Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Adolph C. Herrera Collection, 1836-circa 1890, 1993, undated

Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the Adolph C. Herrera Collection, 1836-circa 1890, 1993, undated



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Herrera, Adolph Casias, 1913-1999
Title: Adolph C. Herrera Collection
Dates: 1836-circa 1890, 1993, undated
Creator Abstract: A resident of San Antonio, Texas, Adolph C. Herrera (1913-1999) conducted extensive research into his family's history and donated artifacts to various Texas cultural institutions. He is a descendant of Blas Maria Herrera (1802-1878) and José Francisco Ruiz (1783–1840).
Content Abstract: Comprised primarily of artifacts, the Adolph C. Herrera Collection also contains a letter, a photograph, and prayer cards. In the letter to Blas Maria Herrera dated 1836 December 27, José Francisco Ruiz discusses family matters and advises his son-in-law to leave San Antonio should the Mexican army approach. A brief note from Francisco Antonio Ruiz (circa 1804-1876), José Francisco’s son, is appended. The document is written in Spanish and accompanied by a transcription and English translation.
Identification: Col 11546
Extent: 5.13 linear feet (1 document box, 2 record cartons, 4 oversize boxes)
Language: Materials are in Spanish with one English translation, French, and German.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Biographical Note

Adolph Casias Herrera was born in San Antonio, Texas, on 1913 January 17, the son of Adolph L. (1885-1914) and Josefa R. Casias (1888-1934) Herrera. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he worked for the San Antonio Fire Department for thirty-six years and was a real estate broker. Herrera was also a member of the Lions Club and the Senior Citizens Council of Bexar County and a founding member of the Granaderos de Galvez, an organization dedicated to researching and honoring Spain’s role in the American Revolution.

Herrera’s family roots extend to the earliest settlement of San Antonio, and among his ancestors are several historically important Tejanos. Herrera was a descendant of Canary Islander Juan Curbelo. Often called the “Paul Revere of the Texas Revolution,” his great-grandfather Blas Maria Herrera (1802-1878) was a son-in-law of José Francisco Ruiz (1783–1840), a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Blas Herrera’s ranch, located approximately twenty miles south of San Antonio along the Medina River, contains two of the last remaining jacales in Bexar County. These structures date from as early as the 1830s and represent early settlement and building techniques by Tejano settlers. Portones, or outer gates, from Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo) found on the property are on loan to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. In 2010, the National Park Service added the Herrera Ranch to the National Register of Historic Places. To honor Herrera’s ancestry, donation of artifacts to various cultural institutions, and lifelong devotion to documenting Texas, San Antonio, and family history, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas awarded him an honorary membership in the organization.

Adolph C. Herrera married Hortensia De La Garza around 1940; the couple had three daughters. Hortense was born in San Antonio on 1921 February 24, one of seven daughters of Francisco and Candelaria De La Garza.

Adolph C. Herrera died in San Antonio on 1999 April 8; his wife died in Austin on 2010 December 22.

References

Adolph C. Herrera biographical file, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Gomez, Maria O. “Francisco Antonio Ruiz.” Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fru31.

Herrera, Adolph Casias. “Blas Maria Herrera.” Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhe73.

Strong, Bernice. “José Francisco Ruiz.” Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fru11.

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Scope and Content Note

Comprised primarily of artifacts, the Adolph C. Herrera Collection also contains a letter, a photograph, and prayer cards.

In the letter to Blas Maria Herrera dated 1836 December 27, José Francisco Ruiz discusses family matters and advises his son-in-law to leave San Antonio should the Mexican army approach. A brief note from Francisco Antonio Ruiz (circa 1804-1876), José Francisco Ruiz’s son, is appended. The document is written in Spanish and accompanied by a transcription and English translation.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.

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Index Terms

Personal Names
Herrera, Adolph Casias, 1913-1999.
Herrera, Blas, 1802-1878.
Ruiz, Francisco Antonio, ca. 1804-1876.
Ruiz, José Francisco, 1783-1840.
Ruiz, Marie.
Carlota, Empress, consort of Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, 1840-1927.
Locations
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846--Sources.
Genres/Formats
Personal papers.
Artifacts.
Correspondence.
Oral histories.
Paintings (visual works).
Photographs.
Portraits.
Printed ephemera.
Retablos (panel paintings).

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Related Material

In the course of researching and documenting his family history, Adolph Herrera located original documents at various libraries and archives. He donated photocopies of these materials to the DRT Library, which houses them in the Adolph C. Herrera biographical file.

José Francisco Ruiz Items, 1780-1840, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Blas Herrera Papers, Special Collection, Bexar County Archives, San Antonio, Texas.

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Administrative Information

Provenance

Information about the original owners of most of the items in the collection comes from family tradition.

Many of the items came into the Herrera family through the descendants of Maria Antonia Ruiz (1809-1887), daughter of José Francisco Ruiz and wife of Blas Herrera. The items were passed to her son José Maria Herrera (1850-1932), to his daughter Pauline Herrera Ruiz Kleid (1881-1968), and to her niece Sophia S. Herrera Langevin. Langevin retained the bar pin, earrings, and sash and gave other items to her brother Adolph C. Herrera around 1983. The short-sword, previously identified as a machete, was found by Juan Peña on the banks of the Medina River adjacent to the Herrera property around 1919.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Adolph C. Herrera Collection, 1836-circa 1890, 1993, undated, Col 11546, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Hortense Herrera in honor of Adolph C. Herrera and the Herrera family, 2001 November.

Gift of Anthony Langevin in honor of Sophia S. Herrera Langevin and the Herrera family, 2001 November.

Processing Information

Spanish-language letter transcribed and translated by Dora Guerra, 2000 July-2001 September.

Processed by Russell James, 2008 April.

Additional processing by Caitlin Donnelly, 2011 January.

Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2011 January.

Items in the collection re-housed by Sara Schmidt and Tom D'Amore, 2011 July.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Adolph C. Herrera Collection, 1836-circa 1890, 1993, undated

Box Folder
1 1 Letter: José Francisco Ruiz, Columbia, Texas, to Blas Maria Herrera, Bexar, Texas, Spanish with transcription and translation, 1836 December 27.
2 Prayer cards: 7 items, French and German, undated.
3 Photograph: José Maria Herrera (1850-1932), son Miguel Herrera (1878-1966), and sister Jacoba Margarita Herrera de la Garza (1830-1914), circa 1890.
Box
2 Oral histories: interviews with Adolph C. Herrera, 3 videocassettes, 1993 July 1.
Artifacts
Leather case: possibly used for cards, glasses, or a rosary, personal item of Maria Antonia Ruiz Herrera, undated.
Pistol barrel: personal item of Maria Antonia Ruiz Herrera, undated.
Locket with lock of hair: possibly a personal item of Benito Herrera, undated.
Iron keys to the Alamo and the Spanish Governor’s Palace: believed to have been used by José Francisco Ruiz, undated.
Soapstone sculptures: St. Ignatius Loyola and religious scene, 2 items, undated.
Bar pin: gold with seed pearls, undated.
Earrings: gold with emerald stones, undated.
Bead-embroidered rosary bag: personal item of Empress Carlota of Mexico, circa 1860-1869.
Hand-embroidered sash: personal item of Empress Carlota of Mexico, circa 1860-1869.
Box
Oversize 5 White lace mantilla: possibly a personal item of Empress Carlota of Mexico, circa 1860-1869.
Box
Oversize 6 Short-sword without hilt: previously identified as a machete, probably circa 1840-1860.
Box
Oversize 7 Epaulette and gold trim: possibly from the Spanish military uniform of José Francisco Ruiz, undated.
Box
3 Ruiz family medals: possibly used by José Francisco Ruiz to identify himself when traveling among the Indians, mounted on exhibit plexiglass, undated.
Milagro of leg: personal item of José Francisco Ruiz to commemorate an injury sustained in battle, possibly the Battle of San Jacinto, mounted on exhibit plexiglass, undated.
Herrera family Bible: La Sagrada Biblia Traducia de la Vulgata Latina (The Sacred Bible Translated from the Latin Vulgate), 1882.
Box
Oversize 4 Retablo, Santo Niño de Atocha, possibly used in the Herrera family home or chapel, paint on copper, undated.
Portraits
Box
2 José Francisco Ruiz, undated.
Collection
Art Collection Maria Ruiz, oil on canvas, see catalog for additional information, probably circa 1880-1887.
Items on loan to San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas
Iron cross: believed to be from San Fernando Cathedral, undated.
Iron key: believed to be from San Fernando Cathedral, undated.

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