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Jovita González Mireles

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A Guide to the Jovita González Mireles Papers, 1921-1993 (Bulk 1930-1975)

Collection 033

 
Descriptive Summary
Creator:                     Jovita González Mireles
Title:                          The Jovita González Mireles Papers
Dates:                         1921-1993 (bulk 1930-1975)
Abstract:                    Printed material, correspondence, financial and legal documentation, handwritten notes, books and other published material, photographs, artifacts, and sound recordings document the education, teaching careers, and personal and financial lives of Jovita González Mireles and Edmundo E. Mireles. 
Identification:          Collection 033 
Extent:                        15 boxes (10 linear feet) 
Language:                 English 
 
Biographical Sketch
Jovita González was born near the Texas-Mexico border in Roma, Texas, on January 18, 1904.  Her father was a teacher and her mother a housewife.  Her family moved to San Antonio so that the children could be educated in English.  After high school, González earned a teaching certificate and taught in Rio Grande City while earning money for college.  She attended The University of Texas at Austin for a year, but due to a lack of funds returned to San Antonio to attend Our Lady of the Lake College where she was able to obtain a scholarship.  In the summers she continued to study Spanish at The University of Texas, and it was in the summer of 1925 that she met J. Frank Dobie.  Dobie shared González’s interest in the folklore of the Texas-Mexican border and encouraged her to write down the stories.  She did so, and some were published in the Folklore Publications and the Southwest Review
Dobie was not only supportive of González’s writing, but he provided references for her scholarships, underwrote bank loans for her, and he and his wife invited her to dinners in their home.  González was also very involved with the Texas Folklore Society which Dobie helped resurrect in 1922.  She gave several lectures at the annual meetings and published articles in some of the journals.  With Dobie’s endorsement, González was elected to served as the Texas Folklore Society’s vice president in 1928, and as president for two terms from 1930 to 1932.  After receiving her B.A. from Our Lady of the Lake in 1927, she taught for two years at Saint Mary’s Hall, an Episcopal school for girls, until she was awarded the Lapham Scholarship to conduct research along the border and to work on an M.A. at The University of Texas.  Her M.A. research resulted in a Rockefeller grant award in 1934.  It was during this time that she may have started work on her novel Caballero which was published posthumously in 1996.
 
While at UT Austin, González met her future husband, Edmundo E. Mireles, who was born in La Ciudad de Hidalgo del Parral, Mexico on December 28, 1905.  He was raised by his grandmother in Sacramento, Coahuila, Mexico and came to the United States at the age of seven to live with his father in San Antonio.  He later returned to Mexico with his father to fight in the Mexican Revolution, and was wounded.  Back in Texas he attended the San Antonio Junior College, and The University of Texas at Austin where he received a B.A., with a Greek major and Latin minor.  He obtained his masters in Spanish in 1953 from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.
 
E.E. Mireles  and Jovita González were married in 1935 in San Antonio, and then moved to Del Rio where he was principal of San Felipe High School and she taught English.  In 1939, they relocated to Corpus Christi where Mr. Mireles organized the Spanish program in the elementary grades of the public schools.  Working together, Mr. and Ms. Mireles wrote two sets of books, Mi libro español  and El español elemental, for the teaching of Spanish in the grade schools.  In 1943, Mr. Mireles helped to create the Pan American Council dedicated to the study of Spanish, Latin America and its people.  The Council supported the public schools in the organization and functioning of their own Pan American Clubs.  Mr. Mireles also served as president of the LULAC Council No. 1.  Ms. González Mireles continued until her retirement to teach Spanish and Texas History at W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi.  During this time she also directed pastorelas, pageants and Christmastime posadas with Mexican children in the community.  E.E. Mireles is considered by many to be the father of bilingual education, because of his role as an advocate for teaching Spanish in the public schools of Corpus Christi.  Both Mr. and Ms. Mireles continued as educators and advocates of Spanish language teaching in public schools until they retired.  Jovita González Mireles died in 1983, and E.E. Mireles died in 1987.
 
