Menger Hotel
The Menger Hotel, located in downtown San Antonio, Texas, was built beginning in 1858 by German immigrant William Menger, as an expansion of his boarding house business and adjunct to his brewery. Immediately successful, a 40-room extension was started before the initial building was completed in January 1859, 23 years after the fall of the adjacent Alamo. By the 1870s, the Menger was the best-known hotel in the southwest. The hotel is mentioned in several times in the works of O Henry, and hosted Ulysses S. Grant in 1880. It hosted Theodore Roosevelt at least 3 times, most notably in 1898 when he used the bar to recruit Rough Riders, who fought in Cuba in the Spanish-American War. The Menger was San Antonio's most popular hotel throughout the 19th Century. Other notable guests have included Robert E. Lee, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mae West, Babe Ruth, Oscar Wilde, Lillie Langtry and others were known to frequent the bar and hotel, which was periodically enlarged and remodelled to accommodate more guests. In 1876, the first public demonstration of barbed wire ever was held outside the Menger and orders taken afterwards inside. In 1885, Richard King, the south Texas entrepreneur and founder of the King Ranch, died at the Menger. In 1907, the San Antonio section of the National Council of Jewish Women was organized at the Menger. In the late 1920s the hotel was acquired by Galveston banker and insurance man, William Lewis Moody, Jr., who added it to his portfolio of hotels under the National Hotel Company. The hotel also holds the unofficial title of "The Most Haunted Hotel in Texas." The Menger claims to host 32 different spirits including Richard King and Sallie White, a maid at the Menger who was murdered by her husband and buried at the hotel's expense. The Menger is currently owned by Galveston, Texas-based 1859 Historic Hotels, Inc.