Westfall Branch was built in 1963 from funds donated by Edward Dixon Westfall and was the first major
branch built on the north side of San Antonio. It served a population of 75,000 and had a capacity
for a collection of 30,000 volumes. It was a very busy branch and at times had a circulation greater
than the Main Library downtown.
To meet the needs of the rapidly growing North Side, the branch had to be expanded twice. In 1971,
Westfall was expanded from 5,560 to 9,410 square feet by the architect, Emmit R. Tuggle, and in
1995, under the supervision of Reyna/McChesney Associates, it was expanded to 11,450 square feet,
which included a meeting room, staff lounge and additional work area. Today, the Westfall Branch has
a staff of nineteen and circulates over 230,000 books annually.
The Westfall Branch is named after Edward Dixon Westfall, who in 1891 bequeathed his entire estate of
over 1,000 acres of farmland to the San Antonio Public Library system for the establishment or maintenance
of a public library. This legacy became effective in 1940 upon the death of his widow, Josephine
Dillon Westfall. Mr. Westfall came to the San Antonio area in 1846 at the age of 25. During his lifetime,
he served as an Indian scout, a soldier, and a Texas Ranger. According to his journals, which he kept
from 1886 to his death in 1897, one of his greatest loves was reading, although he had little formal
education. This love of reading he wished to pass on to future generations through his generous gift to
the public library.
- Square footage of the building: 11,450 square feet