The Spanish were the first to explore the southwestern area, and Domingo Teran de los Rios, named the San Antonio River after St. Anthony’s Day in 1691. The town was founded by Father Antonio Olivares in 1718. He established the Mission San Antonio de Valero and four other Spanish missions soon followed along the river, and so begins the spectacular history of San Antonio. In 1773 San Antonio de Bexar became the official capital of Spanish Texas. At this time the population was just over 2,000 and was made up of Europeans, mestizos, and black slaves.
During the Texas Revolution, San Antonio would be the fighting site for many decisive battles, including the siege of Bexar (December 1835), and the infamous battle of the Alamo. The battle of the Alamo was nothing but a bloodbath for the Texans and General Santa Anna’s Mexican army ended the massacre in only 13 days. On the eight day, 32 volunteers arrived at the Alamo, but that was the only reinforcements that would come. The final battle of the Alamo was on March 6, 1836, when the Mexican army scaled the walls and put an end to the Texans heroic struggle. Names like Davy Crockett, William B. Travis, and Jim Bowie will forever be remembered for their ultimate sacrifice for freedom of those in San Antonio and all of Texas.
After the Mexican Army was defeated later that year at the Battle of San Jacinto, the next immigrants to arrive in San Antonio were Germans. Then, after Texas was annexed to the United States, Anglo-American’s began to settle in the area as well.
The Mexican forces were evacuated and Bexar County was made a part of the Republic of Texas in December, 1836. Soon after, San Antonio was chosen as its seat in January 1837. Another battle, the Council House Fight, took place in 1840 when the Comanche Indians refused to release their captives. San Antonio was then seized twice during the Mexican invasions of 1842 and the population was decreased even further.
The town grew rapidly after Texas entered the Union, and by 1860 San Antonio was the largest town in Texas with a population of 8,235. Most of this growth can be attributed to San Antonio being the distribution center for the western movement of the United States. They were a ranching center and were the starting point for nearly all of the cattle drives made to Kansas. When Texas seceded on March 2, 1861, San Antonio served as a Confederate depot. The town never did see any of the action of the Civil War, but a few units, such as John S Ford’s Cavalry of the West, were formed there.
After the Civil War, San Antonio served the entire Southwest as a cattle, distribution, mercantile, and military center. They provided an important wool market from importing merino sheep to the local Hill Country as well as being the main southern supplier for cattle drives. San Antonio was able to enter a new level of economic growth after the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway was built in 1877. The town had no form of transportation before the railroad and after it was constructed their population soared to over twenty thousand by 1880. Another railroad came to town in 1881, the International-Great Northern, and by 1900 there were five railroads built into the city.
Just like the rest of the United States, San Antonio’s modernization and growth was amazingly high at the end of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Many new, unheard of things were planned and established, including civic government, utilities, street paving and maintenance, water supply, telephones, hospitals, and a power plant and San Antonio regained its spot as the largest city in Texas.
After the 1910 Mexican Revolution took place, the Mexican immigration increased and coupled with the influence German and Southern Anglo-American cultures, San Antonio became one of America’s “four most unique cities” (alongside Boston, New Orleans, and San Francisco).
San Antonio provided a place for the First United States Volunteer Cavalry to organize and was an important military center during both World War I and II for the army and air force. It has kept its place as a military center, being the home for both Fort Sam Houston and Kelly, Randolph, Brooks, and Lackland Air Force bases.
San Antonio has been the site for many major historical events, especially the one that will forever be remembered in the heart and soul of every Texan, the Alamo. With all of its diversity, over the years San Antonio has provided a place for any and all ethnic groups to feel at home. San Antonio boasts a good economy, an excellent metro transportation system, spectacular entertainment, nightlife, and dining, educational opportunities, fun festivals and attractions, and many cultural events.
Historical San Antonio
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Prehistory & History - The City of San Antonio
Explore the periods of San Antonio’s history from the earliest Spanish exploration through the industrial and modern ages. Native American Occupation Spanish Exploration & Colonial Era Mexican & Texas Republic Periods Early Statehood & Antebellum Periods Railroad Era & Industrial Development Military & Postwar Development
San Antonio - Wikipedia
Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city in 1731 became the first chartered civil settlement in what is now present-day Texas. The area was then part of the Spanish Empire. From 1821 to 1836, it was part of the Mexican Republic.
History of San Antonio - Wikipedia
History of San Antonio. The City of San Antonio is one of the oldest Spanish settlements in Texas and was, for decades, its largest city. Before Spanish colonization, the site was occupied for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples.
San Antonio History | Centuries of History in San Antonio
Located in south-central Texas, history truly comes to life in San Antonio. The city’s rich culture offers an authentic glimpse of early Spanish colonial life in the Southwest. San Antonio is the first civilian settlement in Texas, known as San Antonio de Béxar. It was founded in the year 1718.
San Antonio, Texas – A Mecca For History Buffs - Legends of America
During the Texas Revolution, San Antonio was the site of several battles, including the siege of Bexar in December 1835 and the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, which made it one of the most fought-over cities in North America. In the Battle of the Alamo, 189 defenders held the old mission against some 4,000 Mexican troops for 13 days.
Timeline of San Antonio - Wikipedia
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of San Antonio, Texas, United States. 18th century Part of a series on the History of Texas Timeline State of Texas Texas portal v t e 1718 – San Antonio founded by Martín de Alarcón.   1718 – Mission San Antonio de Valero founded. 1720 – Mission San Jose founded. 
San Antonio | Facts, History, & Points of Interest | Britannica
San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio, city, seat (1837) of Bexar county, south-central Texas, U.S. It is situated at the headwaters of the San Antonio River on the Balcones Escarpment, about 80 miles (130 km) southwest of Austin. The second most-populous city in Texas, it is the focus of a metropolitan area that includes Alamo Heights, Castle Hills ...
History of San Antonio
Explore the rich history of San Antonio from the earliest Spanish explorations to Mexican rule and the Texas Republic. From mid-19th century statehood through the railroad and industrial development, learn more about the diverse cultures and influences that have shaped our modern metropolis.
History of San Antonio
The City of San Antonio’s official flag was designed in 1935 by William Herring, deputy commander of the Texas Department of United War Veterans. Herring designed the flag for the national convention of the United Spanish War Veterans being held in San Antonio that year. The original design featured the Alamo superimposed in the center of a ...
San Antonio History Facts and Timeline - World Guides
San Antonio is considered to be one of the most historical cities in the US. It is the birthplace of Texan liberty and the site of the Alamo, where a famous battle that was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution, took place in 1836. The modern history of San Antonio dates back much further than this, however.