Green, Mary Rowena [Rena] Maverick (1874–1962)

By: Anne Leslie Fenstermaker

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: November 30, 2019

Rena Maverick Green, historian, artist, suffragist, conservationist, and civic leader, daughter of George Madison and Mary Elizabeth Vance Maverick, was born in Sedalia, Missouri, on February 10, 1874, the eldest of six children, including Lucy Madison Maverick. She was educated at Mary Institute, St. Louis, Missouri, and Stuart Hall, Staunton, Virginia. She often visited her grandmother, Mary Ann Adams Maverick, in San Antonio and in 1896 moved with her parents when they returned to live there permanently. In 1897 she married District Judge Robert B. Green; they had four children. In 1907, at the age of thirty-three, she was widowed.

In 1914 Mrs. Green became one of the first women on the San Antonio School Board, and she later served on the board of trustees of the San Antonio Public Library. During World War I, as a member of the City Committee, she successfully pushed for San Antonio's first eight policewomen and first juvenile judge, and opened the first legal aid for the poor. She demonstrated for woman suffrage in Washington, D.C., and as a member of the National Women's Party of Texas worked for state passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. She served as state chairman of that organization in 1926. In 1928 the mayor appointed her chairman of the restoration project of the Spanish Governor's Palace on Military Plaza. She insisted on an authentic restoration. About this time she persuaded the city to hire its first city planner. She singlehandedly saved Martín Perfecto de Cos's house in La Villita from destruction by the City Water Board. In 1924, fulfilling her lifelong goal of conserving the beauty and distinctiveness of San Antonio, she helped found the San Antonio Conservation Society. She served as its president from 1933 to 1935 and was later made honorary life chairman of the Parks, Plazas, Rivers, and All Natural Beauty Committee. She worked with the society to save many important places, including San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, its granary, the San Antonio River, and one of the old aqueducts. She led the fight to save Travis Park from becoming an underground parking lot.

Mrs. Green edited and published her grandmother's memoirs, Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick, 1921; edited and published Samuel A. Maverick, Texan, 1952; edited The Swisher Memoirs, 1932; and wrote Robert B. Green, A Personal Reminiscence, 1962. She was a member of the board of the Yanaguana Society and belonged to the San Antonio Historical Association, Texas State Historical Association, Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and Fort Davis Historical Association. She was also a member of the San Antonio Women's Club. She won an award from the San Antonio Conservation Society for her writing and preservation of the Maverick Ranch, near Boerne. She received honors from the San Antonio Legal Aid Association, Theta Sigma Phi, and the Pioneer Association.

Mrs. Green, a painter, watercolorist, and sculptress, received prizes for her work, including the first prize for watercolor in the Southern Artists Show and first prize in the Texas Small Sculpture Contest. She studied with Charles Martin and Maurice Stern in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in Glouster, Massachusetts, and in San Francisco, California. She was a creative cook of some note, a member of the Democratic party, and a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. She died in San Antonio on November 29, 1962.

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North San Antonio Times, Fiesta Issue, 1982. San Antonio Express, February 6, 1959, November 30, 1962. San Antonio Light, December 2, 1907, September 27, 1959. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Education
  • Board Members
  • Women
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Historians
  • Preservationists
  • Suffragists and Antisuffragists

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anne Leslie Fenstermaker, “Green, Mary Rowena [Rena] Maverick,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 30, 2019

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