The Benson Latin American Collection

Margaret Muñoz Simon Papers, 1937-1994

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Simon, Margaret Muñoz
Title: Margaret Muñoz Simon Papers
Dates: 1937-1994 (bulk 1970-1989)
Abstract: Correspondence, printed materials, financial records, legal documents, photographic materials, and artifacts (1937-1994, bulk 1970-1989) chronicle the life and activities of Latina community activist, radio personality, and journalist Margaret Muñoz Simon.
Accession No.: 1996-77
Extent: 4 linear feet
Language: English and Spanish
Repository: Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Margaret Muñoz Simon was a radio commentator and ground-breaking Latina activist in Austin, Texas’ Hispanic community. Born c.1908 in Eagle Pass, Texas, Simon moved to Austin with her first husband Henry Muñoz in 1942. She quickly became an active member of the Hispanic community, helping to organize such events as the annual Diez y Seis celebration. The Muñozes soon began publishing the Spanish language newspaper El Democrata, which remained in publication until 1950. During the 1950s Simon began work as a radio commentator, a career which would last over five decades. Simon worked on a variety of programs for many Spanish language radio stations in central Texas. All of the programs involved Simon providing announcements of social events and narratives concerning holidays and historical celebrations such Diez y Seis and Christmas. In the 1950s Simon married her second husband Hugo Simon and also adopted two children.

From the time she moved to Austin, Simon was deeply involved with many civic activities. Simon was a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Austin. She was a founding member of the Austin League of United Latin American Citizens, the American G.I. Forum, and the Mexican American Business and Professional Women’s Association. Simon was also engaged in political activities, serving as secretary in the “VIVA Johnson” campaign for Lyndon Baines Johnson, and assisting in the political campaigns of Texas politicians such as J. J. Pickle, Gonzalo Barrientos, Mark White, and Ann Richards. Simon was also a member of the Mexican American Democrats (MAD). Recognized as a community leader, Simon’s activities led to many awards and recognitions from her community, city, and state. Simon died on September 8, 1998.

Scope and Contents Note

Correspondence, printed materials, financial records, legal documents, photographic materials, and artifacts (1937-1994, bulk 1970-1989) chronicle the life and activities of Latina community activist, radio personality, and journalist Margaret Muñoz Simon. The papers are arranged into ten series: Correspondence, Written Works, Awards, Financial, Organizations and Activities, Printed Materials, Photographs, and Artifacts.

The first series, Correspondence (6 in.) is divided into two subseries: Personal and General. It is arranged chronologically and consists primarily of incoming letters, and sparsely documents Simon’s life from the time she moved to Austin, Texas until the papers deposit. The bulk of this series lies in the Personal Correspondence subseries, materials that relate to Simon’s family relations and personal activities. The General Correspondence subseries primarily contains bulk mail type communications from either businesses or politicians.

Series two, Written Works (6 in.), consists of radio commentaries and newspaper articles written by Simon. The radio commentaries, arranged chronologically, are announcements for social events in Austin’s Hispanic community, and narratives concerning events such as religious holidays and patriotic celebrations. Newspaper articles, mostly from the Austin Light, relate to Hispanic citizens or businesses in Austin. All of the written works are in Spanish.

Awards, the third series (6 in.), includes certificates, citations, proclamations, and plaques received by Simon in recognition of her work within the community.

The fourth series, Financial (6 in.), documents Simon’s economic circumstances, containing financial records such as bank statements, checks, bills, receipts, and legal documents like insurance policies and an abstract of title.

Correspondence, minutes, proceedings, financial documents, and reports make up the largest series, Organizations and Activities (1 ft.). Arrangement is alphabetical by organization, and chronological within each organization. Materials in this series do not give a comprehensive view into Simon’s involvement with the organizations, but give a general view of the types of informational resources members received. With some exceptions, the correspondence contained in this series is generally not specific to Simon, but of the kind that would be sent to all participants. Organizations especially well represented are the American G.I. Forum, LULAC, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (of Austin).

Series six, Printed Materials (6 in), principally contains general materials such as magazines and manuals. The most significant portion of this series is the clippings relating to Mrs. Simon. These clippings concern Simon's life in general and specific activities in which she was involved.

The Photographs series (1 folder) contains some photos of Simon from c. 1942.

