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Jovita González Mireles Papers

Identifier: SWWC-033

Scope and Contents

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 Jovita González Mireles and E.E. 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 Jovita González Mireles and E.E. 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.


  • 1921-1993
  • Majority of material found within 1930-1975


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials from the Wittliff Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user assumes responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish, and abiding by U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical Notes

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.

E. E. Mireles 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 by José E. Limón, Dew on the Thorn by Jovita González, and Gente Decente by Leticia Garza-Falcón.


10 Linear Feet

16 boxes

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • The descriptive data created for this finding aid is licensed under the CC0 Creative Commons license and is free for use without restriction.


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.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use:

Source of Acquisition

Purchased from M. (Maria) Isabel Cruz, 1998

Related Materials

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 and 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.

Guide to the Jovita González Mireles Papers
Emily Painton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2009: Inventory revised by Katie Salzmann.
  • 2021: Revised for ArchivesSpace by Susannah Broyles.

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA