If you live on E. Guenther, did you know that in 1880’s, your street was named Ewell? I didn’t until I was searching through the 1882 City Directory trying to locate August Biesenbach, the builder of our house.

I found him alright, but he was living at the corner of King William and Ewell Streets. By 1889, the Guenther Mill family had evidently prevailed to have the street name changed to Guenther. Also, the 1889 map shows that S. Alamo was called Mill Street and Sheridan was named Lee Street. Even earlier, in the 1870’s, Sheridan was called Chabot, named for the Chabot family who lived on the corner at Madison Street.

The 1889 map shows Vine Street running along the north side of Bonham Elementary, which is now a parking lane for the school. S. St. Mary’s was Garden Street and Durango was Victoria Street. On a 1909 map, the lower three blocks of Cedar from where it jogs near Claudia was called Henrietta and Eagleland was of course called Temple Street.

Most historians seem to agree that Ernst Altgelt gave King William Street its name in honor of the Prussian ruler, Wilhelm I. The street name was changed to Pershing during WWI, in the interest of political correctness, no doubt. In spite of what you may overhear the tour guides say, the street was never named Kaiser Wilhelm Street.

Bill Cogburn