Alberto Gonzalo and Eva Garcia Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Alberto Gonzalo Garcia, physician, was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, on February 11, 1889, the son of Manuel and Fernanda (Herrera) Garcia. While still in Mexico Alberto met two Seventh-day Adventists missionaries from the United States to whom he expressed a desire to go to the United States for an education. Through the efforts of the couple, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, heard of Alberto and invited him and his sister, Isabel, to the United States. With the consent of Alberto's parents, he and Isabel were among the forty-two children from all over the world "adopted" by the Kelloggs.
On June 27, 1906, Garcia received a diploma from Battle Creek College, and on June 14, 1910, he graduated from the American Medical Missionary College in Battle Creek with a doctor of medicine degree. He then served under Dr. Levi Salmans, a friend of Dr. Kellogg, as an intern missionary physician at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Guanajuato, Mexico. When Garcia finished his internship in May 1911, he became company doctor for the Los Angeles Mining Company in the state of Chihuahua. After six months he joined the La Reforma Unit of the M. Guggenheim and Sons Mining Company of New York. At this time he also had a private practice near Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila. Garcia resigned his position with the La Reforma Unit in June 1912 to concentrate on his private practice, but the unrest of the Mexican Revolution encouraged him to return to the United States.
After receiving his second degree in medicine from Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans in 1914, he and his wife, Eva Carrillo de Garcia, moved to Austin, Texas in 1915 and Alberto became the first Mexican American physician to set up a medical practice. Garcia joined the medical staff at Brackenridge Hospital and fought tirelessly to assure that Mexican Americans received medical services at the facility. In 1921, he became a naturalized citizen and encouraged others to acquire citizenship and exercise the right to vote. He helped establish Obreros Mexicanos, a workers' group, and the local chapter of the Comisión Honorífícas Mexicanas, which represented Mexican nationals in the United States.
Garcia was also very active in Austin's civic affairs. He supported the building of the Austin Public Library and advocated for better educational opportunities for Mexican Americans before passing away in 1962.
María de los Angeles Guadalupe Eva Carrillo y Gallardo de Garcia, missionary, nurse, social-welfare volunteer, and civil-rights activist, was born on December 12, 1883, in Los Angeles, California, to Teresa Gallardo de Carrillo and Nicanor Luis Carrillo. Before Eva was five, her mother died of typhoid fever; her father later remarried. Eva became a ward of the Methodist Church and Dr. Levi Salmans, the first Methodist medical missionary to Mexico. She attended the Colegio Juárez in Guanajuato, Mexico. In 1906 she graduated from Bethany Hospital, a school of nursing in Larned, Kansas. In 1910 she graduated from the Chicago Training School for City, Home and Foreign Missions, an early branch of Northwestern University. After graduation she worked as a nurse at Battle Creek Sanitarium, in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she met Dr. Alberto G. Garcia. The couple was married on December 6, 1911, and eventually had eight children. Mrs. Garcia gave her primary attention to raising her family but still managed to be active in civic, social-welfare, political, and church activities. Having been trained as a missionary nurse, she worked at the George O. Robinson Orphanage in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and lived in Central America and Mexico with her husband before moving to Austin in 1915.
In 1920 Alberto, in collaboration with Eva, published the first Spanish-language newspaper published in Austin, La Vanguardia. Eva also participated in health-education drives such as the ones seeking to prevent tuberculosis. She was an elder at University Methodist Church and was active with women's groups there. She helped found the second Mexican Methodist church in Austin, Emmanuel Methodist. She organized parties for graduating students and also worked with youth and collaborated with the city probation officer and juvenile agencies to turn boys and girls from delinquency. In the late 1920s or early 1930s she taught Spanish to students from Austin Military Academy. She was also active in many clubs, including the League of Women Voters of Texas. Garcia was a founding member and president of Ladies LULAC in Austin in the late 1930s. She worked to desegregate movie theaters and swimming pools.
She died on September 26, 1979
Born in Austin, Texas on December 7, 1919, Martha Xochitl Garcia y Carrillo was one of eight children of Dr. Alberto Garcia and Eva Carrillo de Garcia. She married Jerges Jose Rodriguez on October 9, 1943 and the couple had three children. She received her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy in 1943 and was one of the first females to practice in Austin, where she worked in both retail and as a hospital pharmacist.
SOURCE: Adapted from Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgayk and http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fga62), accessed June 12, 2012.
The small collection consists mainly of biographical information about Alberto and Eva Garcia, as well as their daughter Martha. Of interest is An Autobiography written by Alberto in 1918, which documents his early childhood through high school experiences. Additional writings by Alberto include letters to the editor and newspaper and magazine articles supporting his liberal ideals of justice and social equality. The family photographs span the years of the late 1800s to 1989. An undated portrait of Dr. Garcia and his College of Medicine, Tulane University of Louisiana, Class 1914 photograph, and Austin Consistory Class of 1917 photograph are also included. Biographical information about Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Battle Creek Sanitarium provide insight into the man that brought Alberto and his sister to the United States. Lastly, Dr. Alberto Garcia's glass nameplate that hung outside his medical office and a few pieces of medical equipment (including suture needles) document his profession.
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Restrictions on Use
Donated by new owner of Alberto and Eva Garcia's home at 1214 Newning Street, Austin, Texas with permission from Martha Garcia.
Alberto and Eva Garcia Papers (AR.2005.012). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2005/042
Donation Date: 2005, 2006
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2012.
Detailed Description of the Collection