San Antonio in the 1870’s

by Jan 28, 2022Blog, Spiritual Resources1 comment

I recently became enamored with a recently released movie, “News of the World.” It stars Tom Hanks, and is the story of a man who goes around Texas, immediately after the time of the Civil War, and reads the news of the world to Texans. The story is good in itself; however, he ends up in Castroville, and finally in San Antonio. It’s a wonderful depiction of San Antonio and Texas in the time that our first Sisters came to San Antonio. I highly recommend it.

I read something on Facebook, posted by a gentleman who regularly posts short stories and photographs of historic Texas. Here he is quoting author Mona D. Sizer describing John “Bet a Million” Gates’ impressions of San Antonio when he first arrived in 1876.

“Moreover, he liked San Antonio. The dusty town with the ruin in the center turned into a different creature at night. No place was livelier than the Military Plaza. (Santa Rosa Infirmary was located on Military Plaza.) The San Antonio of today with the Riverwalk and the Mercado across from the Menger and the ALamo is a pale shade of the “hoo-rawing” town it was then. At [San Antonio’s] heart was a rowdy, vice-laden place like the French Quarter in New Orleans and the Barbary Coast in San Francisco. It was all bright colors, sizzling food, gamblers, cowboys, dance-hall girls, gunshots, shouts, howls, curses, pianos tinkling, guitars and trumpets playing, and loud songs sung in Spanish that Gates couldn’t understand, but instinctively liked.”

This photograph shows an Incarnate Word Sister walking with a group of students, across Military Plaza.

1 Comment

  1. Eilish Ryan, CCVI

    There are two more CCVIs some yards behind the children, in front of the door of the building beyond them The white of their head dress fades into the picture, leaving only the black of their habits clearly visible. Courthouse under construction to the left. I love this picture, which is so full of a variety of activities.


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