San Antonio: German-English School

The German-English School at San Antonio set out in 1858 to provide free schooling centered around two principles: religious teaching was prohibited and both German and English were required. Julius Berends, a refugee from the German political revolution of 1848, served as the first director at the school, which drew students from across the state. Classes were held at first in a rented hotel, and then in buildings on South Alamo Street – paid for with donations from members of the Casino Club. The building you see today was originally two one-story stone buildings. A larger brick building was added later.

The school thrived as one of the state’s premier educational institutions until the 1890s, when Texas introduced universal public education. The old German-English school holds another distinction: in 1992, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed here.

German-English School