A Guide to the Preston Louis Anderson Alamo Purchase Papers, 1923-1938
Preston Louis Anderson was born in Greenville, Texas, on 1889 November 20 to Louis M. and Arabella Jane Barnett Anderson. In 1908, he moved to San Antonio and worked as a linotype operator for the San Antonio Light newspaper; he remained in the printing trade for many subsequent years and later worked for the San Antonio Express.
A Democrat, Anderson was elected to represent the 78th district, encompassing San Antonio, in the Texas House of Representatives in 1926. As a legislator, he sponsored a bill to purchase land adjacent to the Alamo for the State of Texas. With the exception of the 1935-1937 term, Anderson served in the legislature until he was elected to be San Antonio's Fire and Police Commissioner in 1941. During his first year as Commissioner, Anderson was involved in the police department’s efforts to shut down San Antonio's red light district, undertaken to protect soldiers stationed in the city. Anderson retired from politics in 1947 upon losing his bid for re-election as the Fire and Police Commissioner.
In 1945, the Republic of Mexico presented Anderson with the Decoration of the Order of the Aztec Eagle for his work promoting understanding and friendship between citizens of Mexico and the United States, specifically in the area of cooperation between police agencies in the two countries. For his efforts combating prostitution and venereal disease, especially among American troops, Anderson became an honorary life member of the American Social Hygiene Association and received a Civilian Commendation from the U.S. War Department.
Preston Louis Anderson married Rosalie Crawford (1889-1961); the couple had one child, Rosemary (1911-2005). Anderson died in San Antonio on 1952 October 18.
Preston Louis Anderson biographical file. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.
The collection contains correspondence, drafts of legislation, plats, and photographs associated with efforts by the State of Texas to purchase land surrounding the Alamo. Much of the correspondence involves State Representative Anderson and San Antonio City Attorney Joseph Ryan and concerns the progress of the proposed purchase between 1926 and 1929. Draft versions of legislation appointing a purchase board and appropriating funds for the project are also included, along with amendments, descriptions of one of the bills, and other related items. Photographs of the Alamo were used in promoting the effort, and plats show property ownership around the Alamo.
No restrictions. The collection is open for research.
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[Identification of item], Preston Louis Anderson Alamo Purchase Papers, 1923-1938, Col 2670, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.
Gift of Rosemary Anderson Son, 1985 August.
Processed by Warren Stricker, 1998 August.
Finding aid edited by Shannon Keith, 2009 December.
Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2010 October.
Detailed Description of the Collection