Few scholars took notice of Jovita González Mireles’ work until Teresa Palomo Acosta and Cynthia Orozco helped to renew interest in her at the 1990 “Mexican Americans in Texas History” conference in San Antonio. This renewed interest lead to the posthumous publication of her two novels Caballero in 1996 and Dew on the Thorn in 1997. For further information on Jovita González Mireles and Edmundo E. Mireles see Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican American South Texas by José E. Limón, Dew on the Thorn and Life Along the Border: A Landmark Tejana Thesis by Jovita González (edited by María Eugenia Cotera), Gente Decente by Leticia Garza-Falcón, and Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita Gonzalez, and the Poetics of Culture by María Eugenia Cotera.
 
Scope and Content Note 
Printed material, correspondence, financial and legal documentation, handwritten notes, books and other published material, photographs, artifacts, and sound recordings, 1921 to 1993 (bulk 1930-1975), created and maintained by E.E. Mireles and Jovita González Mireles, and further maintained by their friend and employee M. (Maria) Isabel Cruz who inherited the material after Mr. Mireles’ death, help to document the education, teaching careers, and personal and financial lives of E.E. Mireles and Jovita González Mireles. 
 
The collection has been arranged into fourteen series: Education, Teaching, Correspondence, Daybooks/Notebooks, Minutes, Financial Papers, Legal Materials, Medical Records, Photographs, Clippings, Postcard Collection, Artifacts, Books/Published Material, and Sound Recordings.  These series are based on the original order of the materials when present, order was created by the cataloger for the materials that lacked it.
 
Mr. and Ms. Mireles’ masters theses, included in the Education Series, are of particular interest, because they document the areas of their graduate studies.  Ms. González was awarded the Rockefeller grant in 1934 for the research she did for her thesis.  In the Correspondence Series the letters to Mr. Mireles from Ms. Mireles while she was away in Mexico offer insight into their personal relationship.  The beginnings of the Pan American Council of Texas is documented in the Minutes Series.  This council, started by E.E. Mireles in 1943, worked to support the Spanish program in the Corpus Christi public schools where Pan American Clubs had already been started.  Among the books in the Books/Published Material Series are The Voice of the Coyote by J. Frank Dobie and Finding Literature on the Texas Plains by John William Roger and J. Frank Dobie, both of which are inscribed by Dobie to Ms. Mireles.  The Clippings Series documents the legal and political issues pertaining to education in Texas, racial discrimination, and local Corpus Christi news.  Some aspects of Mr. and Ms. Mireles’ careers are not fully documented.  For example, there are no drafts of any of their writings, and there is limited material on Ms. Mireles’ teaching career.
 
Series Description
 
Series I: Education, 1921-1963
Box 1
 
This series documents the higher education of both E.E. Mireles and Jovita González Mireles through records of school work which contain the dates of attendance, grades and classes taken.  Their Masters theses are also included in this series and offer insight into the topics of their studies.  Ms. González’s thesis, “Social Life in Webb, Starr, and Zapata Counties,” is of particular interest; as a result of it she was awarded the Rockefeller grant in 1934. 
 
Series II: Teaching 1934-1993, n.d. (bulk 1934-1971)
Box 1
 
This series contains material that helps to illustrate Mr. and Ms. Mireles’ life-long teaching careers.  Mr. Mireles’ career in particular can be traced through his teaching contracts, and his Texas Teacher Retirement System statements in this series.
 
Series III: Correspondence, 1930-1975, n.d.
Box 2
 
This series includes both correspondence belonging to E.E. Mireles and Jovita González Mireles, as well as correspondence between them.  Of particular interest are the letters from Ms. Mireles to Mr. Mireles during the summer of 1956, while she was away in Mexico, which offer insight into their relationship.
 
Series IV: Address Books/Daybooks/Notebooks, 1946-1963, n.d.
Box 2
 
An address book belonging to Jovita González Mireles contains a signed contract between Jovita González and Margaret Eimer (Eve Raleigh) for the novel “All This is Mine,” [Caballero] “a historical novel of the border during the Mexican War,” May 30, 1939. Also in this series are E.E. Mireles daybook and balance sheets.
 
Series V: Minutes, 1943-1951
Box 3
 
This series contains material that documents the start of the Pan American Council of Texas which was briefly called the Pan American Council of Corpus Christi.  The Council was started in 1943 by E.E. Mireles to work with the Spanish program in the Corpus Christi public schools where Pan American Clubs had already been started.  The Coastal Bend Television Co. minutes, also in this series, document E.E. Mireles’ participation in its beginnings.
 
Series VI: Financial, 1931-1980
Box 3
 
This series documents the financial life of E.E. Mireles and Jovita González Mireles from appliances purchases and routine utility payments to E.E. Mireles’ student loans.
 
Series VII: Legal, 1935-1993 (bulk 1935-1978)
Box 3
 
The legal series contains legal documentation for both E.E. Mireles and Jovita González Mireles.  Of particular interest are the papers related to E.E. Mireles’ cousin Maria Luisa Hinojosa Ramirez, which document the process though which a Mexican national had to go to legally immigrate to the USA. 
 
Series VIII: Medical, 1973-1975
Box 3
 
This small series consists mostly of medical records and receipts for Jovita González Mireles.
 
Series IX: Photographs, 1957-1975, n.d.
Box 3
 
The majority of the snapshot style color, and black and white photographs in this series are unidentified.  One image of particular interest included in this series is a matted photograph of E.E. Mireles at age twenty-six which is inscribed to Jovita. 
 
Series X: Clippings, 1943-1987
Box 4
 
The clippings in this series pertain to educational issues in Texas, legal and political news, discrimination, as well as local Corpus Christi news.  There are also several obituaries including that of Mr. Mireles.
 
Series XI: Postcard Collection, n.d.
Box 5
 
The postcard collection is made up of mostly travel post cards consisting of photographs and drawings of locations, hotels, and art works. 
 
Series XII: Artifacts, n.d.
Boxes  5; 11-15
 
The Artifacts series consists of items which most likely belonged to Ms. Mireles rather than Mr. Mireles, including a sewing box, two wooden boxes with floral decorations, a woman’s hat, glove and handkerchief, a key to the Mireles’ ranch, and a photograph of Ms. Mireles’ sister.
 
Series XIII: Books/Published Material, 1934-1966, n.d.
Boxes 6-10
 
In this series are the books The Voice of the Coyote by J. Frank Dobie and Finding Literature on the Texas Plains by John William Roger and J. Frank Dobie both of which contain personal inscriptions from Dobie to Jovita González Mireles.  There are also three volumes of the Silver Spur, the yearbook from W.B. Ray High School where Ms. Mireles taught.  These yearbooks offer a glimpse into her experience there as a teacher.
 
Series XIV: Sound Recordings, 1969, n.d.
Box 16
 
This series consists of two magnetic tape reels of Spanish lessons by E.E. Mireles [both tape reels have been transferred unto compact discs for patron use] and two phonographs of mariachi music.
 
Administrative Information
 
Access Restrictions
Open for research.
 
Preferred Citation
Jovita González Mireles Papers, Southwestern Writers Collection, Wittliff Collections, Texas State University-San Marcos
 
Acquisition Information
Purchased from M. (Maria) Isabel Cruz, 1998. 
 
Processing Information
Emily Painton, Nov. 1998. Inventory revised June 2009 (KS)
 
Notes to Researchers 
The majority of Edmundo E. Mireles and Jovita González Mireles papers and manuscripts are housed at Texas A &M University at Corpus Christi, Bell Library, Special Collections & Archives. 
Further papers belonging to Edmundo E. Mireles and Jovita González Mireles can be found at the University of Texas at Austin in the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. 
 
Detailed Description of the Collection
 
Series I: Education, 1921-1963
 
Box     Folder                       
                                                                                   
            Jovita González Mireles. 1921-1930; 1962-1967           
           
1          1          University of Texas grade sheets, 1921-1927 (2 sheets).           
            2          Class notes, 1962-1967.                                                                   
            3          Masters Thesis, “Social Life in Webb, Starr, and Zapata Counties,” August,
1930. The University of Texas
 
Framed Art   Bachelor or Arts framed diploma
Cabinet
                       
            Edmund E. Mireles, 1927-1953
 
1          4          University of Texas grade sheet, 1927-1930
San Antonio Junior College grade sheet, 1927-1928 and vaccination
Certificate, 1927.                  
            5          Masters Thesis, “The Teaching of Spanish in Texas Schools,” Summer 1952.
El Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.                  
            6          Maestro en Artes en Lengua Española diploma, El Instituto Tecnológico y de
Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, 1953.                                               
 
 
Series II: Teaching, 1934-1993, undated. (bulk 1934-1971)
 
            Jovita González Mireles, undated
 
1          7          Student's paper, “Historia del Idioma Español,” by Edwardita Watts.                      
            8          Grant application for Mexican American Folklore Series for Radio
           
Edmund E. Mireles, 1934-1971
 
1          9          Teaching contracts, Texas Teacher Retirement System statements and membership application, textbook contract, 1934-1968.
            10        Corpus Christi Public Schools Certificate of Merit, 1971.         
                       
 
Series III: Correspondence, 1930-1975, undated.
 
Box     Folder                       
                                                                                   
2          1          Jovita González Mireles,
 
                                    Incoming
                                    Basore, Joe N. (Hot Springs Village), undated.
                                    [Gonzalez], H., undated.
                                    Robertson, Mary, March 6, 1974.
                                    S_____, Maritere, May 30, 1954. Enclosed: two b/w photographs, “Carretas de las fiestos típicas,” and “Juchitecas atviadas.”                     Whitmyre, Hilda, October 1, 1974            Whitmyre, Hilda, postmark March 14, 1975.
 
2          2                      Outgoing (all to Edmundo E. Mireles)
 
                                    July 11, 1954
                                    July 23, [1955]
                                    July 4, 1956
                                    July 8, [1956]
July 10, [1956]                                  
August 2, 1956
August 4, 1956
                                    August 6, 1956
 
2          3          Edmundo E. Mirelesincoming
2          4          Jovita González Mireles and Edmundo E. Mireles - incoming                        
 
 
Series IV: Daybooks/Notebooks, 1939, 1946-1982, undated.
 
2          5          Address Book with two laid-in photographs; a newspaper clipping, “Night of Grito,” from the Corpus Christi Times; and a signed contract between Jovita González and Margaret Eimer (Eve Raleigh) for the novel “All This is Mine,” [Cabellero] “a historical novel of the border during the Mexican War,” May 30, 1939.                 
                                   
            6          E.E. Mireles’ Daybook, 1946                                                          
            7          E.E. Mireles’ Balance Sheets, 1950                                                 
            8          Small notebook with notes, 1976-1982                                                                
 
Series V: Minutes, 1943-1951
 
Box     Folder                       
                                                                                   
3          1          Pan American Council of Corpus Christi, March 17, 1943
            2          Pan American Council of Texas Board of Directors, April 12, 1943 and organization constitution and by-laws.                       
            3          Coastal Bend Television Co., 1951                                               
 
 
Series VI: Financial, 1931-1980
 
3          4          Bank Records                                                                                   
            5          Loans                                                                                    
            6          Purchases                                                                             
            7          Student Loans (E.E. Mireles)                                                         
            8          Utilities                                                                                  
            9          Assorted                                                                               
 
