CASINO CLUB. The Casino Club, San Antonio's first social club and theater, originated from meetings of twenty Germans who gathered for conversation and sociability in 1854. The club was chartered in 1857, with a membership of 106 men-all German Texans. The club's building on Market Street, formally opened in 1858, had on its west side a bar with skat tables and reading room, in the center a ballroom that could be converted into a theater with a stage and balcony, and on the east side a salon and lounge. Commissioned army officers stationed in San Antonio were honorary guests. The names of generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant appear on the guest list. The club was open daily to its members; a monthly entertainment (usually a concert or an amateur play followed by a dance or hop) was provided for the families. The New Year's Ball was a formal affair with supper and champagne. The children had their Kinderball and Maskenball. Revenue was collected from the rental of the theater. Many leading actors, stock companies, entertainers, and lecturers engaged it. The Casino Club had existed sixty-nine years when its building was sold in 1923. Its reputation as a social center was famous, with its old German flavor and European traditions. Fathers reserved memberships for their sons and formally introduced their daughters. In 1946 the organization was exclusively a man's club. There were Casino Clubs listed in the San Antonio telephone directory into the early 1960s.
San Antonio Express, February 24, 1924. Adolf Paul Weber, Deutsche Pioniere: zur Geschichte des Deutschthums in Texas (San Antonio, 1894).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Minnie B. Cameron, "Casino Club," accessed May 03, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/vnc01.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on April 11, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles