It may have rained all week, but that didn’t stop the laughs at the 42nd O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships Saturday, May 11, 2019 in Brush Square Park.

Thanks to the generosity of the Hilton Austin, the festivities, usually held outside behind the O. Henry Museum and Dickinson House moved across the street to one of the large, dry, comfortable ballrooms at the hotel. The Hilton Austin graciously provided space for a c...

May 12, 2017

The O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships is one of Austin's oldest "weird" public outdoor events, now celebrating 40 jeers of quick-witted punning, the so-called lowest form of humor.  

And its also a fundraiser for Brush Square Museums to collect audience donations to preserve the wonderful historic homes of short story writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) and Alamo survivor Susanna Dickinson.  The museum d...

May 12, 2017

Slide show made with Animoto includes video clips of the celebrity punster panel, Once A-Pun A Time.

Older Posts >

Please reload


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.


Our world-famous O.Henry Pun Off is held annually in Austin, Texas. Thousands come to watch the matching of wits ...


We welcome all interested in literature, past, present and future. See how you can participate in the Foundation.


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.


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. 


Museum Hours:

Wednesday - Sunday

Noon - 5 p.m.


Admission: Free

Parking: Metered street parking

Brush Square

409 East 5th Street

Austin, Texas 78701


(512) 472-1903