Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Papers
Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia's papers contain genealogical data for the churches and towns of colonial Northern Mexico including the province of Nuevo Santander, as well as minutes, correspondence, and other materials from the Spanish American Genealogical Association (SAGA) and other civic organizations in which she was involved. It also contains her personal correspondence and information about her scholarship activities.
- Garcia, Clotilde P., 1917-2003 (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in this collection are in English and Spanish.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
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106 Boxes ; 45.5 linear feet
This is a collection of documents from Corpus Christi luminary Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia, who was a physician, teacher, historian, genealogist, political activist, and club woman. Dr. Garcia was the sister of Dr. Hector P. Garcia but carved her own distinct path next to his. This collection contains biographical material, correspondence, original research, published articles, maps, archival information from Mexico, birth and death records, association and club records, photographs, and scrapbooks.
Biographical / Historical
While this collection primarily concerns Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia and her impressive list of accomplishments, it also contains significant research into the Northern Mexico and South Texas regions shortly after the area was first settled by Europeans. Some photocopied documents are rumored to be the only copies after flooding destroyed much of the archive they were copied from. The collection contains extensive genealogical information about early Spanish settlements and birth and death records. It also contains organizational records from a wide variety of the causes Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia championed.
Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia was born in 1917 in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico, into a family that was serious about making the world a better place for the disadvantaged. She was one of seven children that lived to adulthood from Jose G. Garcia and Faustina Perez de Garcia’s marriage. Six of those children would go on to become medical doctors, including Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia, affectionately known as “Dr. Cleo” to her patients and friends. One of her brothers was the noted civil rights activist Dr. Hector P. Garcia.
After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in chemistry, the Great Depression put her medical school dreams on temporary hold. During this time, she worked as a teacher in Benavides and Oilton. By 1950 she was finally enrolled in medical school and in 1953 she was the only woman in the one-year internship program at Memorial Hospital. After graduating, Dr. Garcia was one of only two women doctors in Corpus Christi, and one of only five American educated Hispanic doctors south of San Antonio. Two of the other doctors were her brothers Hector and Xico. Medicine was less specialized at that time, so Dr. Garcia performed surgery and worked in the office, hospital, and made house calls. Her real passion was delivering babies. In her career she delivered over 10,000 children, many of whom were named Cleo in her honor.
Dr. Garcia encountered much discrimination as a Hispanic woman doctor, sometimes even at her own place of employment. At one point she was denied entrance into a hospital cafeteria because it was for “doctors only.” She dumped her tray at the gatekeeper’s feet and went straight to the administrator. Another time, she attempted to buy a house on Ocean Drive, only to find the owner unwilling to sell to a “Mexican.” She found a lot down the street with the same view and built her own house on it. Dr. Garcia was more than just a doctor. She published ten books and numerous articles concerning Hispanic culture in South Texas and genealogy. She helped organize the Spanish American Genealogical Society, which in turn helped many people track their Hispanic roots. Her work made such an impact that she was awarded the Royal American Order of Isabella the Catholic by King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1990. She was also one of a dozen women in the first induction of the Texas Women's Hall of Fame, along with Barbara Jordan and Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson. She worked tirelessly for the Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Constitutional Convention, and Quincentenary. The health sciences building at Del Mar College is named after her.
Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia lived an astonishingly full life, becoming a true pillar of the Corpus Christi and South Texas community. Her unending efforts to champion the underdog touched lives innumerable. She passed away in 2003 at the age of 86.
This collection is arranged in twelve series, Biographical Materials, Business Records, Genealogy Research, Texas History Research, Organizations in Which Dr. Clotilde Garcia was Involved, Awards and Honors, Photographs, Maps, Artifacts, Printed Materials, Audio Visual Materials, and Other Format Material Types. Those twelve series are broken down into thirteen further sub-series.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by Barbara Canales on behalf of the Canales Family on November 14, 2005. Special Collections & Archives Director Thomas H. Kreneck assisted with the donation.
This collection was arranged by Eric Christensen, Librarian of Archive Processing for Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi’s Special Collections & Archives Department. The collection had been previously arranged and weeding and rearrangement had been significantly begun prior to Mr. Christensen's involvement in preparation for making it more accessible and available digitally on ArchivesSpace.
- American G.I. Forum
- Arcon, Captain Marco Alonso Garza Y (1561-1634, estimated)
- Balli, Padre Nicholas (1768-1829)
- Birth records
- Boys and Girls Club of Corpus Christi
- Canales, Jose Antonio
- Cisneros, Jose (1910-2009)
- Citizens for a Positive Climate and Responsible Citizenship Code
- Coalition for Better Government
- Coastal Bend Genealogical Society
- Community Action Agency
- Corpus Christi Catholic Diocese
- Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Cortez, Hernando (1485-1547)
- De Pineda, Alonso Álvarez , 1494-1520
- Death records
- Delta Kappa Gamma
- Discrimination, Racial
- Doctors of medicine
- Equal educational opportunity
- Equal employment opportunity
- Escandon, Jose de (1700-1770)
- Falcon, Juan Jose de la Garza (1741-1796)
- Foundation for the Advancement of Hispanic Americans
- Garcia, Hector P., 1914-1996
- Garcia, Xico P.
- Hidalgo County Historical Society
- Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas
- Hispanics Organized for Political Education (HOPE)
- Indigenous peoples
- Johnson, Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor, 1912-2007
- Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
- Knights of Columbus
- Landmark Commission . Corpus Christi
- League of United Latin American Citizens
- League of Women Voters
- Longoria, Matias (1922-2009)
- Manpower Executive Board
- Markers, Historical
- Marriage records
- Medicaid Task Force
- Mexican American -- Civil Rights
- Mexican American political activists
- Mexican Americans
- Mexican Americans -- Genealogy
- Montemayor, Diego de (1530-1611)
- Moyo Association of Texas
- National Council of La Raza
- Native Americans
- Nueces County Action Agency
- Nueces County Dune Protection Committee
- Nueces County Historical Society
- Pan American Round Table
- Peoples Party on Consumer Affairs
- Portilla, Felipe Roque de la (1766-1841)
- Quincentenary Commission
- Spanish American Genealogical Association
- Texas -- Independence
- Texas Archeological Society
- Texas Constitution Convention
- Texas Historical Commission
- The Maximilian Numismatic Historical Society
- Vaca, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de (1490-1559)
- Villarreal, Captain Enrique (1788-1846)
- Viva Johnson
- Voting rights
- Westside Business Association
- Women's leadership
- Women's rights
- Garcia, Clotilde P., 1917-2003 (Person)
- Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Papers
- Eric Christensen
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Edition statement
- Second processing
Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository
6300 Ocean Dr.
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States