Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Adella Martinez papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1922-2005
Creator: Martinez, Adella (1929-)
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0582
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: A former resident of Cook's Point, Davenport, whose parents emigrated from Mexico to the United States in the early 1900s.

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. 1065) were donated by Adella Martinez in 2006.

Preferred Citation: Adella Martinez 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

Adella Martinez was born in Madelia, Minnesota, in 1929 to Esperanza Lopez and Cruz Martinez. Esperanza Lopez was born in 1904 in Queseo de Hidalgo (known today as Abasolo) in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. She left home at the age of thirteen as a result of the Mexican Revolution and came to the United States eventually settling in Topeka, Kansas, where she met Cruz Martinez, a railroad worker and migrant farm laborer; Cruz Martinez was also from Mexico. Esperanza Lopez and Cruz Martinez married in 1920 and settled in Manly, Iowa, working as agricultural laborers primarily in Minnesota and northern Iowa. The couple had eight children. Their oldest daughter, Florence Martinez, died of tuberculosis in 1936; Cruz Martinez died in 1937. Following the death of her daughter and husband, Esperanza Martinez and her remaining children moved to a farm in Lake Mills, Iowa, and then to the Mexican settlement of Cook's Point in Davenport, Iowa.

Adella Martinez attended St. Alphonsus School in Davenport. She left school at the age of thirteen to help her mother care for the younger children in the family. In 1947 she moved to Chicago where she held various factory jobs. Adella Martinez married Alfonso Constantino, whom she later divorced. She was the mother of nine children. Adella Martinez worked for the Wonder Bread Company in Davenport, Iowa, for twenty years where she was a member of the Bakery, Confectionary and Tobacco Workers International Union Local 36. She retired in 1991.

The Adella Martinez papers date from 1921 to 2006 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The biographical information consists of obituaries of Adella Martinez's family members and a small amount of correspondence. The certificates folder includes copies of Adella Martinez's birth certificate and baptismal certificate as well as the original baptismal certificate of her older sister Florence Martinez. The newspaper clippings consist of a photocopy of a 1974 article about Cook's Point as well as obituaries and articles pertaining to friends and family members of Adella Martinez. The photographs include color and black and white photographs of Adella Martinez and family members. Many of the photographs have been identified.
Oral history interviews were conducted with Adella Martinez and her sister, Lupe Serrano, for the Mujeres Latinas Project of the Iowa Women's Archives in 2006. They are shelved in the Mujeres Latinas Oral Histories collection.

Ver esta pagina en español.
This collection guide was translated by students in "Translation Workshop: English to Spanish," Department of Spanish and Portugues (Fall semeter 2014).

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Biographical information - 1943-1999
  • Biographical information: Certificates - 1922-1999
  • Biographical information: Esperanza Martinez guest book - 1984
  • Employment - 1981-1999
  • LULAC Council 10 - 1997-2005
  • Obituaries - 1970-2006
  • "Remembering Cook's Point" - 1974
    [shelved in map case]
  • Photograph, Florence Martinez - 1935
  • Photographs - 1920-1960
    [original photographs]
  • Photographs - 1950-1990
    [scanned photographs d0039: shelved in digital collection]
  • Newspaper clippings - 1974-2002
  • Duplicates - 2006