San Antonio the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731; the area was still part of the Spanish Empire, of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality; the city's deep history is contrasted with its rapid recent growth during the past few decades. It was the fastest-growing of the top ten largest cities in the United States from 2000 to 2010, the second from 1990 to 2000. Straddling the regional divide between South and Central Texas, San Antonio anchors the southwestern corner of an urban megaregion colloquially known as the "Texas Triangle". San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County. Since San Antonio was founded during the Spanish Colonial Era, it has a church in its center, on the main civic plaza in front, a characteristic of many Spanish-founded cities and villages in Spain and Latin America.
As with many other urban centers in the Southwestern United States, areas outside the city limits are sparsely populated. San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan statistical area. Called Greater San Antonio, the metro area has a population of 2,473,974 based on the 2017 U. S. census estimate, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in Texas. Growth along the Interstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north and east make it that the metropolitan area will continue to expand. San Antonio was named by a 1691 Spanish expedition for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is June 13; the city contains five 18th-century Spanish frontier missions, including The Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which together were designated UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015. Other notable attractions include the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, SeaWorld, the Alamo Bowl, Marriage Island. Commercial entertainment includes Morgan's Wonderland amusement parks.
According to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city is visited by about 32 million tourists a year. It is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the U. S; the U. S. Armed Forces have numerous facilities around San Antonio. Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, Camp Bullis, Camp Stanley are outside the city limits. Kelly Air Force Base operated out of San Antonio until 2001, when the airfield was transferred to Lackland AFB; the remaining parts of the base were developed as Port San Antonio, an industrial/business park and aerospace complex. San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region. At the time of European encounter, Payaya Indians lived near the San Antonio River Valley in the San Pedro Springs area, they called the vicinity Yanaguana, meaning "refreshing waters".
In 1691, a group of Spanish explorers and missionaries came upon the river and Payaya settlement on June 13, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, they named the river "San Antonio" in his honor. It was years. Father Antonio de Olivares visited the site in 1709, he was determined to found a mission and civilian settlement there; the viceroy gave formal approval for a combined mission and presidio in late 1716, as he wanted to forestall any French expansion into the area from their colony of La Louisiane to the east, as well as prevent illegal trading with the Payaya. He directed the governor of Coahuila y Tejas, to establish the mission complex. Differences between Alarcón and Olivares resulted in delays, construction did not start until 1718. Olivares built, with the help of the Payaya Indians, the Misión de San Antonio de Valero, the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar, the bridge that connected both, the Acequia Madre de Valero; the families who clustered around the presidio and mission were the start of Villa de Béjar, destined to become the most important town in Spanish Texas.
On May 1, the governor transferred ownership of the Mission San Antonio de Valero to Fray Antonio de Olivares. On May 5, 1718 he commissioned the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar on the west side of the San Antonio River, one-fourth league from the mission. On February 14, 1719, the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo proposed to the king of Spain that 400 families be transported from the Canary Islands, Galicia, or Havana to populate the province of Texas, his plan was approved, notice was given the Canary Islanders to furnish 200 families. By June 1730, 25 families had reached Cuba, 10 families had been sent to Veracruz before orders from Spain came to stop the re-settlement. Under the leadership of Juan Leal Goraz, the group marched overland from Veracruz to the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar, where they arrived on March 9, 1731. Due to marriages along the way, the party now included a total of 56 persons, they joined the military community established in 1718. The immigrants f
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Washington-on-the-Brazos is an unincorporated area along the Brazos River in Washington County, United States. Founded when Texas was still a part of Mexico, the settlement was the site of the Convention of 1836 and the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence; the name "Washington-on-the-Brazos" was used to distinguish the settlement from "Washington-on-the-Potomac"—i.e. Washington, D. C. Founded by immigrants from the southern United States, Washington-on-the-Brazos is known as "the birthplace of Texas" because here, on March 1, 1836, Texas delegates met to formally announce Texas' intention to separate from Mexico and to draft the constitution of the new Republic of Texas, they organized an interim government to serve until a government could be inaugurated. The delegates declared independence on March 2, 1836, they adopted their constitution on March 16. The delegates worked until March 17, when they had to flee with the residents of Washington, to escape the advancing Mexican Army.
