Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987 Page: 18
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The Muti Hotel, 106 East Forrest, was built
before 1872 and was commonly referred to as the
Old Hall House. Standing on the porch in 1900
were Alban Adams and his wife Rosalie,
proprietors and parents of well-known and longtime
merchant John Quincy Adams.
In 1880 a new A. Levi Bank, located on the east
side of South Main Street, replaced the earlier
Levi Bank. Nicholas Clayton, who was the most
noted architect in Texas, a Galveston resident,
and friend of the Levi family, designed the
behind St. Mary's and was later disinterred
to a final grave in Evergreen Cemetery,
which is shared with other family
Numerous empresario grants after 1821
opened Mexican Texas to a flow of colonists
from the United States, and with
them came a culture foreign to that
which had only sparsely settled the region.
The religious, economic, and political
traditions of the thousands of English-speaking
settlers who came from
1822 to 1832 provided a complicated, but
clear, set of causes for a successful revolution
and independence by 1836.
Internal Mexican politics pitted Centralistas
against Federalistas, and both
parties found many sympathizers in
Texas. But independence from, rather
than state status within, the Republic of
Mexico resulted from fundamental and,
perhaps, inevitable misunderstandings
that dominated arguments over form of
From the outset of these controversies
Victoria, while never a major site of
battles or revolutionary organization, was
near the center of the Texas Revolution
and became a special target for Mexican
occupation during the war. De Le6n's village
was well known for its republican
leanings. Dissenters and refugees from
Santa Anna's constitutional violations
found Victoria hospitable.
Victorians, some of whom poured bullets
for the troops of Texas revolutionary
leader James W. Fannin, listened to the
gunfire during the Battle of Coleto Creek,
after which most of the survivors were
massacred at Goliad. Mexican troops
then took possession of Victoria. Some
occupied the front rooms of the James
Quinn home. The wife of one officer was
related to a Goliad priest who had baptized
one of the Quinn children, and this
coincidence offered the family protection.
After the Mexican occupation seven
survivors of the Georgia Battalion under
the command of William Ward, which
had been captured at Refugio, arrived
back at Victoria. Three were killed and
buried in Memorial Square, the others
placed under guard. At this point the
Linn home was occupied by Colonel
Telesforo Alavez and his wife Francita
(Panchita), whose efforts saved the lives
of four remaining Texians. Sefiora Alavez,
now known as "the Angel of Goliad"
for her concern for Fannin's men, literally
placed herself between a firing squad and
the prisoners on Market Square.
Twice in 1842, Victoria reacted to the
threat of Mexican invasion. In March
Colonel Clark L. Owen recruited 150
men, armed and anxious, to repel units of
a Mexican force under General Rafael
Vasquez, whose short-lived occupation of
San Antonio ended in withdrawal after
raids in the nearby settlements of Goliad
and Refugio. In July a general meeting
of Victoria's leaders discussed the alternatives
of conceding to Mexican demands,
evacuating, or enlisting aid from
other Texian villages. The last course was
chosen and placed in the hands of a committee
of correspondence instructed to
seek President Sam Houston's assistance.
In spite of Mexican threats and a fearful,
if brief, attack by Comanches in
1840, the decade of the 1840s brought
progress. Prospects along the Guadalupe
River attracted many new settlers,
who built a strong foundation for growth.
John A. Cunningham, Rev. Joel T. Case,
W. S. Glass; Alexander Lowe, John H.
Wood, William T. Mitchell, Edward
McDonnough, Ephraim Pickering, Alexander
H. Phillips, Otto von Roeder, J. B.
Reid, William Ragland, August Wagner,
Robert W. Willoughby, and many others
established well-known family lineages.
The German immigration of the 1840s
was particularly important in the history
of Victoria. Many who had taken passage
under the auspices of Prince SolmsBraunfels'
Adelsverein remained in the
Victoria area, cutting short their intended
trek to the Texas hill country from
Indianola. Thus was added another group
to give Victoria a cosmopolitan character
later amplified by Irish, Czech, Italian,
and Lebanese citizens.
By 1850 Victoria's population had
grown to 1,440 (2,019 in the county.)
This first United States census revealed a
foundation for wealth that would develop
from farming, ranching, banking, general
merchandise, professional services, and
skilled craftsmanship. In these years of
prosperity, additions were made to the list
of influential citizens: Col. S. McCall
Fenner, Rev. James E. Ferguson, R. H.
Coleman, W. L. Callender, A B. Leavitt,
James S. Ferguson, A. B. Peticolas,
Michael Lowery Stoner, Dr. E. H. Smith,
J. C. Warden, and others.
As the United States broke apart on
the issues of land, tariff, railroads, territorial
administration, and slavery, Victoria
prospered. By 1860 the population once
again doubled, with 2,700 in town and
4,171 in the county. Real and personal
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987, periodical, Spring 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45438/m1/18/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.