KWA Newsletter Articles

This article is inspired by past issues of the King Association newsletter, beginning in November 1967.  Its purpose is to inform newer neighbors and remind those who have been here awhile of how the King William Area has evolved through the years.

References and comments are from those issues containing “news” items that seem, to this writer, to show the development of the King William neighborhood or merely to show how some things are unique to an historic district. The series starts with comments taken from the November 1967 newsletter about the first King William Association meeting held in October 1967.  Articles will continue, but will not in every issue of the newsletter. 

DECEMBER 1972 - The King William Home Tour and Fair were held jointly.  The Tour netted $394.74, and the Fair $378.00.

SEPTEMBER 1973 - King William Association dues were raised to $3.00 to balance the newsletter mailing budget.  The San Antonio River Authority began design work for flood control improvements between Johnson and Nueva Streets.  

Julius Joske brought his family from Germany to San Antonio in 1873 and started a mercantile store near Alamo Plaza, which he named J. Joske.  By the 1970s, his chain of department stores had become Joske’s of Texas.  His store in San Antonio was perhaps the most popular store in the city.

In 1892, Julius’s son, Alexander, bought the property at 241 King William for $9,000.  There was a stone house on the site built by Thomas Wren

Albert Steves built his new home at 504 King William Street in 1883 just in time for his marriage to Fanny Baetz.  The Alfred Giles designed house, built at a cost of $9,625, was located directly across the street from his parents, Edward and Johanna Steves.  Albert was associated with his father and brother in the lumber business.  Over the years, Albert Steves held many important positions in the city of San Antonio – mayor and vice president of two different banks. 

It is with mixed emotions that I announce that our Executive Director, Cherise Bell, has decided to leave the King William Association to take on a new position where she will continue her passion for preservation and restoration.  

Cherise was the KWA’s first ED when she was hired in May 2012.  She has done a remarkable job over the last five years taking a wholly volunteer organization and transforming it into a truly professionally-run nonprofit.  She professionalized the organization’s procedures, operations, membership interaction, and community and government relations.

Our hands make us human.  We are different, for both good and bad, from all the other living things on our Earth, because of what we can do with our hands.  True, our simian brethren can make and use simple tools, but I doubt the average silverback gorilla is going to engrave treasury notes or sculpt the next David. 

The difference lies in our ability to do very fine work emphasizing highly sensitive control of pressure applied by our fingers and the ability to grasp and manipulate very small objects like engraving tools, bobbins and thread for lace making, rosin-coated bows and micro-surgical tools.

On October 6, several neighbors joined our plant swap, bringing an abundance of at least 30 different types of plants to share with fellow plant lovers. Thanks to everyone's generosity,  we were able to leave several in front of the KWA office with a "Free Plants" sign.  They were all gone by the next morning. Our next event is planned for spring, so stay tuned for details.

 - Angela Martinez 

To celebrate the King William Association’s 50th anniversary, two Christmas ornaments were created.  The ceramic ornament is from a Caroline Shelton 1977 watercolor print and costs $10.  The metal ornament was designed by Mike Schroeder using a window hood from 323 Adams Street and costs $20.  

Come by the King William office to purchase.  Your support is appreciated!

Dear King William Friends,

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the cooler weather.  It’s always a great time to be in San Antonio as the summer heat gives way to the arrival of fall and its mild temperatures.  For many, this change in weather allows folks to enjoy the outdoors and take care of projects that were delayed until triple-digit temperatures became a distant memory. 

In 2014, KWA staff contacted the City’s office of Transportation and Capital Improvements to discuss how to get the streets repaired in the “Fair Zone” so that they would be in excellent shape for the 50th Fair.  Staff met with City representatives several times to discuss the issues.  

In 2015, staff again met with City representatives and drove around King William streets with them to discuss drainage and road conditions.  The city agreed that the streets needed to be fixed.  A formal letter was written and the KWA president met with Councilman Treviño to present the facts regarding the condition of the streets, drainage issues, that it has been decades since the streets were repaired; additionally, King William is a highly visited tourist destination, and the condition of our streets should be improved to reflect that.  

A new District 1 Zoning Commissioner, Sophia Lopez, has been named by Councilman Treviño.  She may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The countdown to our 2018 King William Fair is on (less than six months to go!) and applications are currently being accepted online for the vendor, entertainer and parade opportunities listed below.  Visit our website for more details at kwfair.org.  

Application Deadline 

  • Art & Craft Vendors, December 15, 2017
  • Entertainers, December 15, 2017
  • Food Vendors, February 2, 2018
  • Parade Participants, February 7, 2018
  • Kids Kingdom Vendors, February 7, 2018

- Syeira Budd, Fair Manager

In July 2007, Keith and I moved back to San Antonio when he retired from private practice and accepted a clinical professorship at the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School.  We bought a house in the suburbs and started our life in SA!

After two years in the suburbs, Keith asked me if we could sell the house and move “downtown.”  I agreed and we sold the house in THREE days!  So, having to move in a hurry, we found St. Benedict’s Lofts and moved in the day before Thanksgiving, November 2009.  

The KWA awarded The Cannoli Fund a community grant for 2017-2018 that will help fund two programs of our animal welfare group that works in greater King William and Lavaca.  

One of the programs is new: SOS: Save Our Strays.  Our organization does not rescue stray animals itself, but provides advice, access to resources and financial assistance for neighbors who do.  Stray dogs and cats have roamed the streets of King William for decades.  In the past, our Cannolicare program, which provides financial assistance for major veterinary care, has supported neighbors rescuing these animals.  Although Cannolicare officially provides $400 per animal towards veterinary care, we have often increased that amount to help save strays that suffer from at least one serious and costly medical condition, like heartworm disease.  

On September 12, COSA’s Development Services Department (DSD) hosted its second Tree Discussion meeting with stakeholders and customers.  At the meeting, City Arborist Mark Bird reviewed the outcome of the recently completed Special Session of the Texas Legislature, previous topics from the first Tree Discussion meeting and current topics of interest related to DSD processes for implementation of the tree and landscape ordinances. 

These are the stories of the houses, their beginnings and who built them, and something of the people who lived there throughout the years; for a house is but an empty shell without some tale of those who made it a home.

Exquisite photographs of each house in the neighborhood are supplemented with short histories and architectural descriptions. The book serves equally well as a coffee table decoration, a guide to the houses or interesting historical reading.

For over forty years, scholars, historians, tourists and especially King William neighbors have relied on the 1970s edition of The King William Area for reference, guidance and entertainment, this edition  updates, corrects and expands the original.

Perfect binding  8 ½ by 11 inches with 162 pages

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Neighborhood Archaeologist Spies Possible Acequia Remnant

The Pajalache or Concepcion acequia path is under S. St Mary’s Street, according to research and a map created by the late Waynne Cox.  It began at the San Antonio River’s bend at La Villita and extended past Mission Concepcion.  

SAWS excavated a utility trench across S. St. Mary’s that may have exposed a remnant of the acequia.  SAWS normally schedules such work with the City’s Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) so that OHP can monitor the excavations to record any historic features that might be encountered, but emergency work often does not get listed with OHP.  

Dear Neighbors,

With our newly elected board, we are off to a great start.  I am honored to be re-elected as your President and am excited about serving you for another year.  I want to thank those Board members who are stepping down for your hard work and contributions to the Association and the community.  Your presence on the board will be missed, but we hope you will remain involved! 

This past year was a busy one with several accomplishments including:

For many years, the King William Association has been proud to award grants to schools and nonprofit organizations in the King William area.  The mission of the Association is to promote its residents’ educational, cultural and recreational pursuits, as well as to preserve the neighborhood’s historic structures and the diversity of its people.  

In an annual competitive process, organizations submit a grant application outlining their missions and goals, describing the program or project for which funding is requested and how such funding will address the needs of the organization, and explaining how their project fulfills the Association’s mission. 

If you’ve ever needed a first responder in an emergency, you know how helpful they can be.  What do you know about our own fire department?

The SAFD consists of 51 fire stations and 1800 uniformed and civilian employees.  First responders provide service to well over 1 million citizens and visitors within a response area covering over 460 square miles. SAFD responded to over 167,000 emergency incidents in 2015 with medical emergencies accounting for more than 80 percent of total calls.  Through careful resource management, the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) has one of the lowest response times and property damage rate for cities of comparable size.