Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Organization of Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Alfred Giles, 1853-1920

Annie Laura James Giles, 1861-1909

Mary Milby Giles (Beckmann), 1890-1956

Ernest Palmer Giles, 1894-1986

Geoffrey James Giles, 1886-1916

Annie Marcella Giles (Booth), 1898-1995

Beatrice Giles (Driess), 1891-1979

Photographs, 1890s-1920s, 1983

Assorted

University of Texas San Antonio

Alfred Giles Family Papers, 1861-1955, 1972-1989



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Giles, Alfred, 1853-1920
Title: Alfred Giles Family Papers
Dates: 1861-1955, 1972-1989
Creator Abstract: Born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England, Alfred Giles took on an apprenticeship with the architectural firm of Giles and Bivens in London for two years before immigrating to the United States and eventually settling in Texas. By 1876, Giles had established his own architectural firm. As a prominent architect, Giles produced designs for over 90 structures.
Content Abstract: The collection spans the years 1861-1955 and 1972-1989 and includes correspondence, cards, photographs, artwork by Giles, books, magazines, clippings, legal documents, diaries, and scrapbooks that relate to the Giles family, Hillingdon Ranch (Texas), and Alfred Giles work as an architect.
Identification: MS 325
Extent: 4.4 linear feet (4 Boxes)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Biographical Note

Born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England on May 23, 1853, Alfred Giles attended the Proprietary School at Gravesend, Kent. He finished school at the age of 17 and took on an apprenticeship with the architectural firm of Giles (no relation) and Bivens in London for two years. Upon completion of his apprenticeship, he worked briefly for the firm before immigrating to the United States in 1873. Due to illness, he made his way to Texas in 1875 where he found employment with John H. Kampmann, a San Antonio contractor.

By 1876, Giles had established his own firm, which over the years would produce designs for over 90 structures. These included the residence of Edward Steves, a prominent San Antonian, the mother house of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, located on the campus of Incarnate Word College, along with many others in San Antonio. He also designed county courthouses for Webb, Bandera, Gillespie, and Wilson counties. Through his branch office in Monterrey, Mexico, he designed many buildings that can be found in Monterrey, Saltillo, Durango, Pueblo, and Chihuahua. Giles’s work has been described as having “a great variety of styles derived from architectural forms of the past, usually in more or less new combinations. Giles’s own means of expression always took precedence over novelty or fashion. Giles produced designs for unpretentious domestic residences and show mansions, courthouses, and commercial and institutional structures all over Texas. He adapted and combined stylistic elements with restraint, sobriety and simplicity.” (The Handbook of Texas Online)

In 1881, Alfred Giles married Annie Laura James, the daughter of John James, a surveyor of Bexar County. They had 8 children and owned Hillingdon Ranch near Comfort, Texas. The ranch consisted of 13,000 acres and included horses, mules, registered Aberdeen-Angus cattle, and Angora goats. Giles's successes in ranching were evident by the prizes his livestock won at the San Antonio Fair and Great International Exposition. Giles was a founding member of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association and a member of the Texas Cattle Raisers’ Association. He resided at Hillingdon Ranch until his death in 1920.

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Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the material spans the years 1861-1955 and largely includes correspondence, photographs, photograph albums, artwork (sketches and paintings), and other materials by Alfred Giles, his spouse Annie Laura James Giles, daughters Mary Milby Giles and Annie Marcella Giles Booth and sons Geoffrey James Giles and Ernest Palmer Giles. Also found within the collection are books on architectural structures in and around San Antonio and on household management, which include recipes. Diaries, scrapbooks, a birth certificate, baptismal record, Alfred Giles's will, stock certificates, and other legal documents can also be found within the collection.

Material spanning the years 1972-1989, includes clippings and magazines that relate mostly to Hillingdon Ranch, Alfred Giles and his architecture. There is also a genealogy chart for the Giles family.

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Organization of Collection

Alfred Giles
Annie Laura James Giles
Mary Milby Giles (Beckmann)
Ernest Palmer Giles
Geoffrey James Giles
Annie Marcella Giles (Booth)
Beatrice Giles (Driess)
Photographs
Assorted

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

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.

Usage Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

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Index Terms

Personal Names
Giles, Alfred, 1853-1920.
Giles, Annie Laura James, 1861-1909.
(Beckmann) Giles, Mary Milby, 1890-1956.
Giles, Ernest Palmer, 1894-1986.
Giles, Geoffrey James, 1886-1916.
(Booth) Giles, Annie Marcella, 1898-1995.
(Dreiss) Giles, Beatrice, 1891-1979.
Subjects
Architecture--Texas.
Architecture--Mexico.
Architecture, English--Texas.
Architecture.
Ranching--Texas.
Cattle raisers' association of Texas. [from old catalog] .
Goat ranchers.
Locations
San Antonio (Tex.)--Architecture.
Comfort (Tex.).
Monterrey (Mexico)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Genres/Formats
Correspondence.
Photographs.
Photograph albums.
Sketches.
Diaries.
Scrapbooks.
Birth certificates.
Genealogies.
Books.

Local Subjects

Architecture/Historic Preservation
Art or Architecture
Family Collections
San Antonio History
Texas History

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Related Materials

University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections holds the Mary Carolyn Hollers George Papers, http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utsa/00030/utsa-00030.html.

University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections houses an unprocessed collection featuring photographs of Alfred Giles's work. Ask UTSA Special Collections staff for more information about this collection.

The Alexandar Architectural Archive holds the Alfred Giles (1853-1920) Drawings, http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utaaa/00044/aaa-00044.html.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Alfred Giles Family Papers, MS 325, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Donation from David and Myrna Langford in December 2009 (Acc. 2010-001).

Processing Information

Processed by Amber Harmon, Library Assistant, 2015.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Alfred Giles, 1853-1920

Series includes records of Alfred Giles pertaining to his architectural firm and Hillingdon Ranch. Materials are arranged in five subseries: Correspondence, Legal Documents, Clippings, Architecture, Personal, and Assorted.
Correspondence
Box Folder
1 1 Alfred Giles letters, 1894-1918
2 Letters to Milby Giles Beckmann, 1911-1912, 1915-1920
3 Letters to Ernest Palmer Giles, 1914-1917
Legal Documents
Box Folder
OM1 Wedding certificate, 1881, 1897
Box Folder
1 4 Stock certificates, last will and testament, 1908-1909, 1916-1919
Clippings
Box Folder
OM1 Harper's Weekly article on Hillingdon Ranch, 1881, 1897
Architecture
Box Folder
1 5 Metal printing plate of Market House with San Antonio Express News authentication, 1899, 1981 and undated
6 Building photographs, 1910, 1989 and undated
7 Architecture clippings, 1920, 1965-1978 and undated
Box Folder
OM1 Architecture clippings, 1967, 1971-1972, 1922, 1985 and 1989
Box Folder
1 8 Carriage House restoration and move plan with clippings, 1978-1989
9 Architecture clippings, 1979-1990 and undated
10 Incarnate Word Mother House conservation clippings, 1986-1990
11 "Alfred Giles Left His Mark" clipping (photocopy), 1987
12 Drawing of reception hall in J.S. Thornton, esq. residence, undated
13-17 Photocopies of Alfred Giles Co. buildings and drawings, undated
Personal
Box Folder
1 18 Prayers and advice to children, 1909-1919
19 Copies from Alfred Giles's notes, 1969 and undated
20 Diaries, 1881, 1884
21 Assorted, 1911 and undated
22 Hillingdon, England postcards, undated
Assorted
Box Folder
1 23 Historical dedications, 1967-2010 and undated
24 Print materials, 1973, 1990
25 "Emil Elmendorf House," essay by Dixie Watkins, 1976

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Annie Laura James Giles, 1861-1909

Series includes records of Annie Laura James Giles pertaining to family and Hillingdon Ranch. Materials are arranged in two subseries: Correspondence and Personal.
Correspondence
Box Folder
1 26 Letter to Alfred Giles, 1899
27 Letters and cards to Mary Milby Giles, 1908-1909
28 Letters and cards to Mary Milby Giles, 1909, 1913
Personal
Box Folder
1 29 Housekeeping in the Bluegrass, 1877
30-31 Giles art, some signed and some attributed, circa 1880-1900
Box Folder
OM1 Book of Household Management with inserts, 1880, 1904
Box Folder
2 1 Common Sense in the Household, 1881
2 Scrapbook, 1882-1905 and undated
3 Diary, 1887, 1898
4 Illustrated British Pocket Diary and almanac, 1896
5 Quotes written on Alfred Giles Architect envelope, undated

