Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO, a city of the United States, incorporated in 1873, the county-seat of Bexar (Bejar) county and the principal centre of western Texas, is situated in the fertile plain watered by the head-streams of the San Antonio river, which, after a course of 200 miles, falls into the Gulf of Mexico at Espiritu Santo Bay. It is an important junction for several of the Texan railways, lying on the main routes from the States to Mexico, 153 miles north of the frontier at Laredo. San Antonio proper, or the business part of the city, lies between the San Antonio and the San Pedro, and has been nearly all rebuilt since 1860. Chihuahua (formerly San Antonio de Valero), west of the San Pedro, is still almost exclusively Mexican; and Alamo, on somewhat higher ground to the east of the San Antonio, is largely inhabited by Germans. The total population of the city was in 1870 12,256 (1957 coloured) and 20,550 (3036) in 1880. Newspapers are published in English, German, and Spanish. Flour, beer, meat-extract, ice, candles, and soap are the local manufactures.
On the site of Chihuahua a fort, San Fernando, was erected by the Spaniards in 1714, and four years later the mission of the Alamo (poplar tree) was established in its vicinity. Both fort and mission were afterwards transferred to the other side of the San Pedro, the fort taking the name of the mission, which was thus destined to become famous in the Texan war, when in 1836 a garrison attacked by a superior Mexican force perished rather than surrender. German immigration began about 1845.