In the early 1970s, Mary Burkholder, with the help of photographer Graham Knight, produced and published two books: The King William Area, A History and Guide to the Houses and Down the Acequia Madre. Miss Burkholder, a retired schoolteacher, was a passionate student of local history, particularly that of her own King William neighborhood.
In an age before computers and the Internet, Mary spent untold hours in a musty basement at the County Courthouse with no air conditioning, poring over old, dusty deed records to establish chains of ownership to each and every house. She went house by house, street by street from one end of the original Historic District to the other and when she finished that, she started her second book doing the same with the houses in the newer part of the Historic District to the east of S. Alamo. Next, she went to the County Library and searched through a hundred years of City Directories to find out who lived in those houses.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mary for her tireless work, never seeking personal gain but simply doing something to satisfy her own curious mind and to preserve the history of her beloved neighborhood. In her will, she generously bequeathed all of the rights to her books to KWA.
- Bill Cogburn