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Estefania Joyce Rodriguez papers

Identifier: IWA0569

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Scope and Contents

The Estefania Joyce Rodriguez photographs date from 1902 to 2008 and measure 2.5 linear inches. This collection consists of over 150 photographs, mostly black and white, that illuminate the history of Steff Rodriguez's extended family in Alabama, Iowa, and Mexico. Most of the photographs have been identified and this information is contained in a comprehensive index to the photographs. Many of the photographs have been digitized. Newspaper clippings, including Steff Rodriguez's obituary, can be found in the biographical information folder.

The collection contains several photographs of Steff Rodriguez's mother's family (the Adams family) from Alabama. These include photographs of Muggie Adams Rodriguez's brother, Milton Monroe Adams, known as "Uncle Bud," and her sister Adeline Adams Rowlett, known as "Aunt Tiny." The collection includes photographs of Muggie Adams' first two children, Herman Glenn Rodriguez and Nestora Rivera Rodriguez, as well as the children of Muggie and Norberto Rodriguez.

Some of the photographs in the collection were taken in Iowa communities such as Holy City, Bettendorf, Davenport and coal mining towns of south central Iowa including Buxton; others were taken in Alabama, St. Louis, Missouri, and the Panama Canal Zone.


  • Creation: 1902-2008


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Estefania "Steff" Joyce Rodriguez was born in Bettendorf, Iowa, on October 30, 1923 to Muggie Adams Rodriguez and Norberto Rodriguez. Norberto Rodriguez, was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and migrated to the United States in 1910 at the age of seventeen. He met Muggie Adams, an African American woman from Alabama, in the coal mining community of Lovilia, Iowa, where the couple married in 1919. The family lived in south central Iowa coal mining towns such as Albia and Centerville until 1923, when they moved to Bettendorf, Iowa, after Norberto Rodriguez secured work in the foundry of the Bettendorf Company.

The Rodriguez family lived in Holy City, a predominately Mexican settlement near the Bettendorf Company, from 1924 to 1937, when they moved to Davenport, Iowa. During these years, Steff Rodriguez often worked in the onion fields of nearby Pleasant Valley with her siblings and friends. Steff Rodriguez attended school until the tenth grade and later worked in local factories including the Rock Island Arsenal during World War II. She raised eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. Her oldest son, Norbert Simmons, a U.S. Marine Sergeant, was killed in Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1966.

Steff Rodriguez was an active member of the Davenport council of the League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC Council 10, and served for many years as secretary to the organization. In later years, she returned to school to complete her education and received her GED in 1992. Estefania Joyce Rodriguez passed away on March 16, 2008.


2.50 linear inches

Photographs: In Box 1. boxes

Language of Materials



Family photographs taken in Iowa, Alabama, and Mexico.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 998) were donated by Estefania Rodriguez in 2007.

Existence and Location of Originals

Mujeres Latinas Digital Collection:

Related Materials

An oral history interview was conducted with Estefania Rodriguez in August 2005 for the Mujeres Latinas project of the Iowa Women's Archives. [AC1033-AC1034, shelved in the Mujeres Latinas Oral Histories collection]

Janet Weaver, 2008.
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)