Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Estefania Joyce Rodriguez papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1902-2008
Creator: Rodriguez, Estefania Joyce (1923-2008)
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0569
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Family photographs taken in Iowa, Alabama, and Mexico.
View Selected Items Online:Mujeres Latinas Digital Collection

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: In Box 1.

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 998) were donated by Estefania Rodriguez in 2007.

Preferred Citation: Estefania Joyce Rodriguez papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The 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
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

Estefania "Steff" Joyce Rodriguez was born in Bettendorf, Iowa, on October 30, 1923 to Muggie Adams Rodriguez and Norberto Rodriguez. Norberto Rodriguez, was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and migrated to the United States in 1910 at the age of seventeen. He met Muggie Adams, an African American woman from Alabama, in the coal mining community of Lovilia, Iowa, where the couple married in 1919. The family lived in south central Iowa coal mining towns such as Albia and Centerville until 1923, when they moved to Bettendorf, Iowa, after Norberto Rodriguez secured work in the foundry of the Bettendorf Company. The Rodriguez family lived in Holy City, a predominately Mexican settlement near the Bettendorf Company, from 1924 to 1937, when they moved to Davenport, Iowa. During these years, Steff Rodriguez often worked in the onion fields of nearby Pleasant Valley with her siblings and friends.

Steff Rodriguez attended school until the tenth grade and later worked in local factories including the Rock Island Arsenal during World War II. She raised eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. Her oldest son, Norbert Simmons, a U.S. Marine Sergeant, was killed in Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1966.

Steff Rodriguez was an active member of the Davenport council of the League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC Council 10, and served for many years as secretary to the organization. In later years, she returned to school to complete her education and received her GED in 1992. Estefania Joyce Rodriguez passed away on March 16, 2008.

The Estefania Joyce Rodriguez photographs date from 1902 to 2008 and measure 2.5 linear inches. This collection consists of over 150 photographs, mostly black and white, that illuminate the history of Steff Rodriguez's extended family in Alabama, Iowa, and Mexico. Most of the photographs have been identified and this information is contained in a comprehensive index to the photographs. Many of the photographs have been digitized. Newspaper clippings, including Steff Rodriguez's obituary, can be found in the biographical information folder.

The collection contains several photographs of Steff Rodriguez's mother's family (the Adams family) from Alabama. These include photographs of Muggie Adams Rodriguez's brother, Milton Monroe Adams, known as "Uncle Bud," and her sister Adeline Adams Rowlett, known as "Aunt Tiny." The collection includes photographs of Muggie Adams' first two children, Herman Glenn Rodriguez and Nestora Rivera Rodriguez, as well as the children of Muggie and Norberto Rodriguez.

Some of the photographs in the collection were taken in Iowa communities such as Holy City, Bettendorf, Davenport and coal mining towns of south central Iowa including Buxton; others were taken in Alabama, St. Louis, Missouri, and the Panama Canal Zone.
An oral history interview was conducted with Estefanía Rodríguez in August 2005 for the Mujeres Latinas project of the Iowa Women's Archives. [AC1033-AC1034, shelved in the Mujeres Latinas Oral Histories collection]

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Series 2: PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
  • Box 1:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1992-2008
  • Series 2: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 1:
  • Photocopies and index to photos
  • Adams family: Alabama relatives - 1900-1969
  • Adams family: Monroe Milton Adams ("Uncle Bud") - 1910-1930
  • Adams family: Adeline Adams Rowlett ("Aunt Tiny") - 1920-1929
  • Adams family: Dancy family - 1940-1949
  • Muggie Belva Adams: Herman Glenn Rodriguez - 1920-1929
  • Muggie Belva Adams: Nestora Rivera Rodriguez - 1920-1929
  • Muggie Belva Adams: Norberto and Muggie Rodriguez, Bettendorf - 1923-1929
  • Muggie Belva Adams: Norberto and Muggie Rodriguez, Davenport - 1940-1949
  • Muggie Belva Adams: Rodriguez, Camila and Estefana (sisters of Norberto), Mexico, undated
  • Estefania Rodriguez family - 1950-2000
  • Taverns, Milwaukee - 1950-1959
  • General and unidentified - 1900-1949