De Leon Saloon
This is indeed a very unique if not iconic photograph of early De Leon probably taken around 1885-1890. Now, if we only knew the story behind this picture. Who are the young boys? Who is the man facing down the bull? Who are the men at the saloon entrance? And where was this saloon?
For years I have attempted to determine the location of this saloon by trying to match photos of adjacent buildings with other photos and by trying to locate deed records with names of known owners of saloons. All to no avail.
There are a few clues in the photo. Notice that the street is relatively level. North Texas Avenue slopes significantly until toward the north until it reaches approximately the alley south of Guys and Gals Hair Shop, it seems probable that the saloon was located about where that Hair Shop is today or where the peanut warehouse is located. If it was on the west side of Texas Avenue, the building to the right would seemingly have to be the Star Hotel. The problem with the peanut warehouse location is that as late as 1900 there was only one building at the corner by the tracks and a livery stable in the north end of that half the block. It appears the signage on the building to left might be OOD –FOOD?. Signage on the building on the right begins with the lettering SH. Mr. L.H. Shannon had a store on Gonzales but no documentation of a saloon on Gonzales has been found.
Notice the horse’s head to the right of the boys standing in the wagon and the wheel of a second wagon behind the seated young child. Also notice that the saloon has a second story with windows and a stair on the right side.