 
Series VII: Legal, 1935-1993 (bulk 1935-1978)
 
3          10        Voter registration: Jovita González Mireles and E.E. Mireles  
3          11        Marriage certificate, July 30, 1925; birth certificates for E.E. Mireles and
                        Jovita González Mireles; E.E.’s immigration and citizenship papers
3          12        Immigration papers for Maria Luisa Hinojosa Ramirez (E.E. Mireles’ cousin)
 
 
Series VIII: Medical, 1933, 1975.                                                 
 
3          13        Medical documents and receipts, 1933, 1975
 
 
Series IX: Photographs, 1957-1966, undated.
 
3          14        “Pre-school English,” 5 negatives, 1959
                        Unidentified gas station, undated
                        Unidentified women (2) on porch
                        In memoriam card for Adela G. Mireles, 1974
                        “Party at Nita Clark’s, Sept 1960”
                        Servico Medina truck, 4 b/w photographs, undated.   
                        Unidentified castle, undated
                        [E.E. Mireles] playing pool, 1966
                        E.E. Mireles portrait, c. 1930s
Series X: Clippings, 1943-1987.                                        
 
Box     Folder                       
                                                                                   
Box 4              Newspaper clippings, mostly related to education, politics, and Mexico.
 
Series XI: Postcard Collection, undated.
 
Box 5              Approximately 300 postcards; most blank.                                            
 
 
Series XII: Artifacts, undated.
 
Box 5              Sewing Box                                                                                      
Box 11                        Large Wooden Box with Poinsettia Decoration             
Box 12                        Medium Wooden Box with Raised Floral Decoration              
Box 13                        Photograph of Jovita González Mireles' sister Tula      
Box 14                        Hat, glove, oval box, handkerchief                                              
Box 15                        Key to Mireles’ ranch                                                                     
 
           
Series XIII: Books/Published Material, 1934-1966, undated.
 
6          1          Bookplate: A. Plaza                                                                                     
6          2          The Texas Observer, April 18, 1963 (2 copies).                                          
6          3          Guide to Presidio of La Bahia and Cultural Displays                        
6          4          Rodale’s Quinto Lingo, Feb. 1966                                                                
6          5          Prevention, May 1967                                                                                              
6          6          Vidas Minimas          
                                                                       
7          1          Santa Anna: El Dictador Resplandeciente                                                    
7          2          A Ranger Legacy: 150 years of Service to Texas by D.E. Kilgore              
7          3          The Voice of the Coyote by J. Frank Dobie                                                 
7          4          Al Filo Del Agua Novela by Agustin Yañez           
                                   
8          1          An American Mexican Frontier by Paul S. Taylor                        
8          2          “With His Pistol in His Hand” A Border Ballad and Its Hero by Americo Paredes
8          3          The True Facts About the Expropriation of the Oil Companies’ Properties in Mexico by Government of Mexico
8          4          Diamonds for the King by Sister Mary Xavier
 
9          1          Regional Dances of Mexico by Edith Johnston                   
9          2          Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather                                      
9          3          The Complete Works of Shakespeare                                                             
 
Series XIII: Books/Published Materials, continued
 
Box     Folder
 
10        1          Finding Literature on the Texas Plains by John William Rogers and J. Frank Dobie              
10        2          Silver Spur Vol. I, 1951, W.B Ray High school                            
10        3          Silver Spur Vol. II, 1952, W.B. Ray High school                         
10        4          Silver Spur Vol. VI, 1956, W.B. Ray High school                        
 
Series XIV: Sound Recordings, 1969, undated
 
10        5          Subseries A. Magnetic Tape                     

Spanish lessons by E.E. Mireles (1 compact disc for patron use only; 1 archival copy not for patron use)

Subseries B. Phonographs                                    
           
16        1                      Pedro Infante, Serie de homenaje a Pedro Infante              
16        2                      Jorge Negrete