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Witte Memorial Museum opens


On this day in 1926, the Witte Memorial Museum opened in San Antonio. The museum was largely the brainchild of Ellen D. Schulz Quillin, who helped start the San Antonio Museum Association and raised $5,000 to purchase Henry Philemon Attwater's collection of natural history specimens. She initially stored the collection at Main Avenue High School, where she was a science teacher, but successfully petitioned the city for a site and funds for a museum to showcase the collection and others like it. The building was constructed with public funds and a $65,000 bequest to the city from local businessman Alfred G. Witte, who stipulated that a museum be built in Brackenridge Park in memory of his parents. The facility was known as the Witte Memorial Museum until 1984, when the name was simplified to Witte Museum. The San Antonio Museum of Art, which opened with much fanfare in 1981 in a former brewery, was originally an outgrowth of the Witte.

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