The townspeople returned after the Mexican Army was defeated at San Jacinto on April 21. Town leaders lobbied for Washington’s designation as the permanent capital of the Republic of Texas, but leaders of the Republic favored Waterloo, renamed Austin. Washington County was established by the legislature of the Republic of Texas in 1836 and organized in 1837, when Washington-on-the-Brazos was designated as the county seat. Although the county seat moved to Brenham in 1844, the town continued to thrive as a center for the cotton trade until the mid-1850s, as it was located on the Brazos River to use for shipping out the crop; the construction of railroads pulled off its business. The strife of the Civil War took another toll on the town, by the turn of the 20th century, it was abandoned; the State of Texas purchased 50 acres of the old townsite in 1916 and built a replica of the building where the delegates met. The state acquired more of the site in 1976 and 1996. Located between Brenham and Navasota off State Highway 105, the site is now known as Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
It covers 293 acres, features three main attractions: Independence Hall, Barrington Living History Farm, the Star of the Republic Museum, administered by Blinn College. The site's visitor center is free and includes interactive exhibits about the Texas Revolution and the park's attractions, a gift shop, a conference center and an education center; the Barrington Living History Farm is a living museum homestead that represents the mid-19th-century farm founded by Dr. Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas. Costumed interpreters raise cotton, corn and hogs using period techniques; the 1844 Anson Jones Home was moved to the site in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial Celebration. The reconstructed outbuildings include two slave cabins, a kitchen building, a smokehouse, a cotton house and a barn; the farmstead opened in 2000, is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In Houston, Washington Avenue was named after Washington-on-the-Brazos, it was the western route to Washington County.
Following the present-day road: Washington Avenue. Any students residing in the area are within the Brenham Independent School District. List of museums in East Texas Open-air museum Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved Apr. 12, 2005. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved Apr. 12, 2005. Washington-on-the-Brazos web site Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site Star of the Republic Museum Barrington Living History Farm - Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Visitor information for Washington County, Texas
A merchant is a person who trades in commodities produced by other people. A merchant is anyone, involved in business or trade. Merchants have been known for as long as industry and trade have existed. During the 16th-century, in Europe, two different terms for merchants emerged: One term, described local traders such as bakers, etc.. The status of the merchant has varied during different periods of history and among different societies. In ancient Rome and Greece, merchants may have been wealthy, but were not accorded high social status. In contrast, in the Middle East, where markets were an integral part of the city, merchants enjoyed high status. In modern times, the term has been used to refer to a businessperson or someone undertaking activities for the purpose of generating profit, cash flow and revenue utilizing a combination of human, financial and physical capital with a view to fuelling economic development and growth. Merchants have been known for as long as humans have engaged in commerce.
Merchants and merchant networks were known to operate in ancient Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, India, Persia and Rome. During the European medieval period, a rapid expansion in trade and commerce, led to the rise of a wealthy and powerful merchant class; the European age of discovery opened up new trading routes and gave European consumers access to a much broader range of goods. From the 1600s, goods began to travel much further distances as they found their way into geographically dispersed market places. Following the opening Asia and the discovery of the New World, goods were imported from long distances: calico cloth from India, porcelain and tea from China, spices from India and South-East Asia and tobacco, sugar and coffee from the New World. By the eighteenth century, a new type of manufacturer-merchant was emerging and modern business practices were becoming evident; the English term, "merchant" comes from the Middle English, which itself originated from the Vulgar Latin mercatant or mercatans, formed from present participle of mercatare meaning to trade, to traffic or to deal in.
The term is used to refer to any type of reseller, but can be used with a specific qualifier to suggest a person who deals in a given characteristic such as "speed merchant" to refer to someone who enjoys fast driving. Other known uses of the term include: "dream merchant" used to describe someone who peddles idealistic visionary scenarios and "merchant of war" to describe proponents of war. Elizabeth Honig has argued that concepts relating to the role of a merchant began to change in the mid-16th century; the Dutch term, became rather more fluid during the 16th century when Antwerp was the most global market town in Europe. Two different terms, for a merchant, began to be used, meerseniers referred to local merchants including bakers, sellers of dairy products and stall-holders, while the alternate term, was used to describe those who traded in goods or credit on a large scale; this distinction was necessary to separate the daily trade that the general population understood from the rising ranks of traders who took up their places on a world stage and were seen as quite distant from everyday experience.
Broadly, merchants can be classified into two categories: A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between the producer and retail merchant dealing in large quantities of goods. In other words, a wholesaler does not sell directly to end-users; some wholesale merchants only organize the movement of goods rather than move the goods themselves. A retail merchant or retailer sells merchandise to end-users or consumers in small quantities. A shop-keeper is a retail merchant. However, the term'merchant' is used in a variety of specialised contexts such as in merchant banker, merchant navy or merchant services. Merchants have existed as long as business and commerce have been conducted. A merchant class characterized many pre-modern societies. Open air, public markets, where merchants and traders congregated, were known in ancient Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, India, Persia and Rome; these markets occupied a place in the town's centre. Surrounding the market, skilled artisans, such as metal-workers and leather workers, occupied premises in alley ways that led to the open market-place.
These artisans may have sold wares directly from their premises, but prepared goods for sale on market days. In ancient Greece markets operated within the agora, in ancient Rome the forum. Rome had two forums; the latter was a vast expanse. The Roman forum was arguably the earliest example of a permanent retail shop-front. In antiquity, exchange involved direct selling through permanent or semi-permanent retail premises such as stall-holders at market places or shop-keepers selling from their own premises or through door-to-door direct sales via merchants or peddlers; the nature of direct selling centred around transactional exchange, where the goods were on open display, allowing buyers to evaluate quality directly through visual inspection. Relationships between merchant and consumer were minimal playing into public concerns about the quality of produce; the Phoenicians were well known amongst contemporaries as "traders in purple" – a
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was an attorney born in Georgia, who became a Texas politician, poet and soldier. He was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era, he was elected as the second President of the Republic of Texas after Sam Houston. He was known for waging war against bands of Cherokee and Comanche peoples to push them out of Texas, for establishing a fund to support public education. Lamar was born in 1798 in Louisville and grew up at Fairfield, his father's cotton plantation near Milledgeville the state capital, his father's family were descended from French Huguenot Thomas Lamar, who had settled in Maryland in 1660. They had connections with other families throughout Georgia and the South; as a child, Lamar loved to educated himself through books. Although he was accepted to Princeton College, he chose not to attend, he started work as a merchant and ran a newspaper, but both of those enterprises failed. In 1823, Lamar's family connections helped him to gain a position as the private secretary to newly elected Georgia Governor George M. Troup.
In this position, Lamar issued press releases and toured the state giving speeches on behalf of the governor. On one of his trips, he met Tabitha Burwell Jordan, whom he married in 1826, they had a daughter together. When Troup lost his reelection bid in 1828, Lamar moved with his family to Columbus, where he established the Columbus Enquirer; this venture was much more successful than his previous business attempts. In 1830 his wife Tabitha died of tuberculosis. Lamar was affected and took time to recover his drive, he withdrew his name from consideration for re-election to the Georgia Senate, in which he had served one term. After traveling, Lamar began to study law, he was admitted to the bar in 1833 and ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the U. S. Congress. Lamar's brother Lucius committed suicide in 1834. A grief-stricken Lamar began traveling again to ease his sorrow. In the summer of 1835, he reached Texas part of Mexico, he decided to stay. The friend had settled there and was working as a slave trader in Velasco.
After a trip back to Georgia, Lamar returned to Texas. Learning of a battle for independence, he traveled with his horse and sword to join Sam Houston's army in spring 1836, distinguished himself with bravery at the Battle of San Jacinto. On the eve of the battle, Lamar courageously rescued two surrounded Texans, an act that drew a salute from the Mexican lines. One of those rescued was Thomas Jefferson Rusk appointed as Texas Secretary of War. Lamar was promoted that night from private to Colonel and given command of the cavalry during the battle the following day. Houston noted in his battle report: "Our cavalry, 61 in number, commanded by Mirabeau B. Lamar, placed on our right, completed our line..."After Texas achieved independence from Mexico, Lamar was appointed as the Secretary of War in the interim Texian government. In 1836, he was elected to the position. Lamar, the unanimous choice as nominee of the Democratic Party for president to succeed Houston, was elected, he was inaugurated on December 1, 1838.
Houston talked for three hours in his farewell address, "which so unnerved Lamar that he was unable to read his inaugural speech." It was given by Algernon P. Thompson. Lamar's vice president was David G. Burnet. Several weeks in his first formal address to the Texas Congress, Lamar urged that the Cherokee and Comanche tribes be driven from their lands in Texas if the tribes had to be destroyed, he proposed to secure a loan from either the United States or Europe. He stated his opposition to potential annexation to the United States and desire to gain recognition of the Republic of Texas by European nations, he ordered attacks against the Indian tribes. In 1839 Texan troops drove the Cherokee bands from the state. Houston's friend, Chief Bowles, was killed in battle, Houston was furious with Lamar; the government conducted a similar campaign against the Comanche. Although losing many lives, the Comanche resisted leaving the area. Lamar believed the "total extinction" of the Indian tribes was necessary in order to make the lands available to whites.
