There’s a little house in Austin that’s a big Texas jewel, the Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hannig Museum (corner of 5th and Trinity).
In the shadows of towering skyscrapers sits, as pretty as a picture, the pristine and peaceful historic home of a powerful woman who survived the Alamo- and she did it with a fifteen month old baby.
Sitting on a corner of green dappled Brush Square is a house with walls that don’t just talk- they demand your attention . And, oh, the story they tell.
As told by historian extraordinaire, Jim Haley, Susanna Wilkerson eloped at fifteen with Almeron Dickinson, had her only child, Angelina, at 21, was widowed at 22 (after which Mexican General Santa Anna offered to adopt her daughter- answer ‘no’), married again (John Williams) and then got the first divorce granted in the new Republic of Texas (citing beatings that led to a spontaneous abortion), married yet again (Francis Herring), was widowed- again, married a fourth time (Peter Bellows), left him, worked at a ‘boarding house’, married a ‘guest’ that was twenty years her junior (Joseph Hannig), survived a flood, was accused of forgery and other crimes (but never indited), was converted in a massive Baptist revival campaign, where it was remarked, “she was nominally a member of the Episcopal Church”…(where she impressed people as)… “a great bundle of untamed passions, devoted in her love and bitter in her hate”, later in life enjoyed her grandchildren and became a sort of local legend- and have I mentioned she survived the Alamo? With a baby in her arms?
|Susanna Wilkerson Dickinson Williams Herring Bellows Hannig
(I had to write it out at least once)
|The Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hannig
411 E.5th St, Austin, Texas