Garcia, Eva Carrillo de (1883–1979)

By: Cynthia E. Orozco

Type: Biography

Published: October 1, 1995

María de los Angeles Guadalupe Eva Carrillo y Gallardo de Garcia, missionary, nurse, social-welfare volunteer, and civil-rights activist, was born on December 12, 1883, in Los Angeles, California, to Teresa Gallardo de Carrillo and Nicanor Luis Carrillo. Before Eva was five, her mother died of typhoid fever; her father later remarried. Eva became a ward of the Methodist Church and Dr. Levi Salmans, the first Methodist medical missionary to Mexico. She attended the Colegio Juárez in Guanajuato, Mexico. In 1906 she graduated from Bethany Hospital, a school of nursing in Larned, Kansas. In 1910 she graduated from the Chicago Training School for City, Home and Foreign Missions, an early branch of Northwestern University. After graduation she worked as a nurse at Battle Creek Sanitarium, in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she met Dr. Alberto G. Garcia. They were married in New Orleans on December 6, 1911, and eventually had eight children, six of whom attended the University of Texas. Mrs. Garcia gave her primary attention to raising her family but still managed to be active in civic, social-welfare, political, and church activities. Having been trained as a missionary nurse, she worked at the George O. Robinson Orphanage in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and lived in Central America and Mexico with her husband before moving to Austin in 1915.

In 1920 Alberto, in collaboration with Eva, published the first Spanish-language newspaper published in Austin, La Vanguardia. Eva also participated in health-education drives such as the ones seeking to prevent tuberculosis. She was an elder at University Methodist Church and was active with women's groups there. She helped found the second Mexican Methodist church in Austin, Emmanuel Methodist. She organized parties for graduating students and also worked with youth and collaborated with the city probation officer and juvenile agencies to turn boys and girls from delinquency. In the late 1920s or early 1930s she taught Spanish to students from Austin Military Academy. She was also active in many clubs, including the League of Women Voters of Texas. Garcia was a founding member and president of Ladies LULAC in Austin in the late 1930s. She worked to desegregate movie theaters and swimming pools. Because the racially segregated schools were inferior, she fought for better schools. She and her husband encouraged others to buy property, vote, pay the poll tax, and defend their rights. She died on September 26, 1979, and was buried in Capital Memorial Park. Eva Garcia's name and picture were included in a pictorial display at the Capitol to mark National Women's History Month in March 1989. This display, sponsored by the Austin Commission for Women, was given to the city of Austin as a gift for 150th anniversary of its founding.

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Austin American-Statesman, September 28, 1979. Encyclopedia of American Biography. Jeanette H. Flachmeier, Pioneer Austin Notables (2 vols., Austin, 1975, 1980). Vertical Files, Austin History Center.
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Activists
  • Health and Medicine
  • Religion
  • Methodist
  • Women
  • Civil Rights, Segregation, and Slavery

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Cynthia E. Orozco, “Garcia, Eva Carrillo de,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995

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