If you’ve ever been to Texas, did you visit the Alamo?
The historic compound was founded in the 18th century and was the site of the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution, making it an important part of Texas history.
But did you know that in the early 1900s, it was almost torn down and turned into a hotel? That could’ve happened if it wasn’t for Clara Driscoll, a Texas preservationist who stepped in to save it.
Clara was born in Refugio County, Texas, in 1881. She had a family background loyal to her home state, as her grandfather had fought in the Battle of San Jacinto.
She was extremely well educated and attended several schools, including a school for girls in New York City and a finishing school in France.
After returning to Texas from Europe, Clara had a newfound appreciation for preserving historical buildings and monuments. At this point, the Alamo was in rough shape.
The state of Texas had purchased the Alamo’s chapel, but the rest of the grounds weren’t being cared for, although it was where the famous battle had taken place. Clara believed the Alamo was “the shrine of Texas Independence,” and she wanted to make sure it would be around for much longer.
Determined to save the historic landmark, Clara joined the Daughters of the Republic of Texas organization, which had a similar mission. She paid tens of thousands of dollars of her own money and helped the Daughters of the Republic of Texas hold events to raise funds to buy and protect the Alamo.
Clara and the organization’s efforts were successful. In 1905, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas were named the official custodian group of the Alamo, and Clara was reimbursed for what she spent on it. For the rest of her life, Clara would advocate for the preservation of the Alamo and fought anyone or any group who tried to change it.