SAN ANTONIO – Known as the “Angel of the Alamo”, Adina De Zavala was one of several Tejanas who fought to preserve San Antonio’s history at all costs.
Adina was born in 1861, south of Houston where the Battle of San Jacinto happened.
“She was destined to be a not only a teacher, but a teacher of history,” Rudi Rodruiguez, president and founder of Texastejano.com, said.
Rodriguez said Adina was born into a family with rich heritage, spirit and legacy.
Her grandfather, Don Lorenzo De Zalvala, was the first Vice-President of the Republic of Texas.
He said she was blessed to have the same energy and leadership skills her grandfather had and she used those skills to teach others around her.
Adina began her education at the first Catholic school in Texas, the Ursuline Academy in Galveston.
Later in 1881, she received a “teaching certificate” at what is now Sam Houston State University -- eventually making her way to San Antonio to teach.
“We found in her archives her certificate to teach at the San Antonio independent school,” Rodriguez said.
However, once Adina arrived in San Antonio, she started focusing on the historic missions and found them falling apart.
She focused on one mission in particular -- the Alamo.
She noticed the city had not improved the chapel structure and its ownership did not include the “Convento” also known as the long barracks.
When the owner of the “Convento” announced he wanted to sell it to developers, Ms. Adina put up a fight that would later be dubbed “The second battle of the Alamo.”
Rodriguez said “this really captured her interest and it was important to her to preserve it, conserve it for generations to come.”