The Benson Latin American Collection

Eleuterio Escobar Papers, 1906-1971

Descriptive Summary

Creator Escobar, Eleuterio, 1894-1970
Title Eleuterio Escobar Papers
Dates: 1906-1971
Abstract The personal and business papers of Eleuterio Escobar, including legal papers, correspondence, autobiography drafts, business and financial records, agendas, and photographs, which also relate to the activites of the School Improvement League.
OCLC Record No. 23103759
Extent 11 linear feet
Language English and Spanish
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Eleuterio Escobar was a businessman and community leader in San Antonio, Texas. Born in Laredo, Texas, September 11, 1894, he served in World War I, became a salesman in south Texas, and then started his own business in San Antonio. During his career, Mr. Escobar owned and operated various businesses, including a furniture company, a leather and importing company, and a music business. His philanthropic activities centered on advocating improved school facilites for Mexican American children in San Antonio, where he also founded the School Improvement League (Liga Defensa Escolar), an organization dedicated to improving schools on the city's west side. Mr. Escobar was a member of several community organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Knights of America. He died in 1970.

Scope and Contents Note

Includes legal papers, correspondence, autobiography drafts, business and financial records, agendas, and photographs from Eleuterio Escobar. The papers are organized in five series: 1. Personal and biographical materials, 2. Organizations, 3. Financial and business records, 4. External Publications, and 5. Photographs. Over half of the papers are business and financial records, and the bulk of the rest of the materials relate to activities and organizations. The photographs and glass slides depict mainly School Improvement League activities, although three images are of Escobar and his wife.

Some materials from the Eleuterio Escobar Collection are available in an online exhibit. A few images from the online exhibit are included in this finding aid.



The papers are organized in five series: 1.    Personal and biographical materials, 2.    Organizations, 3.    Financial and business records, 4.    External Publications, and 5.    Photographs.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

The Eleuterio Escobar Papers are classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries' catalog:
Escobar, Eleuterio, 1894-1970
Arnold, Katherine S.
Castaneda, Carlos Eduardo, 1896-1958
Cortez, Raul
Escobar, Cecilia Canales
Garcia, Gustavo C.
Gerodetti, Orlando
Gonzalez, Henry B. (Henry Barbosa), 1916-
Gonzalez, Manuel C.
Lara, Agustin, 1900-1970
Maverick, Maury, 1895-1954
Perales, Alonso S., 1898-
Spears, J. Franklin
Tafolla, Santiago
Tafolla, James
Association of Independent Voters (San Antonio, Texas)
Knights of America (San Antonio, Texas)
League of United Latin American Citizens
San Antonio Independent School District
School Improvement League (San Antonio, Texas)
San Antonio (Tex.)--Politics and government
Mexican Americans--Education--Texas--San Antonio
Mexican American business enterprises--Texas--San Antonio--Records and correspondence
Public schools--Texas--San Antonio

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Eleuterio Escobar Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Box and Folder Inventory


1. Personal and Biographical Materials

box folder
1 1 Autobiographical notes.
42 pages, handwritten tablet.
2 Autobiographical notes.

Click here to enlarge
15 pages.
3 1st autobiography draft.
13 pages, typescript.
4 Revised autobiography draft.
5 Final autobiography draft, 1894-1958.
6 Tributes to Eleuterio Escobar.
7 Legal documents and petitions.
8 Escobar vs. Leo Paller (New York Bakery), 1954.
9 Funeral arrangements and estate settlement.
10 Papers relating to Pablo Escobar, Administrator of Escobar Estate.
11 Miscellaneous letters.
12 Miscellaneous outgoing mail, 1930-1970, n.d.
13 Miscellaneous incoming mail and telegrams, 1921-1969, n.d.
14 Miscellaneous personal notes.
15 Miscellaneous handwritten notes.
16 Notes and ephemera.
17 Personal notes.
18 Diploma, Cecilia Escobar.
19 Baptismal certificate.
Loose items:
Address book.
4 small note pads.
Daily calendar, 1955.
Business cards.


2. Organizations and Activities

box folder
2 1 Assn. of Independent Voters.
2 LULAC Committe on Public School Buildings and Playgrounds.