He drove the Indians out at the Battle of the Neches, where 500 Texans attacked 800 American Indians of several different tribes. Of these 800 Indians, between 400–500 were women and elders; the Texans and Rangers that attacked the tribes were armed, while the Indians had an estimated 16–24 rifles and pistols. Before the attack, Gatunwali, Big Mush, other chiefs and leaders asked for time to gather their crops they would go in peace, but Lamar would not wait. Lamar ordered the Secretary of War, Albert Sydney Johnston, General Thomas J. Rusk to run them out of Texas. Lamar appointed a commission to select a permanent site for the capital of the Republic. After two months of debate, they recommended the small town of Waterloo, along the Colorado River toward the center of the state; the town was renamed Austin after the pioneer. By October 1839, all of the records and employees were relocated there from Houston; that same year, Lamar founded the Texas State Library. During his administration, Lamar sent three separate agents to Mexico to negotiate a peace settlement.
All failed. Lamar failed to gain official recognition for Texas from Great Britain and Belgium, he did succeed in getting the three nations to send observers, who w
Seguin is a city in and the county seat of Guadalupe County, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,175. By 2015, the population was estimated to be 27,864.. As of 2017, the population of the city reached 31,078 people. Seguin, named in honor of Juan Seguín, a Tejano Texian freedom fighter and early supporter of the Republic of Texas, is one of the oldest towns in Texas, founded just 16 months after the Texas Revolution began; the frontier settlement was a cradle of the Texas Rangers and home to the celebrated Captain Jack Hays the most famous Ranger of all. Seguin was the home of Dr. John E. Park, who experimented in construction using concrete made from local materials; the nearly 100 structures—the courthouse, churches, cisterns, etc.—made up the largest concentration of early 19th-century concrete buildings in the United States. About 20 of them remain standing; the use of concrete ended when the railroad arrived in 1876, bringing cheap lumber and the equipment needed for brick-making.
The town had five brickworks, the wooden buildings of downtown were replaced with brick by the beginning of World War I. For 100 years, the town was dependent on the rich surrounding farmland and ranches; the Texas oil boom came just as the Great Depression was taking down other towns and cities. Seguin could raise enough tax money to match the federal grants for "make-work" projects; the New Deal transformed the city's public face with Art Deco-style city hall, courthouse and fountain, as well as storm sewers and three swimming pools. The town commemorated its centennial by opening Max Starcke Park, with a golf course, a pavilion, picnic tables, BBQ pits along a scenic river drive, a curving dam that created a waterfall. To preserve some of the historic character of the town, Seguin became one of the state's first Main Street cities, the downtown district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fine homes by leading architects J. Reily Gordon, Solon McAdoo, Leo M. J. Dielman, Atlee B.
Ayers, Marvin Eickenroht dating from the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century can be found on many streets. However, the city does not have any designated historic residential districts; the postwar era had industrial development, including a minimill that turned scrap metal into construction products. A plant was built by Motorola in 1972 to produce car electronics, it was bought by Continental AG in 2006. A Caterpillar diesel engine assembly plant was opened in 2008. On the northern edge of the South Texas Plains, Seguin enjoys a mild winter; the sunny days of spring bring on spectacular shows of wildflowers March into June. Most of Texas suffers dry summers from June into September. Cold fronts pushing down from the north trigger precipitation and make October a rainy month, bringing "a second spring" of wildflowers. At their worst and winter have "northers", fast-moving cold fronts with wind rain, rapid drops of temperature falling 30° or more during one day. Northers give way to warm spells, right through the winter.
ZDT's Amusement Park, a family-owned, family-oriented amusement park, it features over a dozen attractions. Repurposed century-old agribusiness structures provide Texas' highest indoor playground with tunnels and slides, wall climbing up former silos, riding go-karts through, on the roof of, an old warehouse, as well as modern parachute drop and a water ride. A new, old-style wooden roller coaster, called Switchback, opened in 2015; the Texas Agricultural Education and Heritage Center - The "Big Red Barn" helps kids and others learn the mechanics and history of farming in Central Texas, with sample crops and gardens, barnyard animals and poultry, displays of vintage equipment and tools. A collected village has houses, barns, a one-room schoolhouse, a pharmacy, a blacksmith shop, a gas station, a church, other relics from the rural past. Many events are held on weekends, tours are given by appointment. Sebastopol House Historic Site is the finest surviving 19th-century concrete building west of the Mississippi.
