony, 1939 – 1966.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1966.
A symphony, mostly composed of local amateurs, was finally established in June of 1939 through the efforts of Pauline Washer Goldsmith. Max Reiter, a European trained conductor escaping persecution in his native Italy, served as its first conductor until his death in 1950. He was succeeded by Victor Alessandro. The symphony expanded with ambitious offerings of opera and children’s concerts, and by hosting major musical talents. Yet it constantly flirted with insolvency. Based heavily on oral interviews. (191 pp).

 

Johnson, Charles Theodore. “Edgewood: A History of a San Antonio Suburb, 1870 – 1959.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1960.
The area began as a rural village outside San Antonio. Belgian farmers moved in around the time of World War I. Mexican Americans moved in to the neighborhood during World War II when many were displaced by the construction of the Alazan – Apache Courts and later Victoria Courts. The expansion of Kelly Air Force Base during the war also afforded low paying jobs as laborers and construction workers. The city of San Antonio annexed the area in 1942 and began providing sewers, police protection and garbage removal. Yet many homes were 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.

 

Lowman, Al. “The Life and Death of a Bookstore.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 91 (Oct. 1987): 173 – 184.
Lowman reminiscences about Florence and Frank H. Rosengren’s bookstore. It occupied various locations in San Antonio between 1935 and 1987. The Rosengrens relocated from Chicago. Their shop attracted local literati as well as prominent visitors, including Robert Frost, J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb.

 

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.

 

Matthew D. and O. L., Davis Jr. “Elma Neal, ‘the Open Door’ Readers, and Mexican American Schooling in San Antonio, Texas.” American Educational History Journal 28 (2001): 21-25.
Neal introduced a curriculum that catered to San Antonio’s Mexican American community during the 1930's and 1940's. She co-authored a reader that portrayed a family with a Hispanic surname but who enjoyed a privileged social status and Anglo lifestyle.

 

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.)

 

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 a international Mexican audience.

 

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.)

 

Naujok, Richard. “A History of Frank G. Sturchio and the University of St. Mary’s R. O. T. C. Band.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1992.
“Pop” Sturchio (1894 – 1971) was an Italian immigrant who arrived in San Antonio in 1943 while stationed at Randolph Air Force Base. He was a musical entrepreneur who began his career promoting and leading professional and military bands. He later took his skills into the field of education, eventually heading the St. Mary’s University Music Department. Naujok concentrates on Sturchio’s musical techniques as band leader and teacher. (89 pp.)

 

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.)

 

Pope, Wilbur Alton. “A Study of the Growth and Development of the San Antonio College.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1952.
The school opened in 1925 (with 201 students) but this thesis picks up in 1933. The study devotes much space to the curriculum, extracurricular activities, administration, instructional staff and study body as it existed in 1950. (74 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 Preuss to step down.

 

Quesada, J. Gilbert. “Towards a Working Definition of Social Justice, Father Carmelo A. Tranchese, S. J. and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 1932 – 1953.” Journal of Texas Catholic History and Culture 4 (1993): 44 – 64.
Italian born Tranchese (1880 – 1956) took over the parish in July of 1932. In the midst of the Great Depression, Father Tranchese attacked the widespread poverty that afflicted his parish in the heart of the city’s west side – or in its Mexican American enclave. He came to the support of the Pecan Shellers in their strike, lobbied hard to improve health care services, and battled tuberculosis ravaging the community. Most importantly, he pushed a lukewarm local government to open the first federally funded public housing in the city, the Alazan-Apache Courts. Tranchese was closely associated with Congressman Maury Maverick, and corresponded with President Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt made it a point to drop by the parish when she visited the city in April of 1939. Ill health forced the priest into retirement in 1953. [See J. Gilberto Quezada, “Father Carmelo Antonio Tranchese, S. J.: A Pioneer Social Worker in San Antonio, Texas, 1932 – 1953.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1972. (96 pp.)]

 

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.)

 

Sweeney, Mary Francis. “The Social and Religious Customs of the Spanish Indian Population of San Antonio, Texas.” M. A. Thesis, Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College, 1938.
A sociological exploration of contemporary economic issues and cultural life of the descendants of San Antonio’s earliest settlers.

 

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.

 

Vargas, Deborah R. “Rosita Fernández.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 24 (2-3) 2003: 155-67.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1918, Fernández came to the U.S. with her family as a child. Her musical career commenced in the late 1920’s when she began singing Mexican ballads in tents (carpas) catering to the large migrant worker population in South Texas. After she married, she based her musical career in San Antonio so she could be with her children. Fernández carefully negotiated her status as a pioneering Mexican American performer in an Anglo dominated culture. Radio made her popular with Anglo audiences, and she later became the city’s cultural ambassador. Based partially on oral interviews between Fernández and the author.

 

Wright, Pearl C. “Religious Fiestas in San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1946.
Uses religiously inspired holidays to examine Mexican-American culture and customs in San Antonio. Wright details the pageantry, plot and music of an array of Christmas related plays: “Los Posadas” (the Holy Family search for shelter), “Los Pastores” (the journey of the shepherds to Bethlehem) and “Los Santos Reyes” (the arrival of the three kings or wise men). Also covers the activities of Holy Week that culminate on Easter Sunday, the Feast of the Dead held in city cemeteries (Nov. 1), the blessing of the animals, and the procession and dancing associated with the feast day for Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12). These were customs mostly originating in Europe and brought to America by the Church to explain Christian doctrine. Drawing mostly from the author’s personal observations and published accounts from the 1930's. (73 pp.)

 

Zunker, Vernon G. A Dream Come True: Robert Hugman and San Antonio’s River Walk. San Antonio: 1983.
A thirty page history of planning and construction of the Riverwalk, and its condition in the 1980's. The volume is extensively illustrated with photographs and architectural plans. The text is accompanied by two speeches from Hugman, the architect responsible for designing the Riverwalk during the 1930's.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Loading ...