"WRITE WHAT YOU LIKE; THERE IS NO OTHER RULE."
We are the primary citizen group advocating for the restoration and preservation of the O. Henry Museum and Susanna Dickinson Museum. The Foundation sponsors programs highlighting their legacies in literature and Texas history.
We promote fund raising, advocacy, building a support base, special events and public relations
We facilitate funding for and implementation of regularly scheduled revisions to a comprehensive preservation plan
We encourage the interpretation of the Museums as representative of O. Henry and Susanna Dickinson and Joseph Hannig’s life in Austin
We develop cooperative educational programs for the enrichment of a literate community.
DID YOU KNOW ... ?
Porter destroyed many of his western stories, which were based on his time in the Texas hill country, due to lack of confidence that the works would be accepted by the public. However, four stories set in Austin are well known, especially "Bexar Scrip No. 2692" about a fictional murder in the Land Office Building.
People visiting the O. Henry grave site leave $1.87, usually with a lot of pennies, as that represented the amount Della, in “The Gift of the Magi” had saved to buy a Christmas gift for her husband.
Of Susanna Dickinson’s five marriages, she was twice widowed and twice divorced. Nearly 70 when she died in 1883, she is buried in Austin's Oakwood Cemetery. Her fifth husband, Joseph Hannig survived her and remarried, but chose to be buried beside her.
Porter's stories feature a large vocabulary because he memorized most of Webster’s Dictionary. His dictionary is on display in the O. Henry Museum and was recently restored with a grant from BSM Foundation.
General Santa Anna interviewed Susanna Dickinson personally, and reportedly offered to adopt her daughter Angelina, who would become known as “The Babe of the Alamo.”
Porter worked as a draftsman at the Texas General Land Office from 1887 to 1891. The O. Henry Museum displays copies of county maps decorated with his cowboy artwork.
Dickinson set up a boarding house in Lockhart, Texas just prior to the time that she met Mr. Joseph William Hannig and married him in 1857. Later they moved to Austin where he prospered as a furniture and coffin maker and real estate investor.
ABOUT THE MUSEUMS ON
Brush Square is home to the O. Henry Museum, the Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hannig Museum and the Austin Fire Museum. The three museums are free and open to the public. The two historic residences showcase the life and times of their colorful Texas inhabitants and capture a scene from period Texas living.