Click here to enlarge
3 Law briefs and notes on schools and school districts.
School Improvement League/Liga Pro Defensor Escolar:
4 School Improvement League, 1934, minutes and list of founding members and organizations.
5 School Improvement League, Acta Primordial 1934.
6 Speeches and notes regarding League, Oct. 3, 1934-1936.
7 School and building sites in San Antonio, 1938.
8 P.A.P.A., Political campaigns, etc.
Loose items:
Constitucíon de la Liga Pro-Defensa Escolar, 1934. 6 copies.
Liga Pro-Defensa Escolar?Membership and affiliation cards.
Receipt books.
Letterpress engraving on wooden block with Liga letterhead.
box folder
3 1 Correspondence: Commission on Schoolgrounds and Facilites, 1934, and School Improvement League.
2 Correspondence: School Improvement League and Augustín Lara's visit to San Antonio.
3 Correspondence: Augustín Lara's visit to San Antonio, 1935.
4 Correspondence: School Improvement League (SIL), 1947.
5 Correspondence: SIL, 1948.
6 Correspondence: SIL, 1949-1953.
6a Organizational activites, SIL.
7 Undated and incomplete letters relating to SIL and school problems.
8 Invitations, letters, telegrams of congratulations and correspondence: Dedication of Escolar Jr. High School and graduation 1958-1959.
9 SIL stationary and addressed envelopes.
10 Liga-SIL addressed envelopes.
box folder
4 1 SIL-Articles of Incorporation, 1947.
2 Briefs, summaries, petitions, recomm., leaflets for 1934, 1947, 1949, 1950.
3 Memorandums 1 and 2 relating to fire inspections of school buildings, 1947, and fire prevention code of San Antonio.
4 SIL's Plan of Suggestions and Recommendations made to San Antonio School Board, 1947.
5 SIL petitions to San Antonio School Board, 1948.
6 SIL petitions to San Antonio School Board, 1949.
7 SIL petitions to San Antonio School Board, 1950-1951.
8 SIL petitions to San Antonio School Board and suggestions, undated.
9 Lists of league members, affiliates; community, religious, civic, and social organizations and leaders; and radio stations and newspapers.
10 SIL minutes, 1947-1949, undated.
11 Financial records: receipts, lists of contributors, rental contract re:SIL and records of money collected for advertising, 1935, 1947-1948, 1950, 1962-1966, 1970, undated.
12 ABC Revista Mensual: Organo Oficial de la Liga Pro Defensa Escolar, 1947.
13 SIL brochures, blank petitions, broadsides, and programs.
Click here to enlarge
14 SIL circulars, press releases, postcards, 1947-1950, 1955, undated.
15 SIL miscellaneous materials.
16 Incomplete materials re: San Antonio schools and SIL.
17 Postal material addressed to Manuel G. Castañeda (SIL spokesman).
box folder
5 1 SIL notes, speeches, letters, 1948, 1950, 1966-1967, undated.
2 Notes, speeches, undated.
3 SIL speeches, 1947-1948.
4 SIL speeches and reports, undated.
5 Radio speeches, July 15-December 29, 1947, spot announcements, programs, and informal reports on KIWW, KITE, KCOR.
6 Radio speeches, 1948.
7 Radio speeches, 1949.
8 Radio speeches, 1950.
9 Radio speeches and programs, undated.
box folder
6 1 [Missing or non-existent].
2 Statistical reports of San Antonio school enrollments, 1923-1950.
3 Statistical tables relating to school buildings, costs, pupils, and teachers.
4 San Antonio school statistics and reports, 1945-1949.
5 Statistical notes, reports, circulars (undated) re: San Antonio schools and the SIL.
6 Report: Citizen's School Survey Comm. to the Board of Education of SAISD.
7 SIL's analysis in response to the CItizen's Survey Comm. Report, 1950.
box folder
7 1 School Improvement League Survey, questionnaires 2-191.
2 SIL survey, questionnaires 1-157.
3 SIL survey, questionnaires 1-91.
4 SIL survey, questionnaires 1-99.
5 SIL survey, questionnaires 100-201.
32 Oversized School Improvement Leage Materials:
5 Plaque: Liga Pro Defenson Escolar, N.d.
6 El Defensor de la Juventud, Organo de la Liga de Defensa Pro-Escuelas, 1935
[Vol. 1, Nos. 1-3, incomplete?]
7 Research Statistics, 1933, N.d.
box folder
8 1 SAISD items for board agenda, 1/14/48-12/22/48.
2 SAISD items for board agenda, 1/12/49-12/14/49.
3 SAISD items for board agenda, 1/25/50-6/28/50.
4 SAISD items for board agenda, 7/12/50-12/13/50.
5 SAISD items for board agenda, 1/10/51-4/25/51.
6 SAISD items for board agenda, 12/12/51.
box folder
9 1 SAISD items for board agenda, 1/9/52-5/28/52.
2 SAISD items for board agenda, 6/11/52-12/10/52.
3 SAISD items for board agenda, 1/12/53-5/27/53 (#1-4).
4 SAISD items for board agenda, 6/10/53-8/26/53.
5 Materials on other school districts.
Loose items:
Budget estimates (SAISD), 1963-1964, 1964-1965.
10 Budget estimates (SAISD), 1947-1963,
seven volumes.
10a Wooden box card file (3x5 cards): "List of names of persons who are invited to attend the meetings for the Betterment of San Antonio."


3. Business and Financial Records

box folder
11 1 Escobar Furniture Co.: Financial report 1929, 1924 receipt, and cancelled checks.
Click here to enlarge
2 International Leather and Importing Co.: Correspondence, Purchase orders, invoices, packing slips, commercial license 1936-37, 1939-42, 1947-49.
3 Music business transactions 1930-34.
4 Corridos.
5 Song sheets and lyrics.
6 EECO Silvercraft Manufacturers Co. 1940, 1942, 1948-50, 1953.
7 EECO Silver Co.
8 Correspondence, telegrams re: business transactions with Mexico 1943-47 and boxing match 1933.
9 Letters in response to ad in La Prensa 5/8-5/12/39 re: employment.
box folder
12 1 Real estate 1926-27.
2 Real estate 1930-32.
3 Real estate and EECO 1940-45.
4 Real estate, San Antonio vs. Cantu
5 Real estate 1950-52.
6 Real estate 1953-55.
7 Real estate 1956-59.
8 Real estate 1960-68.
box folder
13 1 Real estate license application, notes, and letter.
2 Real estate property taxes.
3 Real estate.
4 Real estate.
5 Real estate papers: tax statements, classified ads, insurance claims, receipts for house improvement, bank.
Loose items:
Pamphlet: Mortgage payment calculator.
Pamphlet: Real estate ad phrasebook.
3x5 notecards (legal information).
box folder
14 1 Tax statements, 1952-58.
2 Bills and statements, 1959-62.
3 Bills and statements, 1960.
4 Bills and statements, 1960.
5 Bills and statements, 1964, doctor and hospital.
6 Bills and statements, 1964, doctor and hospital.
7 Paid bills, 1966 (Jan.-Dec.).
8 Paid bills, 1966 (Jan.-Dec.).
9 Statements and bills paid, 1967.
10 Statements and bills paid, 1967.
15 Financial records, 1931, 1938-1958: Receipts; cancelled checks; tax, insurance, and bank statements; Earnest Money Receipts; property sales documents.
16 Financial records, 1958-1962, 1964-1965: EECO bank statements and cancelled checks, other tax statements, bank statements, and water bills.
17 Financial records, 1958, 1960-1969: Bills; bank, insurance, and tax statements; miscellaneous receipts, notices, and cancelled checks.
18 Financial records, 1964-1969: Bills; bank and insurance statements, cancelled checks, deposit tickets, receipts, and notes.
box folder
19 Loose items:
Rent receipt book, 1969-1970.
Order book, 1954-65.
Unused receipt book, International Leather and Importing Co.
Receipt book, 1957-65.
Social security ledger notebook, 1939-47.
Financial journal, 1923-24.
Ledger, 1941.
Metal telephone/address book, 1959-60.
Sales book, 1939-40, 1953.
20 Checkbook stubs, 1951-1968.
Unused checkbook for Escobar Furniture Co., 1930's.
21 Cancelled checks, 1945, 1947-49, 1957.
22 Cancelled checks, 1960-61.
23 Cancelled checks, 1962-63.
24 Cancelled checks, 1966.
25 Tax statements, 1969-71.
box folder
26 1 Oversized ledger sheets.
2 Sheet music.
Loose items:
Ledger, installment payments, 1923-.


4. External Publications

box folder
27 Loose items:
Pamphlet: Mastery of Speech.
Leaflet: poetry.
Pamphlet: If You Become Disabled.
Roster of San Antonio Bar Assn.
Directory and year book for San Antonio Teachers Council, 1945-46.
Book: Our Witness in One World.
Book: Un testimonio unido para el mundo
Book: Maná del cristano, 1951.
Small folder: "My Daily Sacrifice."
Pamphlet:The Constitution of the United States and Its Amendments.
1 Lorenzo Zavala: biographical notes, 1967-68.
Loose items:
Notebook: "Purchase of Headrights in Bexar Cty. in 1837" by John Pitts.
Book: Info. concerning S.A. River Canal and Conservancy District.
City of San Antonio telephone directory of depts. and employees.
Pamphlet:The Jones Affair.
Leaflet: "San Antonio de Bexar."
Pamphlet: José Francisco Ruíz.
Supplement to House Journal, 6/2/49.
Border Trends, May 1942.
Book:Conozca a Fray Martín de Porres.
Program for Sociedad de la Union.
San Antonio phone directory, July 1931.
2 Publications by/for U.S. Commiss. on Civil Rights, 1967-68.
5 reports.


5. Photographs

Some photographs from the Eleuterio Escobar Papers can be viewed in an online exhibit.
box folder
28 1 Photographs of Eleuterio Escobar.
2 Photographs of Others.
3 Gran Junta de la Liga Pro-Defensa Escolar.
4 Photographs of Schools and School Children.
5 Aftermath of Building Fire, Lorenzo de Zavala Elementary School, 1950.
box folder
29 1 Business Property (Real Estate).
2 Postcards, State of Puebla, Mexico.
31 31 Glass slides (School Improvement League).
1. Andrea García, La Prensa, Hija de Marca San Fernando.
(glass negative)
2. Carlos Castañeda.

Click here to enlarge
(glass negative)
3. Señorita Estela Ramírez.
(glass negative)
4. Gran Junta (Aug. 31, 1948) Broadside — folder 13.
5. Dupl. of #4.
6. Dupl. of #4.
7. González School, San Antonio, 7-22-48.
(broken glass slide, print, negative)
8. Burbank School, San Antonio, 7-22-48.
(broken glass slide, print, negative)
9. Children next to school building.
(glass slide, negative)
10. 4 buildings with children standing in front of the 2nd building; school crossing sign.
(glass slide, negative)
11. Building with child standing next to water trough.
(glass slide, negative)
12. Back of building with open door.
(glass slide, negative)
13. Children in front of school building, 11-30-47.
(glass slide, negative, print)
14. Children in front of school building next to large tree.
(glass slide, negative)
15. Children in classroom next to furnace.
(glass slide, negative)
16. Children between two buildings.
(glass slide, negative)
17. Building with bookcase in front.
(glass slide, negative)
18. Sidney Lanier students attend classes in a former pecan shelling facility.
19. Children standing behind school building.
(glass slide, negative)
20. Two tables.
21. Rear end view of a West Side school building.
22. Children sitting on lawn next to school building.
(glass slide, negative)
23. Building exterior with child by front steps, dead animal in street.
(glass slide, negative, print)
24. Child playing an oboe next to a toilet.
25. Bulletin board with various scenes of children.
(glass slide, negative, print)
26. Knox School, San Antonio, 9 (7?)-22-48.
(glass slide, negative, print)
27. Dead dog in front of school.
28. Students standing in line outside school cafeteria.
(cracked glass slide)
29. Old church used for classroom.
30. McKingley School, San Antonio, 7-22-48.
(glass slide, negative, print)
31. Laura Steel School, San Antonio, 7-22-48.
(glass slide, negative, print)
32 Large format photographs
1 Portrait of Escobar (head and shoulders). (b/w; oval)
2 1. Escobar in military uniform with U.S. flag and eagle in background. (1940s?; tinted, oval)
3 Escobar with wife (head and shoulders). (tinted; oval)
4 Various:
1. Two Hispanics in military uniform with U.S. flag in background (head and shoulders). (tinted; oval; approx. 9-5/8 in. x 16 in.)
2. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, President of Mexico, and Richard Nixon, President of the United States, embracing at the dedication of La Amistad Dam (Texas), Sept. 8, 1969, with their wives, Guadalupe Borja de Díaz Ordaz and Pat Nixon looking on. (b/w; 10-3/8 in. x 14 in.)
3. Horseman on rearing stallion in corral. (color; approx. 11 x 14 in.)


6. Oversized Materials

DR Oversized Photographs
1 Master Shoe ReBuilders Association, San Antonio, Texas, September 1937
2 16th Anniversary of La Prensa, San Antonio, Texas, 13 February 1929
3 Escobar Field, 1935
Inscribed on photo: "First celebration of Children's Day — sponsored by the Pro-Schools Defense League/ San Antonio, Texas, June 23, 1935. Photo by H.L. Summerville. This field owned and maintained by E. Escobar for the benefit of the children of this community."
4 Various Oversized Materials
Blueprints of Escobar Field, N.d.
[4 pages]
Genealogical Chart, N.d.
Maps of San Antonio, N.d.
[3 pages]
Map of Mexico