Adina de Zavala, a fifth-generation Texan whose great-grandfather fought in the Battle of San Jacinto, spent all her spare time working to preserve historic Texas missions. Adina was horrified when she found out that the site of the Alamo was about to be sold to a businessman with plans to tear it down and build a hotel. As it was, all that remained of the site where the famous battle took place was the mission’s small chapel building. Adina, a woman of small means but big dreams, headed over to the Hotel Menge, where she heard a prominent Texas philanthropist and his wife were staying. Questioning the bell man, Adina discovered to her dismay that the couple left for Europe the day before. She was a day late!
The bell man, seeing how upset Adina was, asked her why she wanted to see the couple. Adina explained her predicament. The bellman said another young women, twenty-three year-old Clara Driscoll was also a guest at the hotel and might be willing to help her. Adina knocked on Clara’s door and explained her dilemma. Clara was so impressed with Adina’s passion for historic preservation, an interest Clara shared, that Clara agreed to help Adina. Clara sat down and wrote out a check for $5000 as a down payment for what would eventually be a $63,000 promissory note to the Hug0-Smeltzer Company, the owners of the property on which the Alamo resided. Clara saved the Alamo. She bought it!