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Finding Aid

PAPERS, 1922-2005
2.5 linear inches

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 1065) were donated by Adella Martínez in 2006.

The papers are open for research.
Copyright: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Preferred Citation:
Box #, Adella Martinez Papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Photographs: In Box 1.
Audiovisual: None.

Processed by: Andrea Simental, 2006; Janet Weaver, 2007. [MartínezAdella.doc]

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Iowa Women's Archives
100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Phone: 319-335-5068
Fax: 319-335-5900
E-mail the Iowa Women's Archives


Adella Martínez was born in Truman, Minnesota, in 1929 to Esperanza Lopez and Cruz Martínez. Esperanza Lopez was born in 1904 in Queseo, 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 Martínez, a railroad worker and migrant farm laborer; Cruz Martínez was also from Mexico. Esperanza Lopez and Cruz Martínez married in 1920 and later settled near Manly, Iowa, working as agricultural laborers primarily in Minnesota and northern Iowa. The couple had eight children. Their oldest daughter, Florence Martínez, died of tuberculosis in 1936; Cruz Martínez died in 1937. Following the death of her daughter and husband, Esperanza Martínez 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 Martínez 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 a variety factory jobs. Adella Martínez married Alfonso Constantino, whom she later divorced. She raised nine children. Martínez 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.

Scope and Content Note

The Adella Martínez papers date from 1921 to 2006 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The biographical information consists of obituaries of Adella Martínez’s family members and a small amount of correspondence. The certificates folder includes copies of Adella Martínez’s birth certificate and baptismal certificate as well as the original baptismal certificate of her older sister Florence Martínez. 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 Martínez. The photographs include color and black and white photographs of Adella Martínez and family members. Many of the photographs have been identified.

Related Collections

Oral history interviews were conducted with Adella Martínez 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.

Box List

Box 1

Biographical information
Certificates, 1922-1999
LULAC Council 10, 1997-2005
Newspaper clippings
Obituaries, 1970-2006
“Remembering Cook’s Point,” 1974 [shelved in map case]
1920s-1980s [original photographs]
1920s-1980s [scanned photographs d0039: shelved in digital collection]
Florence Martínez, ca 1935
Duplicates, 2006

For more information about this collection contact the Iowa Women's Archives.

Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City IA 52242.
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Page created November 2007.