Materials in the Artifacts series (5 in.) are items found in a box marked "Treasures." Most significant are U. S. Army insignia, probably from her first husband Henry Muñoz who served in World War II. Also includes conmemorative KMXX radio station hats.

Series List

Written Works
Organizations and Activities
Printed Materials


Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

Simon, Margaret Muñoz
Comité Patriótico de las Fiestas Patrias (Austin, Tex.)
Mexican Americans--Texas--Austin--Archives.
Mexican Americans and mass media.
Independence Day (Mexico)--Anniversaries, etc.--Photographs.
Mexican Americans--Texas--Austin--Photographs.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Margaret Muñoz Simon Papers, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Additional arrangement and description of the Margaret Muñoz Simon Papers was provided by Martha Cotera.

Box and Folder Inventory

Correspondence, 1941-1994, undated

1 Personal Correspondence
1 Correspondence, 1941-1945
2 1950-1959
3 Correspondence, 1960-1968
4 1971-1977
5 Correspondence, 1980-1987, undated
6 Invitations, 1960, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986
7 Occasion Cards 1982-1989, undated
8 Mailing Lists [Contact Information], undated
9 Mailing Lists [Contact Information], undated
10 Business Cards, undated
General Correspondence
11 Issues Regarding Travis County & Austin, 1975-1977, 1982-1987, undated
12 Political Bulk Mail, 1968, 1972, 1983-1988, 1991, 1994, undated
13 General Bulk Mail, 1971, 1975-1977, 1982-1989, undated

Written Works, 1972-1994, undated

Box Folder
2 1 Newspaper articles, 1983-1985, undated
2 Commentaries, 1972-1973
3 Commentaries, 1976-1977
4 Commentaries, 1979
5 Commentaries, 1981
6 Commentaries, 1982 January-December
7 Commentaries, 1982, no date specified
8 Commentaries, 1983-1984
9 Commentaries, 1985
10 Commentaries, 1986
11 Commentaries, 1987-1988
12 Commentaries, 1988
13 Commentaries, 1989
14 Commentaries, 1994
15 Commentaries, undated
16 Commentaries, undated

Awards, 1968-1989, undated

Box Folder
3 1 American G.I. Forum Certificate of Merit, 1970
2 Mexican American Business and Professional Women “Outstanding Woman in Communication” Award, 1976
3 Catholic War Veterans—Special Citation, 1978
4 LULAC Council of Bastrop Certificate of Appreciation, 1982
5 SER Jobs for Progress, Inc. Certificate of Appreciation, 1982
6 [City of Austin Proclamation]—Margarita Muñoz Simon Day, 1983
7 7 Texas State Senate Resolution—S. R. No. 473, Honoring Margarita Muñoz Simon, 1987
8 8 Parks and Recreation Department, Austin—Certificate of Appreciation, undated
9 LULAC Distinguished Service Award, undated
10 Austin/Travis County “Mobile Meals” Program, Certificate of Appreciation, undated
11 Austin-Travis County Health Department—Certificate of Attendance—for Educational Rehabilitation Service class, 1968
12 Plaque from IMAGE in admiration of community service, 1980; Plaque for Honorary General Manager of The Driskill Hotel, Austin, Texas, undated
13 Hispanic Writers’ Reception—Certificate of Recognition, 1989
14 Plaque in Recognition of KMXX Radio 4th Anniversary, undated
Box Folder
8 1 American G.I. Forum (AGIF) Austin Auxiliary Charter Member Certificate, 1974

Financial, 1937-1994, undated

Box Folder
4 1 Income Tax Documents, 1970-1971, 1975-1976, 1980, 1984-1986, 1994
2 Medical [Invoices], 1945, 1974-1979, 1981-1982, 1986- 1988, 1994, undated
3 Property Information, 1947-1960, 1972
4 Property Payment & Tax Receipts, 1945-1960, 1966-1974, 1983- 1987
5 Legal (Property) [Vehicle], 1948, 1952-1956, 1961-1966, 1973, 1995
6 Bank Statements, 1955, 1961, 1966-1969, 1972-1974, 1981-1984
7 Life Insurance Policies, 1945, 1951, 1955, 1963, undated
8 Money Order Receipts, 1955, 1977, 1980, 1984-1988, 1990, undated
9 Utility Receipts, 1942, 1946-1948, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1965-1967, 1973, 1982-1985
10 General Receipts, 1941-1946, 1951, 1958-1961, 1965, 1969, 1971- 1975, 1979, 1981-1989, undated
11 11 WPA Employment Forms & Joe B. Eurebia Texas Employment Commission Identification Card, 1937, 1939, 1968
12 Mileage Rationing Record, 1944