Here on the frontier, settlers began experimenting with concrete construction years before the Civil War, built 100 or so structures of "lime-crete", as it was called. A team of slaves built this mansion, mixing local gravel, sand and some organic materials pouring the mix into wooden forms; when the concrete was solid, they repeated the process. A journalist declared Seguin "the Mother of Concrete Cities". Sebastopol House, a well-preserved architectural masterpiece, built in 1856 in Greek Revival style, is now a museum offering free tours. Heritage Museum - Artifacts from Paleo-Indian archeological sites, a display on the Wilson Pottery, keep chests of other historical collections illustrate the area's rich multiethnic heritage. Heritage Village - The oldest still-surviving Protestant church in Texas, built in 1849 for a Methodist Conference, outlived the state's older churches lost to storms and progress. A log cabin built by an Irish immigrant, who promptly returned to Ireland to rescue his family from the Great Potato Famine.
23 family members lived in this simple structure until another room, more cabins, could be built. A fanciful gingerbread doll house built for an adopted daughter who came on one of the Orphan Trains from NYC An adobe house built for a German immigrant who knew nothing of adobe. Pape's Pecan House and Nutcracker Museum features a displ
The Witte Museum was established in 1926 and is located in Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, Texas. It is dedicated to telling the stories of Texas, from prehistory to the present; the permanent collection features historic artifacts and photographs, Texas art, dinosaur bones, cave drawings, Texas wildlife dioramas, in addition to nationally acclaimed traveling exhibits. Artwork in the collection includes sculpture by San Antonio-born Bonnie MacLeary; the Witte Museum is named after San Antonio businessman Alfred G. Witte, who bequeathed $65,000 to the city for construction of a museum of art and natural history to be built in memory of his parents; the first Director of the Witte Museum was Ellen Schulz Quillin. The catalyst for the Museum was an extensive collection of natural history specimens owned by Henry Philemon Attwater, which San Antonio public schoolteacher Ellen Schulz purchased for the city of San Antonio for $5,000; when the growing collection grew too large for the high school where it was housed and her supporters appealed to the city council for funds to build a new museum.
With those funds and a $65,000 bequest from Alfred G. Witte, a new building was constructed. Established under the auspices of The San Antonio Museum Association, it was known as the Witte Memorial Museum until 1984, when the name was simplified to the Witte Museum. In addition to natural and historic artifacts, the Witte collection included paintings, sculptures and other works of art. In 1970, museum director Jack McGregor proposed establishing a separate art museum. In 1972, with the support of several key museum trustees, the San Antonio Museum Association acquired the former Anheuser-Busch brewery, which would be renovated and remodeled; the San Antonio Museum of Art opened to the public on March 1, 1981. The Witte Museum Texas Art Collection focuses on works created by artists living and working in Texas as well as work by artists representing its history and culture. 1930s: The Witte Museum's support of archeological research in the canyons of Big Bend and the Lower Pecos area resulted in important research findings and a growing collection of artifacts and led to the building of new galleries to house them, as well as a Reptile Garden, the vision of founder Ellen Schultz Quillin.
The Reptile Garden not only provided a source of revenue for the Museum but provided income to South Texas ranchers and laborers who sold their rattlesnakes and rat snakes to the museums for $0.10-$0.15 per pound. The two log cabins on the property were constructed by participants in President Roosevelt's National Youth Administration program and are used to teach students about pioneer life. 1940s: Two historic San Antonio houses were moved from their original locations to the Witte Museum campus. The oldest and one of the largest public circus collections, it includes artifacts, programs and photographs, as well as sheet music, professional journals and published manuscripts. Current President and CEO Marise McDermott has overseen a number of expansion projects since assuming the leadership role in 2004: The H-E-B Science Treehouse was transformed into the H-E-B Body Adventure, providing youth with the first interactive health experience in the US. Naylor Morton Research and Collections Center opened, displaying more than 300,000 artifacts and providing space for scholars and students to view the growing collection.
In 2012, the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center opened to the public as a permanent home for the museum's South Texas collections and public programs, combined with the latest museum technology; the collections are links to the area's heritage and include saddles, basketry, branding irons, historical clothing, land grants and firearms. In 2014, the museum began a $100 million renovation of more than 174,000 square feet of space to include the Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery and Dinosaur Lab. Led by Founder and President Patrick Gallagher, the design team of Gallagher & Associates created video animations, updated dioramas, touch screens and interactive displays, numerous sound installations; this project had a goal of LEED certification, which it attained through designs which are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Valero Energy contributed $4 million toward the expansion, which funded the glass-enclosed Valero Great Hall, an entry and lobby space featuring replicas of an Acrocanthosaurus atokensis, a Tyrannosaurus rex, a suspended Quetzal