Last week my husband and I took a field trip to Cooper Street. Otto, Olga, Ida Mae, Ella and Paul all lived on Cooper Street at one time or another. It has lots of charm and vintage houses. It is east of downtown and is slowly being revitalized. I was disappointed in the new square condos that are being built in the area near Cooper Street. I my opinion it totally takes away the charm in the area. The photo is the house at 306 Cooper, where Otto Charles and his family lived and later Ella Wessely. I wonder what it looked like in 1922. I should have done my research before I went because after I got home I discovered this house was built in 1940. So, rather than seeing the actual house I only saw the spot where Otto Charles and his family lived.
I have gathered information from vital records, census records, newspaper articles, and Findagrave. If you know any stories or additional information, please comment. Thanks.
All of the children were born in Kendall County, Texas.
Otto Charles was born on 30 October 1885.
Olga Kathrine was born on 1 March 1888. She married Otto Edward Phillip, Sr. son of Anton Vincent Phillip and Katherine Meckel of Kreutzburg, in 1907. In the 1910 San Antonio City Directory, the couple is residing at 253 Cooper Street. Five years later, the 1915 San Antonio Directory lists Olga’s occupation as manager of O & E Phillips and Otto as a clerk at the same business. O & E Phillips is a market, but in 1918 Otto is working for the Duerler Manufacturing Company, and the family is living at 115 St. Francis Street just off South Flores. They had four children: Laurine Barbara Phillip, born 20 February 1910, married Alvin Ferdinand Reininger. She died in 2004 at the age of 94. LeRoy W. Phillip was born 1 September 1912; he married Viola Pearl Home in 1934, and when he died in 1959, he was the owner of Legal Paint & Body Shop and a member of St. Peter Prince of Apostles Catholic Church. Leona Mary Phillip was born on 3 December 1915, married Emil R. Bormann, and lived on a farm in Helotes. Leona died in 1945 of colon cancer and is buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery #1. Their fourth child, Otto Edward Phillip, Jr., was born on 24 October 1917 and married Helen Ruth Williams in 1931. He worked for Motor Truck Sales and San Antonio Truck Sales for a total of forty years. Otto died in 2005 at age 87.
According to an article in the San Antonio Light on 2 October 1919, Olga, age thirty, disappeared from her home. The neighbors reported she they saw her walking toward the river. When she did not return home, the family knew something terrible had happened. They contacted the police. Two days later, her body was found in San Pedro Creek, “a short distance from the point where the stream crosses South Flores Street.” Her funeral services were held in their home and later at St. Henry’s Church and burial was in the Saint Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.
Bruno was born on 8 September 1889/1890/1891. In 1917, when Bruno registered for the World War I draft, his father, Charles Wessely, filled out the form. Charles stated Bruno was “weak minded’ and “has to be supported by his parents.” Bruno was described as medium height and build with brown eyes and dark hair. Five years after his mother death, he lives on Hausman Road in San Antonio with his brother Hugo. Bruno is 51 years old and has completed first grade. When his brother Hugo died, Bruno was sent to the Travis State School in Austin. He died at the age of 80 and is buried in the Travis State School Cemetery located on FM 969 in Austin. According to his death certificate, he lived at the school for thirteen years and was born in 1889.
Ida Mae was born 2 November 1896
Hugo was born on 14 February 1899. In 1917 he is working for his father on the family farm. He is described on his WWI registration form as tall, with a medium build, and light brown eyes and hair. After his mother died, he moved to San Antonio with his brother Bruno and found a rent house on Hausmann Road. In 1942 he worked for Mid Seale on the Raven Hill Ranch on Bandera Road in San Antonio. His description at age 45 was 6’ 2″, weighs 175 lbs., with hazel eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion. On 30 July 1956, Hugo died in Leon Springs, where he was found in the water of the creek. The coroner stated his death was undetermined but most likely an accidental drowning. He is buried in the San Jose Burial Park.
Paul was born on 24 August 1902. In 1922 he was living at 247 Cooper Street in San Antonio and working for the Duerler Manufacturing Company. This company was a wholesale candy manufacturer, plus they made confections, bottles, and shelled Texas Pecans for shipment in the United States. The company address was 224 W. Commerce. I am unsure how long he stayed in San Antonio. The next place I find him is in 1942 in Manteca, California. He is 39 years old and is unemployed. Although, the registrar for his WWII registration penciled in the word transient. He is described as 6’1”, weighs 175 lbs., has blue eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion. In the Social Security Death Index, Paul died California in April 1983. His last known address was 91020, Montrose, Los Angeles, California.
Ella was born on 5 January 1905. In 1922, she is living at 306 Cooper Street with her brother Otto and family and is working as a telephone operator for South Western Telephone Company. She met Crawford Preston Reagan, an automobile mechanic. Crawford was born in Wilson County, Texas. In 1924 when their son, Preston Wessley Reagan, was born they were living at 211 N. Polaris Street in San Antonio. Preston was born 4 October 1924. On the 29 October 1926 Crawford married Ethel Agnes Brown in Comal County. Ten years later, Ella is married to Andrew Claude Davidson. In 1934 they lived at 1084 Hammond Avenue and Andrew is working as a cleaner at Highland Park Cleaners. Six years later, on the 1940 Census, Andrew is working as a cleaner at a tailor shop, Ella is a checker at the Linen Room, and Preston Reagan is going to school. In 1943 while attending Fox Tech High School, Preston enlists in the Navy. He is assigned to the U.S.S. LCI (L) 366. [LCI- Landing Craft Infantry]. During his time in the Navy, he is injured and receives a Purple Heart. In 1953, Andrew Davidson suddenly died early in the morning on October 8. Ella remarries in 1968 to William Keith Salisbury. She died 7 May 1998 and is buried next to William in the Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio.