The Angel of the Alamo LbNA # 51232
|Owner||Lone Star Quilter|
|Placed Date||Oct 27 2009|
|Location||San Antonio, TX|
|Found By||paper trail|
|Last Update||Dec 29 2014|
Iím not sure if some citizens of Texas realize just how much they owe to a handful of ladies who saved from ruin, our most precious historic structure, the Alamo. One of those women, Adina De Zavala, has been credited as the one most responsible for saving the old mission and if it hadn't been for her efforts, the Alamo might well have been replaced by a parking lot. It was in her blood to fight for something she believed in, the lady had an historic legacy - her grandfather, Lorenzo de Zavala, was the first vice-president of the Republic of Texas. According to The Handbook of Texas Online, Miss De Zavala organized a group of women who met for the purpose of discussion and study of Texas heroes. These ladies became part of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in 1893. De Zavala and her group prevented the destruction of the Alamo chapel, after it had been purchased from the state by the wholesale grocery firm of Hugo and Schmeltzer Company Miss De Zavala obtained a verbal promise from the company that her chapter of the DRT would be given the first chance to purchase the Alamo property. In 1903, Clara Driscoll joined the DRT and De Zavala's group of preservationist women. Driscoll soon purchased the property from the grocery firm to prevent it from falling into the hands of another group, referred to as an "eastern syndicate." In 1905, the Texas legislature authorized the state to purchase the property from Driscoll and custody was turned over to the DRT. However, trouble soon began to brew between De Zavala and Driscoll. The rift was over Driscoll's desires to tear down part of the old Hugo and Schmeltzer building, as it was her contention that it had been built long after the famous battle in 1836. Miss Zavala opposed this action; as she was sure that the building was part of a structure know as the "long barracks" which was of great historical value. Even though Driscoll's group won several decisions in state court against De Zavala, it didn't deter this granddaughter of a patriot from sticking to her guns and fighting for what she believed to be the truth of the matter. At one point, in 1908, Miss De Zavala went so far as to barricade herself inside the north barrack of the Alamo for three days to protest its destruction. It was her belief that this section was of even more historical worth than the Alamo chapel. De Zavala's efforts were not in vain, and history has proved that she was right in her belief about the value of the old barracks. It has been confirmed that that section of the Alamo grounds is where much of the fighting took place in the legendary 1836 battle. Although the noble lady had saved her beloved mission, she never seemed to venture far away from the place. In her book, The History and Mystery of the Menger Hotel, Docia Schultz Williams writes that Adina De Zavala was a resident of the old hotel, located on Alamo Plaza, from 1926 to 1932. According to Williams, "She must have lived at the hotel in order to be close to the shrine which meant so much to her." Adina De Zavala went on to be instrumental in saving the Spanish Governors' Palace in San Antonio. She organized, in 1912, the Texas Historical and Landmarks Association. She also wrote several books about San Antonio and the Alamo. She was a member of the Texas Folklore Society, the Philosophical Society of Texas, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Texas Women's Press Association, and many other organizations. This great lady of Texas died on March 1, 1955, at the age of 93, and is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in San Antonio. Her funeral procession, with her casket draped with a Texas flag, passed by the Alamo.
Directions: From Interstate 35 in downtown San Antonio, go east on E. Commerce St. and turn right onto S. Palmetto St. Cross Montana and Wyoming Streets and turn left into the cemetery about mid-block. Drive to the cross and turn left. Go towards the end of the road and look for the historical marker on the left. Thereís not a lot of room around the cross, so be careful. Also, youíll have to back out, so you may prefer to park before the cross and walk to the grave site. It isnít far.
To the box: Read the marker, then sidestep to the left and walk straight ahead (west) to the grave of Viola Wilson. Just to the left of this marker is a medium cedar tree. The box is in a hole about 6 ft. above the ground. Thereís a stone that you can step up on (itís not a grave marker). Drop the box back into the hole and cover it with the rock when youíre through. Thanks!