Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Piece of History - Mary Catherine Hall and Pralines

This is another thrifting adventure inspired by Lets Go Thrifting.  Her #vintage #photograph collection and posts have inspired me to delve into the #history behind pictures. 

I went #thrifting at the New 2 You Resale Store over the weekend and picked up a framed picture for just such an adventure.  Surprisingly the picture that I zoned in on made a complete circle to one of my favorite treats.  First of all; the picture appears to be a photo copy of a drawing rather than an original photograph; but that's ok, the history behind it is very interesting.  And... there was a second picture behind it which will be much more challenging.   The purchase I made provided one meal to one senior on the Meals on Wheels of Comal County program.  I am happy and proud to give them my support.

Enter "Mary Catherine Hall" - See the caption on the picture below?

Mary Catherine Hall
Westmoorland College
The Attractive Home of One Hundred and Twenty Girls

I felt compelled to research this beautiful building.  What I read was written by Frances Donecker on The Texas State Historical Association website. 

"SAN ANTONIO FEMALE COLLEGE. On September 6, 1894, Dr. J. E. Harrison, with the aid of his wife and her sister, Miss Sara Walton, opened San Antonio Female College. Twelve students were in attendance. In 1890 the West End Town Company granted a tract of land to be used for a woman's college, and the West Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which was sponsoring the school, accepted the offer. The charter for the school was granted in 1898. The curriculum emphasized literature, and the school also offered devotional exercises and Bible study. In 1912–13 the catalog announced that the "college has the authority to confer Bachelor of Arts degrees," but in 1914 the school conferred only bachelor of literature, "mistress of literature," and bachelor of music degrees and diplomas in art, expression, physical training, Sunday school and Bible, violin, voice, and business training. In 1916 the college was recognized by the University of Texas as a junior college. The name was changed to Westmoorland College in 1918 and to the University of San Antonio in 1937. In 1942 the institution passed out of Methodist control, and the University of San Antonio was merged with Trinity University."... copied.

This is where the story gets more interesting (to me at least).  I learned that one of my favorite treats was made by the company founded by a student of this college. What is the treat? "Aunt Aggie De's" Pralines. And what's even more ironic is that I picked up one of these pralines the day before I began my research. How amazing is that?  The last amazing piece of this historical research; is that Eleanor Beauchamp Harren resided in the hall pictured above during her stay at college.  Read her story here.  I can't help but wonder if this beautiful building is still standing.  I wasn't able to find that information just yet.

Yummmm, I can't wait go wrap my tastebuds around this treat.

"Aunt Aggie De's" Pralines
#pralines #auntaggiedes
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