Jovita de la Rosa Ortiz Collection donated to Special Collections
A small collection of photographs and related material that belonged to a family that lived in San Antonio’s “Laredito” neighborhood has been added to the photographic holdings. The gift was made by Esther Ortiz Lozano, daughter of Jovita de la Rosa Ortiz.
Jovita de la Rosa Ortiz (1916-1994) was the only child of Magdaleno and Francisca (Villacobos) de la Rosa. The family, from Matehuala, Mexico, settled in Texas in 1922. At first, Magdaleno worked for a railway company in the Texas Panhandle. But by 1927, he had opened his own business, a soda water stand in San Antonio. Two year later, he moved to a new location at 621 South Laredo Street, in Laredito. The family living quarters were attached to the rear of the business. Within a few years, the drink stand became “De la Rosa Café,” serving Mexican food. The café was well-known for its gorditas and enchiladas.
Jovita was the only daughter of Magdaleno and Francisca. She attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, located only two blocks away from her home. Afterward, she studied and graduated from Lanier High School.
Jovita’s collection consists of both family snapshots and the work of commercial photographers. The photos provide insights into the lives of the people that lived in the West Side neighborhood of Laredito in the 1920s to 1940s.