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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Ines Garcia papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1916-1999
Creator: García, Inés (1931-2009)
Extent: 5.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0467
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Mexican American whose family migrated to the U.S., and eventually to Iowa, in the early twentieth century.
View Selected Items Online:Mujeres Latinas Digital Collection

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 1 and 2.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donors has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 690 and 999) were donated by Teresa Garcia and Ines Garcia in 1999 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Ines Garcia papers, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Inés Puga García was born in Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1931 to Josefa and Lucio Puga. Garcia's grandparents, Claro and María Sanchez Diaz, emigrated with their family from Cerrito Del Agua in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, arriving in Oklahoma on December 7, 1917. Her mother, Josefa Diaz, and aunt, Romana Diaz, arrived in Fort Madison in May 1919. There the Diaz family lived in the Mexican settlement known as El Cometa, a boxcar community whose residents worked for the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1926, a flood destroyed El Cometa and the family moved to another neighborhood known as La Yarda.

From the time she was two weeks old, Inés Puga was raised by her padrinos, or godparents, Asensión Morales and Romana Diaz Morales, who was her mother's sister. Inés Puga graduated from Fort Madison's Catholic Central High School in 1949; she was among the first generation of her family to graduate from high school and was one of the only Mexican students at the private high school. In 1951, Inés Puga married Vernave García and the couple raised six children. Following her husband's death in 1971, Inés García worked in a variety of manufacturing and service sector jobs to support her children.

The Ines Garcia papers date from 1916 to 1999 and measure 5 linear inches. The papers include an oral history interview with Ines Garcia conducted by her daughter, Teresa Garcia, in 1999 at her home in Fort Madison, Iowa, a 1916 copy of the legend of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman), and family photographs. Also included is a transcript of the oral history interview with Ines Garcia conducted by her daughter, Teresa Garcia.

The photo album dates from 1921 to 1978 and contains newspaper clippings, photographs, postcards, funeral programs, a civil registration written in Spanish, and a receipt for a burial monument. The newspaper clippings provide insight into Mexican American life in Fort Madison and include a number of obituaries. The family photographs depict home and work life in the first half of the twentieth century.  Some of the postcards include written correspondence.

Ines Garcia's Holy Communion certificate from Sacred Heart Church in Fort Madison is shelved in the map case.
Mujeres Latinas Oral History Project: Inés García oral history interview, 2005 (IWA).

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: FAMILY HISTORY
  • Box 1:
  • Oral history interview by Teresa Garcia - 1999
  • High school diploma - 1949
  • Holy Communion certificate (shelved in map case) - 1939
  • Ayala y Pons, Infancia, Libro Cuarto - 1926
  • La Llorona (the Weeping Woman) - 1916
  • Newspaper clippings - 1994
  • Miscellaneous - 1936-1974
  • Photographs - 1949
  • Photographs - undated
  • Box 2:
  • Photo album - 1921-1978