Blog Archives

January 17 in San Antonio history…

Oysters are served at the annual alumni meeting of St. Mary’s College, thus beginning the tradition of Oyster Bake.

The news reports on the trial of Emma Burgemeister that began yesterday.  Testimony shows that immediately after the killing of Otto Koehler, Miss Burgemeister addmitted the act as hers, claiming it was in self-defense and to protect the honor of her friend.

The new Central Catholic High School is dedicated.


December 31 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Second Lieutenant Fleet Heard, machine gun company, 357th infantry regiment, 90th division, was killed shortly after 11 o’clock tonight at Camp Travis by a bullet fired by a member of the camp military police.  The policeman asserts that he fired at the tires of a speeding automobile whose driver disregarded his command to halt.  Lt. Heard was in a jitney automobile en route from town to his quarters.  The car had just reached Sixth Street on Avenue A, inside the camp when he was shot.  The bullet entered his head just above the right temple.  He died at the base hospital a few minutes later.

Responding to a call, Fire Chief William P. Bishop is killed instantly when a pumping engine from Company No. 7 collides with his Locomobile auto, hurling it into Joske’s.  Lieut. Robert Koppelin is also killed.

The Cal Golden Bears defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes, 37-3, in the first Builder’s Square Alamo Bowl.

December 29 in San Antonio history…

Texas becomes the 28th state admitted to the Union.

The San Antonio, Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad, recently sold at a receiver’s sale, has been purchased by a party of San Antonio capitalists, the company reorganized and new article of incorporation filed with the secretary of state at Austin.  The San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railroad was built about three years ago by R. A. Love, formerly of Kansas City, and extends through part of Kendall and Gillespie Counties, a distance of 23.9 miles, connecting the town of Fredericksburg with the San Antonio & Aransas Pass railroad.

George W. Brackenridge, 88, retired financier and holder of extensive properties in Texas and elsewhere, died at his Fern Ridge home near San Antonio.  He left an estate worth approximately $3 million.


December 28 in San Antonio history…

Dispensing with their usual Christmas celebration, the girls of Carnegie Library this season “adopted” four destitute families, whom Mrs. Harriett Leary, executive secretary of the Associated Charities, picked out for them, furnishing a Christmas remembrance for the twenty-two persons in the four families.

Brackenridge High School brought San Antonio its first state football championship with a 22-13 win over Highland Park High school in Alamo Stadium.

Montgomery Ward announced today that they are filing for bankruptcy and closing their doors after 128 years.  The company was founded in Chicago in 1872 and was the first mail-order catalog business.  The catalog was discontinued in 1985, but the stores remained. The shutdowns will leave large vacancies at four San Antonio malls:  McCreless, Windsor Park, Crossroads (Wonderland) and Westlakes.  [Those mall stores would all close in March 2001.]

December 27 in San Antonio history…

Miss Katherine Stinson, one of the nation’s most proficient flyers has promised to make a night flight in this city soon.

1917 – World War I
Construction has started on an ordinance storehouse for storage of ammunition and other ordinance supplies for the troops at Fort Sam Houston.  The building is to be situated near the cavalry corral at the rear of the quadrangle building.  It will be of fire-proof construction, 50 x 100 feet  It will be completed within a month.

Radio stations KONO and KITY are sold by Mission Broadcasting Co. to Dallas-based Duffy Broadcasting Co., ending 60 years of continuous ownership by the Roth family.

December 26 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
All records for flying in the United States have been broken at Kelly Field.  According to a report made to Colonel W. D. Chitty, commandant, by Major Paul Ferron, officer in charge of the flying department, the flying record Saturday at Kelly Field broke any so far made in the United States, the total number of hours in the air amounting to 211.  This is declared to exceed all other records, even those of San Diego, one of the oldest schools of aviation in the United States.

The City Council yesterday passed an ordinance creating six positions for city policewomen.  They will earn $70 a month and be permitted to carry sidearms.

The J.C. Penney Company opens their sixth San Antonio store today at Ingram Park Mall.  The new store is the company’s 149th store in Texas and 2,090th in the J. C. Penney chain.  It has almost 180,000 square feet of floor space, 42 merchandise departments and 325 employees.


December 25 in San Antonio history…

The roof and central dome of San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo Mission collapse during a midnight Mass.  Fortunately, the mass is being held in an adjoining room instead of the nave.

1917 – World War I
A crisp and cool Christmas morning arrived in San Antonio today finding the city quiet and almost meditative.

Bing Crosby first performs “White Christmas” on Kraft Music Hall, which airs on San Antonio radio station KABC (now KKYX) at 11:15 a.m.

December 24 in San Antonio history…

Rt. Reverend Anthony Dominic Pelicer is installed at San Fernando Cathedral as first Bishop of San Antonio (he was buried in this cathedral April 17, 1880.)

Nearly all the bawdy houses in the city will give Christmas dinners to their “guests” and two have issued printed invitations, sending them to nearly every young man in the city.

1917 – World War I
The government has ordered that officers may no longer purchase clothing from the quartermaster’s department.  They must purchase through the open market which will more than double the cost of purchases.




December 23 in San Antonio history…

The Hot Wells Hotel is consumed by fire.  (It will burn three more times over the next 90 years.)

1917 – World War I
The funeral of First Lieutenant Irving Murdock McCracken, who was killed at Camp Kearny, San Diego, Cal., last Tuesday afternoon when a hand grenade exploded during practice, will be held from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 3 o’clock this afternoon.  The body will be escorted by a detachment from the Nineteenth Infantry, Fort Sam Houston.  Interment will be made in City Cemetery No. 3.

Managers of all of San Antonio’s hotels, motels and night clubs have promised to cooperate with the Prohibition agents to keep the city bone dry for the Christmas weekend.

December 22 in San Antonio history…

On December 22, 1836, the new Texas government formed the county government of Bexar, with San Antonio as its County Seat.

1917 – World War I
San Antonio has been selected by the War Department as one of three cities, the others being Atlanta and Baltimore, for location of big army repair shops to cost from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000.  The San Antonio shops will take care of all repairs of the army in the territory south of Kansas and west of the Mississippi River.

The final pre-cast and furnished room (of 496) is flown into place on the 20th floor of the Palacio Del Rio Hotel.  Placement of the last room was scheduled for January 5, but H. B. Zachry’s crews became so adept at hoising the 35-ton concrete rooms the “last flight” was moved up. (photo right)