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A Little Mystery We're Hoping to Solve


Davila Electric workers recently uncovered a stone engraved with “S Zettner 1933”.  Found just outside the Homestead, buried by almost a century of earth, we’re researching what it means. Former LVHS president Linda Persyn was curious to know more and reached out to San Antonio Express-News history columnist Paula Allen. She featured the story of the Homestead and this unusual find in her May 8 column.


Research at the Conservation Society of San Antonio’s library found a Carl S. Zettner in the San Antonio city directories dated 1931-32 and 1934-35, “as well as mention of him having been involved in a renovation project … advertised as a show house by Ed. Steves & Sons Lumber in the San Antonio Express, Dec. 2, 1934.” This is within the timeframe we believe Judge John Onion was expanding the Homestead for his family.


The Zettner family also is recorded in the 1930 U.S. Census.  San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society library registrar Stephen Mabie found this reference, which names three sons, Carl, Walter and Theodore, and records them as being in their 20s and living with their mother and sister. The profession of all three at that time was plumber.  Carl is the only brother who continued in that line of work.


The inscription on the stone may not be complete; the stone is irregularly shaped. We’re hoping that anyone who knows of the Zettner family or knows of other contractors similarly inscribing stones at worksites, will let us know. We’ll share whatever information we learn with Paula Allen.  She has made a similar request of her readers.

If you missed the article and are a subscriber of the Express-News, you may read it here. 

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