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Case, Bill (1905-2000)

  • Personne
  • 1905-2000

Bill Case was born March 1, 1905, in Mississippi; he moved to San Antonio with his family as a child. Case was a talented musician, and played piano, accordion, and saxophone. During the 1930s he played piano at nightclubs around the country, including in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles. During World War II Case served as a radio operator in the United States Merchant Marines. In 1949 he returned to San Antonio, and opened Bill Case Sound, a store for radio and stereo equipment which he ran until 1989. Case was an avid supporter of the San Antonio Symphony and the Opera Guild. Case never married, but had a long-term relationship with Ann Walker. He died of a stroke in January, 2000.

Walker, Ann (1906-1991)

  • Personne
  • 1906-1991

Ann Walker was born in Missouri on October 10, 1906, the youngest of seven children. Her parents died when she was a child, and she was raised by her elder sister. Walker lived in St. Louis, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, working primarily as an administrative assistant. She was briefly married, but divorced. Walker moved to Mexico City, where she was secretary for the American ambassador. She moved to San Antonio and opened a travel agency, Travel Advisors. Walker served as president of the San Antonio chapter of the American Society of Travel Agents. Walker was an active supporter of the San Antonio Opera Guild, and organized trips for members of the organization. In her later years, Walker had a long-term relationship with Bill Case, though they never married. She died of cancer on February 24, 1991.

Alessandro, Victor

  • LCNAF nr 90004196
  • Personne
  • 1915-1976

Victor Nicholas Alessandro was born in Waco, Texas, on November 27, 1915. His father, also named Victor Alessandro (1883-1971), was a conductor and music teacher. Alessandro grew up in Houston, Texas. He studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, the American Academy in Rome, and the Salzburg Mozarteum. Alessandro married flutist Ruth Drisko in 1956, and had two children, Victor Tabbut Alessandro and Ruth Ann Alessandro. Alessandro passed away on November 27, 1976 of emphysema.

In 1938 he became the conductor of the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra. He returned to Texas in 1951 to lead the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, and led the ensemble until his retirement in 1976. Alessandro received honors the National Association for American Composers and Conductors and the 1956 Alice M. Ditson Award for service to American music. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Rochester, Southwestern University, and Southern Methodist University.

San Antonio Symphony Orchestra

  • LCNAF no 92005453
  • Collectivité
  • 1905-present

The San Antonio Symphony Orchestra was established by musician and arts patron Anna Goodman Hertzberg and musical director Carl Hahn in 1905. The amateur ensemble performed regularly through the 1910s and 1920s under the direction of Arthur Claassen and Julien Paul Blitz, but was discontinued at some point. The revived San Antonio Symphony was formed by musical director Max Reiter in 1939. The ensemble quickly grew to be the only "major" professional orchestra in Texas. The Symphony was led from 1950 to 1976 by Victor Alessandro; during this time, the Young People's Concert series established and the symphony began recording performances with Mercury Records. Alessandro was succeeded as director by François H. Huybrechts (1978-1980), Lawrence Leighton Smith (1980-1985), Christopher Wilkins (1992-2000), Larry Rachleff (2004-2008), and Sebastian Lang-Lessing (2010-2020). The Symphony has suffered recurring financial difficulties from the 1980s through present day, including a bankruptcy cancelling the 2003-2004 season. Prominent musicians who have been members of the San Antonio Symphony include Robert L. Annis (clarinet, 1971-1973), Franz Benteler (violin, 1946-1947), Maximilian Dimoff (bass, 1990-1993), Julius Hegyi (violin, 1948-1951), Eugene Lacritz (clarinet, 1952-1958), Eric Rosenblith (violin, 1952-1955), Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio (violin, 1994-2007), Mark Sparks (flute, 1985-1987), Daniel Stolper (oboe, 1959-1964), Donald Wilerstein (violin, 1963-1964), and Clifton Williams (horn, 1949-1966).

Armstrong Family

  • Famille
  • 1852-present

The Armstrong Family is one of South Texas's oldest families. In 1852, James H. Durst purchased 92,000 acres out of the La Baretta Spanish land grant from the descendants of the Balli Family. Durst fought in the Texas Revolution, was a Texas Ranger, served as a State Senator and prospered in his mercantile business in Rio Grande City. He died young and his widow, Mary Durst, was forced to sell the ranch. Two attorneys arranged the sale but Mary Durst never received payment. Her daughter Mary Helena ("Mollie") married John B. Armstrong III in 1878. Armstrong pursued the case, eventually taking legal action and gained clear title of the land for the Durst Family in 1904. John B. Armstrong was born in Tennessee; he arrived in Texas in 1872 and purchased large tracts of land in South Texas to raise cattle in Jim Hogg, Kleberg, and Cameron Counties. Armstrong was a member of the Texas Rangers and is best known for arresting John Wesley Hardin, a notorious bandit. By 1882 the Armstrong ranch was 50,000 acres. Mollie died of rabies in 1897. Following generations managing the ranch included Charles Armstrong, Tom Armstrong, and then Charles' son, Tobin Armstrong.

Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879

  • LCNAF n 50037006
  • Personne
  • 1803-1879

Jacob Abbott was born in Hallowell, Maine, on November 14, 1803. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1820. He studied at Andover Theological Seminary from 1821 to 1824. Abbott taught at Amherst College from 1825-1829, before founding the Mount Vernon School for Young Ladies in Boston in 1829. He also founded Abbott's Institute in 1843 and the Mount Vernon School for Boys in 1845. In addition to his work in education, Abbott was licensed to preach by the Hampshire Association of the Congregational Church, and was the pastor of the Eliot Congregational Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Abbott was the author of juvenile fiction and religious books, authoring one hundred and eighty books during his career. The most popular were his "Rollo" series. Abbott married Harriet Vaughan in 1829 and had four sons: Benjamin, Edward, Austin, and Lyman. He died in Farmington, Maine, in 1879.

Adamson, William Bluford

  • Personne
  • 1904-1973

William Bluford Adamson was born in Prairie Grove, Texas, on January 24, 1904. His grandparents were Reverend William Paxton Gillespie and Mary Catherine "Kate" Gillespie, faculty members at Trinity University when it was founded in 1869. His parents, Pearl Gillespie and Frederick Richmond Adamson, met as students at Trinity in the late 1800s. William had a brother, F. Lawrence Adamson, and a sister, Mary Catherine Adamson Bynum. Adamson married Lucile Larsen, a nurse, in 1929; she passed away in 1959. His second wife, Sadie Lucille, passed away in 2009.

Adamson graduated from Trinity University in 1924, and attended medical school at Vanderbilt University. Following internships at Vanderbilt University Hospital and Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, he settled in Abilene, Texas, where he opened a cardiology office in 1929. Adamson served as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force during World War II. After his service, he continued to practice medicine in Abilene until 1968. Adamson served as president of the Taylor Jones County Medical Society, a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He was the recipient of the Gold Headed Cane award from the Taylor Jones County Medical Society in 1963 and the Paul V. Ledbetter Award in 1973. His widow Sadie established the William B. and Sadie L. Adamson Charities Foundation to support arts groups in Abilene.

Gillespie, Mary Catherine Bradley

  • Personne
  • 1836-1922

Mary Catherine Bradley was born November 21, 1836 in Paducah, Kentucky, the daughter of Reverend Collins Johnson Bradley, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, and Judith "Julia" McDonald Totten Bradley. Her mother died when she was a young child, and her father remarried. The family lived for some time in Tennessee. By 1858 the family had moved to Paris, Texas, where she worked as a music teacher. Better known as Kate, she married the Reverend William Paxton Gillespie, a widower and professor at Trinity University, in July 1869, and moved to Tehuacana. Rev. Gillespie had four children from his first wife: Mickia, Jimmie, Connie, and Carrie. Kate had two daughters: Minnie Gillespie (1872-1874) and Pearl Gillespie Adamson (1875-1948). Kate taught instrumental music at Trinity University from 1869 through 1874. Kate died in Waxahachie, Texas, in 1922.

Smith, Logan Pearsall, 1865-1946

  • LCNAF n 50013294
  • Personne
  • 1865-1946

Logan Pearsall Smith was born October 18, 1865 in Millville, New Jersey. His parents, Robert Pearsall Smith (1827-1898) and Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911), were prominent Quaker evangelists. He had two sisters: Alys Pearsall Smith, suffrage activist and first wife of philosopher Bertrand Russell, and art historian Mary Berenson. Smith attended the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, Haverford College, Harvard College, and the University of Berlin, before graduating from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1891. Smith remained in England after graduating, and became a British subject in 1913. For most of his life he resided in Chelsea, sharing a home with his mother and his sister Alys. While popular in British literary and social circles, Smith never married. He died in London on March 2, 1946, at the age of 80 years old.

A "man of letters," Smith published his first book, "The Youth of Parnassus and Other Stories" in 1895. He followed this work with three issues of a review entitled "The Golden Urn," printed in 1897 and 1898. His first book of aphorisms, "Trivia," was privately printed in 1902, and republished in 1918. Subsequent volumes of "More Trivia" and "Afterthoughts" were published in 1921 and 1931, respectively. Other works by Smith include "The Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton" (1907), "The English Language" (1912), "Words and Idioms" (1925), "The Prospects of Literature" (1927), "On Reading Shakespeare" (1933), "Reperusals and Re-Collections" (1936), the autobiographical "Unforgotten Years" (1938), "Milton and His Critics" (1940), and "A Religious Rebel" (published posthumously, 1949), an edited volume of his mother's letters. Smith also edited several anthologies. In 1919, Smith founded the Society for Pure English with poet Robert Bridges, and penned several tracts for that group.

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