Critics Accuse Group of a Serious Texas Sin: Forgetting the Alamo

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SAN ANTONIO — For 105 years, a private organization of women descended from Texas pioneers has been taking care of the Alamo with very little oversight by the state.

But in the last year members of the group, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, have found themselves besieged and divided. Dissidents have accused the leaders of caring more about building a $36 million library and theater nearby than about preserving the site’s old church and priest’s quarters, the only buildings remaining at the Spanish mission where at least 189 Texan rebels died fighting the Mexican Army in 1836.

The cracked roof of the church, known as the shrine, continues to leak nearly four years after engineers recommended it be repaired or replaced, lending fuel to the criticisms. Calls to install underground barriers to keep moisture from destroying the famed limestone walls have also gone unheeded.

This summer, the attorney general began an investigation into the group’s finances and business practices, seizing thousands of documents. As the inquiry has gone on, donations have plummeted and speculation has grown that the state may take control of the site in downtown San Antonio. Editorials in The San Antonio Express-News and on local television have supported that idea....

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