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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Twohig House

 
 
Twohig House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2018
1. Twohig House Marker
Inscription.
Irish immigrant John Twohig built his house here on the San Antonio River in the late 1840s. A suspended footbridge connected the house with his business on the opposite side of the river. Twohig became known as the “breadline banker” for his practice of distributing loaves of bread to needy residents. After his death in 1891, the house was sold and put to various uses including a Mexican restaurant. The San Antonio Public Service Company built its headquarters on part of the property in 1921 and planted a garden surrounding the Twohig house. Threatened with demolition in 1941, the house was dismantled, moved, and reassembled on the river behind the Witte Museum in Brackenridge Park north of downtown.
 
Location. 29° 25.511′ N, 98° 29.493′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker can be reached from North St. Mary's Street 0.1 miles north of West Crocket Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located on the San Antonio River Walk, on the north side of the river, below the St. Mary's Street Bridge crossing just north of Crocket Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 North St. Mary's Street, San Antonio TX 78205, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Twin Cypress Mexican Sniper Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); San Antonio's River Walk and Flood Control System (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Mary's Institute
Twohig House Marker (<i>tall view; showing access stairwell from North St. Mary's Street</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2018
2. Twohig House Marker (tall view; showing access stairwell from North St. Mary's Street)
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); San Antonio River Walk (about 400 feet away); Perote Prisoners (about 400 feet away); John Twohig Lived on These Grounds (about 500 feet away); Old San Antonio National Bank Building (about 500 feet away); Majestic Theatre (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Antonio.
 
Also see . . .
1. Photo of the San Antonio River & John Twohig's house. This link presents a photo of the San Antonio River, with John Twohig's house. A wooden foot bridge spans the river. The rectangular structure in the lower right corner is a fabric covered bathhouse. (Submitted on July 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. John Twohig. After serving as an apprentice on a British merchant vessel and engaging in coastwise trade between New Orleans and Boston, John Twohig established a mercantile business in San Antonio, Texas, in 1830. At the time of the Adrián Woll invasion of San Antonio in 1842, Twohig blew up his store to keep ammunition from the enemy. Captured and taken to Mexico, he and fourteen other San Antonians held in Perote Prison cut a tunnel and effected their escape in 1843. In the years prior to the Civil War he amassed a large personal fortune. His banking business declined because of the effects of the war, but soon recovered.
Marker detail: John Twohig’s house image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy: Witte Museum, San Antonio
3. Marker detail: John Twohig’s house
John Twohig’s house, seen on the left, was across the river from the back of his bank that faced on Commerce Street. Twohig shortened his walk to work by constructing a small footbridge between the buildings.
In 1870 Twohig was among the 100 wealthiest men in Texas. (Submitted on July 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. John Twohig: Breadline Banker. The Twohig house stood beside the river, across from the present St. Mary’s church, which he attended regularly. St. Mary’s, founded in 1857, was called by some the “American church,” the “English church,” or the “Irish church.” It was established for the English-speaking San Antonians, but, until St. Joseph’s Church was built in 1868 for the Germans, they also attended St. Mary’s. Twohig, known fondly in San Antonio as “the breadline banker” for his practice of buying bread by the barrel and handing out loaves to poor families at his home each Saturday, was quick to give money to those in need. (Submitted on July 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Marker detail: John Twohig's house, 1929 image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy: Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio, 1929
4. Marker detail: John Twohig's house, 1929
The Twohig house is seen in this picture as it appeared in 1929 after the first river beautification project was completed. John Twohig built the tall stone wall to protect his property after the flood of 1868.
Marker detail: City Public Service building image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy: CPS Energy, San Antonio
5. Marker detail: City Public Service building
The City Public Service headquarters building was completed in 1921 as a three-story structure. It was enlarged to six stories in 1927, and a parking garage was added in 1952. The building was converted to a hotel in 1998.
Twohig House Marker (<i>wide view looking east; St. Mary's Street Bridge in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2018
6. Twohig House Marker (wide view looking east; St. Mary's Street Bridge in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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