A Guide to the Frank Toudouze Collection, 1965-1995
The Toudouze family includes Frank Toudouze (1913-1996), his wife Mary (1913-1995), and his mother Lizzie (1890-1976). Frank Toudouze was a retired aircraft mechanic and Mary Toudouze worked at Judson Candies, Inc. The family lived at 123 Wyoming Street in San Antonio, Texas for 52 years before the Urban Renewal Agency, a San Antonio public works program, gave notice that they would be demolishing their house in preparation for HemisFair 1968.
On January 12, 1965, a representative from the Urban Renewal Agency notified the Toudouzes that they will be evicted from their home if they did not sell it. Sitting within the boundaries of Urban Renewal Project No. 5, 123 Wyoming Street was condemned so that the land could be developed for use in HemisFair 1968. This started Frank Toudouzes battle against Urban Renewal.
Toudouze was inspired by Maude Wilcox, an elderly widow who fought to keep her land from being developed as part of an Interstate 37 renovation. Toudouze believed that his and his community’s civil rights were violated and sought justice for his family until well after HemisFair. Toudouze believed the seizure of his land to be illegal as HemisFair was a private project.
On April 7, 1966 the family was evicted and their house demolished. The Urban Renewal Agency offered the family $10,597.58 in compensation, though the Toudouzes refused the award.
The collection contains correspondence between Frank Toudouze and numerous politicians at the local, state, and federal level. There is also correspondence with lawyers, journalists, and contractors as well as clippings from San Antonio newspapers that document his public statements. Also included is a list of lawyers the Toudouzes contacted for help in their case and their opinions on its viability. Photographs depict handmade signs created by Toudouze chronicling the battle against eviction. Other photographs are of the family plot in St. Joseph's Parish Cemetery. One large photographs shows the back of the Toudouze house.
This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.
[Identification of item], Frank Toudouze Collection, MS 369, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
Donated to the Institute of Texan Cultures Library by Frank Toudouze in November 1978. Transferred to Special Collections in 2011.
Processed by Nikki Lynn Thomas, Manuscripts Archivist in 2011.
Additional processing done by Paige Hayhurst, Student Clerk in September 2017.
Detailed Description of the Collection