Hernan Contreras Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US TxAM-C 25

Level of description



Hernan Contreras Papers


  • 1852-1993 (Creation)


3 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Hernan Contreras was born in Rio Grande City, in Starr County, TX. He was the only child of Abundio Contreras and Mary Howard Contreras. His father, Abundio, was the postmaster of Rio Grande City from 1898 to 1922. Hernan attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 1923, with an Engineering degree. He married Estela Perez (1910-1992), daughter of Casimiro Perez Alvarez (1869-1936) and Silvestra Perez Alvarez in the November of 1938. They settled in the Contreras family home in the 1940s, raising two children, both sons. After Hernan’s death, Estela Contreras continued to live there, until her own death in 1992.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection contains correspondence throughout the life of Hernan H. Contreras, both personal and professional, descriptions of his family home, a warranty deed on property owned by the Contreras family in Starr County, a map of these lots, photographs of family and coworkers in the U.S. Department of Immigration office in Starr County, an autograph book from his public school career, utility bills, receipts, junk mail, and oil and gas leases.

The collection also contains a multitude of papers from Mr. Contreras' wife's family, particularly those of her father, Casamiro Perez Alvares. The contents of these papers include oil and gas leases, utility bills, newspaper articles, correspondence with the U.S. Marshal's office in Galveston, subpoenas, arrest warrants, witness testimonies, receipts, government bulletins, poll tax receipts, land and city tax receipts, family photographs, marriage licenses, wedding invitations, funeral notices, personal letters, business letters, bank statements, checks, deposits, Christmas cards, a pamphlet on communism, a report card, ration sheets from World War I, Letters to the Editor of Newsweek magazine, articles on Estela Contreras' run for political office, and a picture of Estela Contreras from 1993. There is also a collection of reels accompanying all the paper items.

System of arrangement

This collection is organized into 12 series throughout 4 boxes.

  • Series 1, Contreras Legal Documents. 1852-1942; Undated
  • Series 2. Contreras Legal and Government Documents. 1863-1944; Undated
  • Series 3. Contreras Correspondence. 1877-1988
  • Series 4. Contreras Financial. 1877-1938; Undated
  • Series 5. Contreras Various Materials. 1866-1988; Undated
  • Series 6. Contreras Photographs. circa 1880-1993
  • Series 7. Legal, Contreras Family. 1904-1932
  • Series 8. Government, Contreras Family. 1929-1930; Undated
  • Series 9. Correspondence, Contreras Family. 1919-1980; Undated
  • Series 10. Miscellaneous, Contreras Family. 1861-1970; Undated
  • Series 11. Photographs, Contreras Family. Undated
  • Series 12. NASA Events Film Reels - Digital Copies. 1969-1973; Undated

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Physical access

Due to age, many of the papers are extremely fragile. They have been inserted into mylar sheets for stability and protection, from which they may not be removed. These pages are also not able to be photocopied.

Technical access

Box 3 of reels only has digital copies available for viewing.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

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Finding aids

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Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: Lyndsey Raney.

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Cushing Library. All rights reserved.

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