Jessie Simpson and Al Rendon, The King William Area

About Jessie N.M. Simpson: 

Jessie Simpson, a retired Air Force Contracting officer and lifelong preservationist, is deeply connected to the history and architecture of the King William neighborhood. She began work on her first project at 514 Madison in 1975 and has since been instrumental in the renovation of five more houses on King William and Madison along with many others throughout San Antonio’s historic districts. Over the years she has served in numerous volunteer and neighborhood leadership roles including as King William Fair Chair and vice-president of the board of directors of the King William Association. 

She spent the last thirty-odd years restoring the Joske House at 241 King William, where she lives today. When not working in the garden or cycling along the river, she is researching a follow-up book which is intended to complete documentation begun in Miss Burkholder’s second book, Down the Acequia Madre.

About Al Rendon:

Al Rendon is San Antonio’s photographer. From landmarks to community leaders, Al has photographed the face and heart of San Antonio. He has also operated fine art galleries, and his exhibitions have traveled the world. His photographs have filled books about the history of Fiesta, Charreada, and Red McCombs’ fine silver collection. Al is both craftsman and artist. His commercial photography crafts excellent images for executive portraiture, architectural documentation, and marketing. Al’s art photography spans San Antonio’s culture. In the 1980s, he served as official photographer for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the Fiesta Commission, and for many years, has provided editorial use photography to the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. In 2011, Al was one of six photographers chosen to represent San Antonio at the International Photographic Art Exhibition in Lishui City, China. His archival prints are in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum, Museum of Fine Art in Houston, the Cattle Raisers Museum in Fort Worth, and the Mexican American Museum of Art in Chicago. For more information, see

About Mary V. Burkholder:

Mary Virginia Burkholder lived in the King William Area from 1948 until her death in 1997. She spent her working life teaching at Jose Navarro Elementary School and her retirement years preserving the history of her unique neighborhood, King William.  In the late 1960s and early 1970s she took on the task, which few at the time considered important, of documenting the condition and history of the houses in her neighborhood. She did much of her research at home, writing letters and compiling information without benefit of modern computers or search engines. She spent untold hours in dusty court house basements going through manual records. Her books were written, edited, revised and often sold from her house at 228 Madison. In her first Book, The King William Area – A History and Guide to the Houses, printed in November 1973, with a revision in 1977, she documented houses located in the King William National Register Historic District. She followed with Down the Acequia Madre in 1976 which documented houses in the South Alamo, South St. Mary’s Historic District, the other part of the neighborhood. Her files contain correspondence with original inhabitants of the houses and their descendants and notes of her interview with many of the original inhabitants. She was a Charter Member of the King William Association, served on its Board of Directors, was active in its preservation efforts and a member of the San Antonio Conservation Society.

About The King William Area:

These are the stories of the houses, their beginnings and who built them, and something of the people who lived there throughout the years; for a house is but an empty shell without some tale of those who made it a home. Exquisite photographs of each house in the neighborhood are supplemented with short histories and architectural descriptions. The book serves equally well as a coffee table decoration, a guide to the houses or interesting historical reading. For over forty years, scholars, historians, tourists and especially King William neighbors have relied on the 1970s edition of The King William Area for reference, guidance and entertainment, this edition  updates, corrects and expands the original.

Event date: 
Saturday, January 27, 2018 - 11:00am to 1:00pm
Event address: 
306 Pearl Parkway
Suite 106
San Antonio, TX 78215
Event Category: