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Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Papers

Identifier: Coll-27

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.


  • Unknown


Language of Materials

The materials in this collection are in English and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to taking precautions against infringement of copyright and respecting the publication rights of reproduced materials. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Any materials used should be fully credited with their source according to the example given in the Preferred Citation note. Requests for assistance with citations and images of publication quality should be directed to


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.

Biographical / Historical

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.

Related Materials

Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers

Processing Information

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.

Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Papers
Eric Christensen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Second processing

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository

6300 Ocean Dr.
Unit 5702
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States
361-825-5973 (Fax)