By Marilyn Mcadams Sibley
George W. Brackenridge (1832–1920) used to be a paradox to his fellow Texans. A Republican in a solidly Democratic kingdom, a financier in a cattleman's kingdom, a Prohibitionist within the goodtime city of San Antonio, he committed his energies to creating a fortune basically to offer it to philanthropic causes.
Indiana born, Brackenridge got here to Texas in 1853, yet left the country in the course of the Civil warfare to function U.S. Treasury agent and have interaction within the wartime cotton exchange. Later he settled in San Antonio, the place he based a financial institution and invested in railroads, utilities, and different enterprises.
Some of Brackenridge's contemporaries by no means forgave him for his Civil struggle occupation, yet others knew him as a public-spirited citizen, educator, and recommend of civil rights. He cared little for what others considered him. but, he confided as soon as in an extraordinary interview that his fondest ambition was once to go away the area a greater position for his having lived in it. To this finish, he gave generously of himself and his means.
His best-known benefaction is Brackenridge Park, which he gave to town of San Antonio, yet so much of his contributions have been within the box of schooling. As regent of the collage of Texas for greater than twenty-five years, he gave the establishment its first dormitory, a wide tract of land in Austin, and innumerable smaller presents. He additionally provided to underwrite the charges of the college whilst Governor James E. Ferguson vetoed the appropriation invoice for 1917–1919.
Other academic associations to profit from his largess have been the general public colleges of San Antonio, a Negro university in Seguin, and the college of Texas scientific department at Galveston. additionally, he assisted person scholars, in particular girls, via scholarships and loans.
Believing that the betterment of humanity lay in schooling, Brackenridge prepared for the continuation of his philanthropies. by way of his will he created the George W. Brackenridge starting place, the 1st of its type in Texas and one of many first within the United States.
Marilyn McAdams Sibley's research of George W. Brackenridge is the 1st biography of a tremendous and, for his time, strange Texan. It offers new fabric about the Mexican cotton alternate throughout the Civil battle, at the beginnings of banking in Texas, and on better schooling in Texas.
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