On this day in 1756, Bernardo de Miranda y Flores, lieutenant governor of Texas, returned to San Antonio after his expedition to Los Almagres Mine in present-day Llano County. He announced the discovery of “a tremendous stratum of ore,” and he proclaimed the promise of “a mine to each of the inhabitants of the province of Texas.” Even though the samples he collected were too small for accurate analysis, his bold guarantee sparked dreams of a rich silver mine for decades. Diego Ortiz Parrilla, presidio captain at San Sabá, soon obtained more samples in an attempt to convince authorities that he should move his garrison to Los Almagres Mine. Those plans died with the destruction of the Apache mission and presidio in 1758, but in the confusion, later prospectors erroneously deemed the mine to be near the San Saba River. By the 1830s Stephen F. Austin depicted the legendary “lost” silver mine on maps, and James Bowie was among the fortune hunters who tried to find the mother lode. Finally in the early 1900s, after examining Miranda’s journal, historian Herbert E. Bolton found the site near Honey Creek in Llano County. Even though geologists classified the mine as unproductive, romantic tales of Hill Country riches continued to abound.
On this day in 1922, the Sealy and Smith Foundation for the John Sealy Hospital was chartered under the laws of Texas as a charitable corporation by Galveston entrepreneur John Hutchings Sealy and his sister, Jennie Sealy Smith. As indicated by its charter, the foundation was established for the purpose of "construction, remodeling, enlarging, equipping, and furnishing of the John Sealy Hospital" and other buildings, "and endowment thereof" to provide medical care for the people of Galveston. Since its establishment the foundation has committed more than $313 million to hospital-related facilities and operations of the hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
On this day in 1890, the John Sealy Training School for Nurses, the first formal nursing school in Texas, opened with eighteen students in Galveston's two-month-old John Sealy Hospital. The school was established by a group of philanthropic ladies of that city as an educational entity independent of the hospital. In 1896, however, the school was subsumed by the University of Texas Medical Branch. Training schools subsequently opened in hospitals throughout the state. In the majority of hospitals the actual education students received was secondary to their service in the wards caring for patients. This pattern of training nurses predominated until well into the 1960s. By 1991 UTMB had conferred more than 4,000 nursing diplomas or degrees.