Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the Menger Hotel (San Antonio, Tex.) Register, 1874



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Menger Hotel (San Antonio, Tex.)
Title: Menger Hotel (San Antonio, Tex.) Register
Dates: 1874
Creator Abstract: The Menger Hotel was originally developed by German immigrant William A. Menger. Located on the plaza adjacent to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, the Hotel opened on 1859 February 1. By the mid-1800s, and especially after the railroad arrived in San Antonio in 1877, the Menger became the best-known hotel in the Southwest, a center of San Antonio social affairs and a meeting-place for visiting celebrities.
Content Abstract: The register lists guests and visitors to the Menger Hotel, giving each person's name, place of residence, and room number. Register pages and attached blotters include advertisements for local businesses.
Identification: Oversize Bound Doc 8568
Extent: 1 volume (approximately 160 pages, interleaved with blotters)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Historical Note

The Menger Hotel was originally developed by William A. Menger, a German immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1847 and settled in San Antonio, pursuing his previous work as a cooper and brewer. In 1855, Menger and Charles Phillip Degen opened a brewery, reportedly the first in Texas, on the plaza adjacent to the Alamo in San Antonio. That same year, William and his wife Mary moved their boarding house to Alamo Plaza from its original location on the northwest corner of St. Mary’s and Commerce Streets. Menger acquired additional land around the Plaza as his business grew and in 1858 began construction of what would be known as the Menger Hotel. Local architect John M. Fries is credited with designing the original structure of the Menger, a two-story cut-stone building, and John Hermann Kampmann oversaw construction of the project. The Hotel opened on 1859 February 1.

By the mid-1800s, and especially after the railroad arrived in San Antonio in 1877, the Menger became the best-known hotel in the Southwest. The Hotel was a center of San Antonio social affairs and a meeting-place for visiting celebrities including poet Sidney Lanier and author Oscar Wilde; generals Philip H. Sheridan and Robert E. Lee; baseball legend Babe Ruth; sculptor Gutzon Borglum; actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Mae West; performers William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Annie Oakley; and Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. Notable events to occur at the Hotel include the death of Richard King, the south Texas entrepreneur and founder of the King Ranch, in 1885; Theodore Roosevelt's recruitment of the Rough Riders in 1898; and the organization of the San Antonio section of the National Council of Jewish Women in 1907. The Menger Hotel is also mentioned several times in the stories of O. Henry.

Mary Menger took over management of the Hotel following her husband’s death in 1871, but sold the property to Major J. H. Kampmann ten years later. Kampmann’s descendants owned the Hotel until 1943, when it was purchased by William L. Moody, Jr.’s National Hotel Corporation. The Menger is currently owned by 1859 Historic Hotels, Inc., based in Galveston, Texas. Throughout its long history, the Menger has been significantly expanded and extensively renovated.

In 1976, the Menger Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Alamo Plaza Historic District.

References

Menger Hotel vertical file, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Stuck, Eleanor. “Menger Hotel.” Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dgm02.


Scope and Content Note

The register lists guests and visitors to the Menger Hotel, giving each person's name, place of residence, and room number. Register pages and attached blotters include advertisements for local businesses.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Reproduction of this document may be restricted due to its size and fragility.

Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.


Index Terms

Organizations
Menger Hotel (San Antonio, Tex.)
Subjects
Hotels--Texas--San Antonio.
Locations
San Antonio (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Genres/Formats
Business records.
Registers.

Related Material

Menger (W. A.) Letters, 1861-1863, undated, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Menger Hotel (San Antonio, Tex.) Register, 1874, Oversize Bound Doc 8568, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Joseph A. Menger, 1979 June.

Processing Information

Processed by Warren Stricker.

Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2011 February.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Menger Hotel (San Antonio, Tex.) Register, 1874

Volume
1 Register of guests and visitors at the Menger Hotel, 1874 February 15-December 26