O. Henry House © Author Adventures

“It ain’t the roads we take;
it’s what’s inside of us
that makes us turn out
the way we do.” — O. Henry

O. Henry Museum, Texas House of Puns

O. Henry (1862-1910) is perhaps best known for the story The Gift of the Magi, a popular read around winter holiday time. It should be noted that O. Henry was his pen name. His given name was William Sydney Porter. The life story of this author is rather wild, including dealings with cowboys, train robbers, bank thievery, and a five-year prison term that prompted him to change his name. A great place to read about it is the North Carolina History Project website at http://northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/o-henry-1862-1910.

Otherwise, a quick way to get facts about O. Henry and quiz your friends is through the O. Henry Facts Flashcards website at https://www.flashcardmachine.com/ohenry-facts.html.

(Also read about O. Henry on his North Carolina page on this website, and a bit more in our New Mexico section.)

Eventually, O. Henry lived his final years in New York.

The Place

The O. Henry Museum in Austin is the home of the annual “Pun-Off” championship for masters of puns, but it was the actual home of O. Henry for about two years. Located at 409 East Fifth Street, it is within the scenic Sixth Street Historic District. Read about what to see and do on Sixth Street here: https://www.austintexas.org/austin-insider-blog.

You can see pun examples at https://parade.com/1024249/marynliles/funny-puns and follow the Pun-Off on Twitter.

Also Visit

Nearby Kyle, Texas, is the home of Katherine Anne Porter, who is distantly related to O. Henry, and has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Read about the Katherine Anne Porter house here: Katherine Anne Porter in Texas.

This is the fifth stop on Part One of our Texas Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart