Hiram H. McLane, horse breeder, was born on January 26, 1820, in Orange County, Indiana, the son of William McLane, who had taken part in the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition. He came to Texas in 1858 and bought a ranch near Helena (now Old Helena) in Karnes County. After the Civil War he moved to San Antonio, where he married Emma E. Hurd of New York. They had one child, who died in infancy. About this time McLane bought the 1,400-acre ranch that is now the site of Alamo Heights, Texas, from Charles Anderson, who had raised sorrel stallions to sell to the army. In addition to maintaining his mining and ranching interests in Mexico, McLane continued to raise and sell horses. On the ranch was an antebellum mansion, where McLane lived for thirty years with his collection of rare books and violins. Only after the property was sold for the Alamo Heights real estate development around 1890 did the house become known as the Argyle Hotel.
McLane's interest in Texas history led him in 1886 to write (from his father's reminiscences) the novel Irene Viesca: A Tale of the Magee Expedition in the Gauchipin War in Texas, A.D. 1812–13. He wrote a play, The Capture of the Alamo (1886), to raise money for a monument on the Alamo grounds. His small booklets on capital and labor, Watchman! What of the Knights? (1886) and The Three Friends and the Proposed Reform (1887), were printed in San Antonio. He died on February 13, 1907, in San Antonio and was buried in the Alamo Masonic Cemetery.