The Place: The St. Anthony
Location: 300 E Travis St / San Antonio, TX / 78205. View a Google Map.
Noted As: The hotel is noted as the site of the first meeting of the Texas League of Women Voters, as well as being one of the most modern and glamorous hotels of the early 20th century.
On October 19, 1919, the Texas League of Women Voters held its first meeting at the posh St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio.
The newly-formed League, the Texas chapter of a national organization founded by suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt, was the post-ratification iteration of the recently dissolved Texas Equal Suffrage Association.
The purpose of the League was to provide education and resources to encourage voting participation among women, as well as to promote further enfranchisement of women in public affairs. Jessie Daniel Ames, a suffrage leader from Georgetown, was named as the organization’s first president.
On the left: Image from the Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Newspapers around the state gave extensive coverage to the League’s formation. From the San Antonio Express: “With the ending of the ninth annual convention of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association…a new era has dawned for the women of Texas. Instead of an organization struggling for equality, the women of the State are banded into an organization which, in future, will no doubt wield tremendous political influence. The organization will be known as the League of Women Voters.”
On the left: The San Antonio Express, October 12, 1919. From the Texas Newspaper Archives.
The San Antonio Evening News described the League’s formation as the birth of a “new political power.”
On the left: The San Antonio Evening News, October 10, 1919. From the Texas Newspaper Archives.
By the way, you can still visit the beautiful (and recently renovated) St. Anthony Hotel today. It’s one of San Antonio’s cultural treasures, as well as a designated building on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more about the hotel’s fascinating history here.
The historic St. Anthony Hotel today. Image from Marriot.