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San Antonio declares Ellen S. Quillin Day


On this day in 1960, the city of San Antonio officially honored the longtime director of the Witte Memorial Museum by proclaiming the day as Ellen S. Quillin Day. Born Ellen Dorothy Schulz in Michigan in 1892, she did postgraduate study at the University of Texas in the early 1920s and held various positions in the field of science in the San Antonio public school system. She helped found the San Antonio Museum Association in 1925 and was the driving force behind the establishment of the Witte Memorial Museum in 1926, serving as its first director until her retirement in 1960. In 1927 she married ornithologist Roy W. Quillin. Ellen Quillin successfully guided the Witte through the lean Depression years and added the facility’s Reptile Garden in the 1930s. This popular tourist attraction also became an important center of research for herpetologists. Quillin was active in numerous civic and professional organizations, and she authored several books on Texas flora and fauna and coauthored The Story of the Witte Memorial Museum, 1922-1960.

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