San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History Page: 52
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SAN ANTONIO DE BEXAR.
1852 when the folly was ripe another committee which had been similarly ap-
pointed " to decide the manner of selling the City property" reported to the
Council that they had chosen Martin H. Campbell licensed auctioneer to sell the
City lands by public outcry. To Giraud's everlasting credit be it said, that he saw
the mistake that was about to be made and the wrong that would
eventually revert upon the. City, and to a meeting of the Council on
November 8th, 1852, he presented a report * which was adopted strongly
advising the reservation of certain lots at the Head of the River to the
use of the City. He thought it would be a good place for the U. S. Arsenal and
other public works. Whilst he was on the subject he wished also to recommend
that a Square be kept at the San Pedro Springs for "a male college." Also that
certain hard stone quarries on the City properties be not sold, and the wise Engi-
neer continues to beg the Honorable Body to reserve and make a road upon the
east bank of the river, twenty varas wide, also a similar road on the east side of
the Alamo Madre ditch, " as near the river and ditch as they may be placed con-
sistently with public interests." But alas ! on that very day, November 8th,
1852. Lot 31, Range 1, District No. 2, containing ll / acres had been sold
by the auctioneer upon the usual terms, 20 per cent. cash down, the rest in fifty
years bearing interest at 8 per cent. per annum, for the sum of $820. Also
lot 30, same Range and District containing 12 ,100 same terms, for the sum of
$655,--both to Alderman J. R. Sweet. Lot 31 is the land upon which was
erected the old Sweet Homestead, and the lot upon which the fine residence of
Mr. Brackenridge now stands adjoining it. These lots were the nucleus of that
most desirable property that is generally known as the "old Sweet place," with-
out doubt one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, places in Texas, its
woodland grace and parklike beauty so heightened by the perpetual mystery of
its profound and noble springs. This is the Head of the River. There are other
fine properties in this neighborhood with exceptional water advantages and privi-
leges, but this property was really the key to the situation, the Ojo de Agua, the
birthright of the city. The "Sweet place" included besides the two already men-
tioned, five other lots, originally sold at the same time by the City to various pur
chasers, but all finally acquired by Mr. Sweet by the summer of 1859, and by
him sold on August 29th 1859, to Mr. G. W. Barnes, of Savanah, Ga. These
other lots were Nos. 30 and 31, Range 1, District 3; something over twenty acres
apiece sold by the City to Francois Marchant, Marchant and City to Sweet
through the sheriff. Lets Nos. 28 and 29, Range 1, District 2, sold by the City to
T. J. Devine, Nov. 8th, 1852, by Devine to O'Hara, by O'Hara to Sweet. Lot
32, Range 1, District No. 2, sold by the City to Geo. M. Martin, by Martin to
Sweet in 1859. These seven original City lots formed the "Sweet property" and
this, G. W. Barnes owned for just ten years when he sold it to Mrs. Isabella H.
Brackenridge, September 15th 1869. It is now owned by Mr. Geo. W. Bracken-
ridge, the well known banker and president of our Water Works, who has by
many improvements, additions and wise investment, made it what it is to-day--
an invaluable possession. If the story of our City's negligence and folly had
* It would be interesting to hear what good the adoption of this Report ever did for the City of San
Antonio, and further to learn why the members of the Honorable Body themselves paid so little heed or respect
to its purport. And was it not this same question which so agitated the honest soul of our good Alderman
Mackey, some two years ago. ?
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Corner, William. San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History, book, 1890; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143549/m1/98/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.