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Mary Milby Giles (Beckmann), 1890-1956

Series includes records of Mary Milby Giles Beckmann, pertaining to family, life at Hillingdon Ranch, and school. Materials are arranged in four subseries: Correspondence, Legal Documents, School, and Personal.
Correspondence
Box Folder
2 6 Assorted letters to Milby, 1915, 1919, 1947-1956
7 Letters from cousin Edward G. Jeacocks and wife, 1926-1953
Legal Documents
Box Folder
2 8 Assorted legal documents, 1877, 1945, 1955
School
Box Folder
2 9 Essays notebook, 1904
10 My Commencement, Bonn Avon book, 1906-1908
Box Folder
OM1 Diploma from Bon Avon, 1908
Box Folder
2 11 "My diary, Gunston Hall" notebook, 1908-1909
12 The Bachelor Girl, Gunston Hall book, 1909
Personal
Box Folder
2 13 San Antonio architecture booklets, 1896-1915
14 Genealogy chart aids, undated

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Ernest Palmer Giles, 1894-1986

Series includes records of Ernest Palmer Giles, pertaining to family and Hillingdon Ranch. Materials are arranged in four subseries: Correspondence, Legal Documents, Clippings, and Personal.
Correspondence
Box Folder
2 15 Letter to Adolph G. Beckmann, undated
Legal Documents
Box Folder
2 16 Affidavit, 1927
Clippings
Box Folder
2 17 Palmer Giles clippings, 1976-1989 and undated
18 Texas Hill Country View and Texas Monthly, 1981
Personal
Box Folder
2 19 Typed "Indian Encounter Story" of Palmer and Werner Beckmann, 1912

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Geoffrey James Giles, 1886-1916

Series includes records of Geoffrey James Giles, pertaining to family, school, and Alfred Giles Company. Materials are arranged in three subseries: Correspondence, School, and Personal.
Correspondence
Box Folder
2 20 Letter home with photo, undated
School
Box Folder
2 21 Schoolwork, 1908 and undated
Personal
Box Folder
2 22 Diary, 1911-1913

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Annie Marcella Giles (Booth), 1898-1995

Series includes records of Annie Marcella Booth, pertaining to her remembrance of her family. Materials are arranged in one subseries: Personal.
Personal
Box Folder
2 23 Remembrance of parents, 1968, 1984

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Beatrice Giles (Driess), 1891-1979

Series includes record of Beatrice Giles Driess, pertaining to her death in 19179. Materials are arranged in one subseries: Clippings.
Clippings
Box Folder
2 24 Obituary clipping, 1979

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Photographs, 1890s-1920s, 1983

Series includes photographs of the Giles family and Hillingdon Ranch. Materials are arranged in three subseries: Family Photographs and Portraits, Hillingdon Ranch, and Photo albums .
Family Photographs and Portraits
Box Folder
3 1 Photographs and portraits, 1885-1915 and undated
2 Photographs and portraits, 1911-1915 and undated
Box Folder
OM1 Mary Milby, Annie Marcella, and Beatrice Giles, 1983
Box Folder
3 3 Giles Family gravestones, 1983
Box Folder
OM1 Mary Macurdy Milby, Annie Milby James, Annie Laura James Giles, and Amy Giles, undated
Photo at Alfred Giles home on way to Mary Milby Giles and Adolph G. Beckmann wedding, undated
Framed portrait of Geoffrey James Giles, undated
Photo albums
Box Folder
3 1-3 Photo album, 1890s-1920
Hillingdon Ranch
Box Folder
3 4 Photographs at Hillingdon Ranch, 1890, 1897, 1913 and undated
Box Folder
OM1 Panoramic photograph of Hillingdon Ranch, 1912
Photo albums
Box Folder
3 5-7 Photo albums, 1890s-1920

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Assorted

Materials are arranged in three subseries: Clippings, Assorted Family, and Personal .
Clippings
Box Folder
3 8 Assorted, 1886, 1971-1988 and undated
Assorted Family
Box Folder
3 9 Assorted print materials of Annie Laura McNeel and Laura Bradfield, 1972-1973, 1982
Personal
Box Folder
3 10 Personal writings, undated

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