A Guide to the City of Terrell Hills, Texas Records, 1838-1956 (bulk 1919-1941)
The City of Terrell Hills is a residential community located between Alamo Heights and Fort Sam Houston along Austin Highway inside Loop 410. It is named for Dr. Frederick Terrell, the President of City National Bank who served as San Antonio's Mayor in 1901. In 1919, Dr. Terrell sold approximately 22.5 acres of property to William Church, the trustee for a group that would become the Terrell Hills Community. The group included some of San Antonio's most prominent businessmen including Alfred G. Ranney, William K. Ewing and Albert Steves Jr. The Terrell Hills Community held meetings in order to discuss and manage community issues such as traffic and construction. This group arranged for services such as electric and water service and sewer lines to be established.
In 1939, Terrell Hills was incorporated as a town and W.L. Mathews was elected Mayor. In 1945, San Antonio attempted to annex the town without allowing an election in either Terrell Hills or San Antonio. Terrell Hills took San Antonio to district court and the annexation was ruled illegal. Terrell Hills became a City with a home rule charter in 1957, and retained a mayor and council system of government.
According to the 1990 census the population of Terrell Hills was 4,592; the 1995 population estimate was 4, 644.
The Records of the City of Terrell Hills contain correspondence, deeds, abstracts of titles and information about various city projects and activities. Most of the material concerns the founding and early management of the community that would later be the City of Terrell Hills. The collection is a valuable resource for examining the problems and issues facing a small community in Bexar County in the 1920s and 1930s including the establishment of basic services and construction. The collection is divided into three series.
The Terrell Hills Community series is the heart of the collection. It contains information from the group of property owners that conducted the business of the residence addition prior to its incorporation as a town in 1939. An Abstract of Title for the land of Terrell Hills shows the ownership of the property from 1838 to 1922. Some information from after incorporation is also included. This includes the 1946 District Court ruling concerning the annexation of Terrell Hills. Public Utilities contains contracts, bills and correspondence between officials of Town of Terrell Hills, property owners and various providers of different public utilities. In the early 1940s, Terrell Hills did not have taxes. Money was raised through a voluntary property assessment. Information on some of these assessments is included. The Correspondence series largely contains correspondence between members of the Terrell Hills Community discussing community issues such as the way financial costs were to be distributed and community membership. There is some correspondence from the 1940s that is from residents to town officials.
This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.
Permission to publish materials from the City of Terrell Hills, Texas Records must be obtained from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
[Identification of item], City of Terrell Hills, Texas, Records, 1838-1956, MS 49, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
Received as a gift to University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections in 1980 (Acc. 1980-002).
Processed by Eric Hartmann, July 1998.
Detailed Description of the Collection