Mayer Halff (1836-1905) immigrated to Texas from Lauterborg, Alsace Lorraine, France, in 1850. In partnership with his brother Solomon, he opened a mercantile business in Liberty and began a cattle ranching enterprise. They moved to San Antonio in 1864 and established M. Halff & Brother, a wholesale dry goods company. Their ranching interests grew to include over a million acres of land in Texas and other states, and they also became interested in banking.
Mayer Halff purchased land at this site in 1890, and three years later he and his wife Rachel (Hart) had this house built for their family. Exhibiting Eastlake and Richardsonian Romanesque stylistic influences, the Victorian-Era house features a prominent round arch entry, two-story crenellated bay, two-story full-length side porch with eastlake detailing. Originally built on Goliad Street, the house remained on its original site when the street was removed for construction of the Hemisfair facilities in the 1960s.
The Halff family played an important role in the development of San Antonio and the Texas cattle industry. Many of their descendants, some of whom married into the pioneer Oppenheimer family, still reside in the city.