Organizations and Activities, 1946-1994, undated

Box Folder
5 1 American G.I. Forum (AGIF), 1963-1969, 1971-1977, 1984-1989, n.d
2 American G.I. Forum (AGIF) Ladies Auxiliary, 1965-1967, 1971, 1975-1985
3 Austin Alliance for Smooth Transition, 1979 1979
4 Austin Chicano Cultural Center, 1972-1973
5 5 Austin Independent School District—Volunteers in Austin Schools, 1987
6 Confederacion de Camaras de Trabajos Mexicanos en Norte America, 1946
7 East First Neighborhood Center, 1969-1971, undated
8 Economic Development Study Committee, 1969, 1974-1976
9 Employment Agency Business, 1949-1952
10 Fiestas Patrias Committee, 1956-1959, 1974, 1983, 1986, undated
11 [General] Public Policy Issues, 1964, 1969-1975, undated
12 Lena Guerrero Campaign, 1984, undated
13 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 1980-1989, 1994, undated
14 Image de Austin, 1976, 1980, 1985-1988
15 International Women's Year, 1977
16 KMXX, 1976-1982, undated
17 KTXN, 1955, 1957, undated
18 Ladies LULAC, 1966, 1982-1984, 1987
Box Folder
6 1 LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), 1955, 1974-1987, undated
2 Metz Recreation Center 8th Annual Menudo Cook-Off, 1983
3 Mexican American Business and Professional Women of Austin (MABPWA), 1975-1977, 1983-1986, 1994
4 MABPWA Margarita Simon Fund, 1994
5 Mexican American Cultural Center, 1975-1976, 1988
6 Mexican American Democrats (MAD), 1985
7 Model Cities Program, 1969-1971
8 Model Cities Program, 1971-1972, undated
9 Palm Elementary P.T.A., 1969
10 Pan-American Recreation Center, 1955, 1973
11 Political Association of Spanish-Speaking Organizations (PASO), 1964, 1968, 1970
12 Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), 1981
13 SER Jobs for Progress, Inc., 1968-1973
14 SER Jobs for Progress, Inc., 1974-1976, 1982-1984, undated
15 Travis County Tuberculosis Association, 1958-1959
16 United Action for the Elderly, 1972-1974
17 VIVA Johnson Clubs of Texas, 1964, undated

Printed Materials, 1943-1990, undated

Box Folder
7 1 Clippings Regarding Margaret Simon (Copies), 1973, 1976, 1983- 1986, undated
2 Psychiana, [Robinson, Frank B. The Pathway to God. Metropolitan Press, Portland, Oregon, 1943
3 Psychiana, [letters received], 1949-1950, 1953
4 Psychiana, [study lessons], 1946
5 Psychiana, [lesson instructions], undated
6 El Rosacruz, Septiembre de 1967 y Septiembre de 1971, 1967, 1971
7 Sales Guides, 1968, 1973
8 El Club Capri [Independence Benefit Ball Program], 1974
9 Roy’s Taxi 50th Anniversary Newsletter, 1981
10 La Peña, V. II, Nos. 3 & 7; V. III, No. 2, n.d
11 Messenger, V. 34, No. 3, March/April, 1986
12 Pastorelas Script (Incomplete), undated
13 Prayer, undated
14 Conelrad "Quotables Quotes," undated
15 General Printed Materials, 1984, undated
16 General Clippings, 1971, 1974, undated
17 General Clippings, 1981, 1983, 1985-1990

Photographs, c. 1940s

Box Folder
7 18 Fiestas Patrias Photographs, c. 1940s

Artifacts, undated

8 Realia: KMXX Musica y Noticias FM 102.3 (two radio station caps), undated
Velvet covered "Treasures" Box, undated
Contents of "Treasures" Box: WWII Military Insignia—Private First Class insignia; 2nd Armored Division insignia; Enlisted Men Service Cap insignia. Brass Buckle and Silk Lace Flower.