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Josephine Guadalupe Mancha

1930-2015

Librarian and lifetime PTA member

Poder del Pueblo

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Education

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Special thanks to Dr. Gene Morales for contributing this profile.


Josephine Guadalupe Mancha was a librarian and lifetime Parent Teacher Association member in Edgewood ISD during the Chicano Movement and court case Rodriguez v. San Antonio ISD.


Josephine Mancha was born Josephine Herrera in 1930 to Eugenio and Guadalupe Casias Herrera, who descended from some of the oldest families in San Antonio, dating back to the 1700s.  For example, her father's family owned one of the original Spanish land grants in the region currently located on the Southside of San Antonio on I-410 South and Somerset Road. Her great grandfather was Texas Revolutionary leader Blas Maria Herrera. He was a military scout for Sam Houston and Juan Seguin and guarded José Francisco Ruiz and José Antonio Navarro when signing the Texas Declaration of Independence.  According to family histories, after the Texas Revolution, the family took the original wooden gates from the Alamo and stored them at their family's property on Somerset Road. The gates were rediscovered there in 1984 and are currently on display at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.[1]


Josephine married Daniel A. Mancha in 1954. Daniel served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war he came to San Antonio and received his diploma from San Antonio Vocational and Technical High School.


In post-WWII San Antonio, Josephine and her husband Daniel Mancha became part of San Antonio and Texas history. In the 1960s, their small business English Printing Co. was destroyed by the Urban Renewal Agency for the 1968 HemisFair in downtown San Antonio.  At the same time, she was a librarian at Stafford and Gonzalez elementary schools in the city's Westside near their home on 139 Yolanda Dr. in the Loma Park neighborhood. Outside of work, she was a member of Edgewood ISD's Parent Teacher Association during the Chicano Movement in the 1960s-1970s.


As a PTA member, Josephine addressed major issues like dropout rates and funding for schools and communities.  According to The San Antonio Light in 1969, Josephine is quoted in a school meeting saying, “If the city isn’t going to improve our district in any way, I don’t think we should support the bond issue in any way.”[2] The meeting Josephine spoke at was created to compile a list of grievances by parents and residents of the district for an upcoming city bond. Her comments came as a member of the Edgewood PTA but also as a librarian of the school district that witnessed student walkouts early that year to protest “insufficient supplies and the lack of qualified teachers.”[3] The meeting also came after the Texas Governor’s Committee on Public Education reported that Edgewood ISD had a 32 percent student dropout rate from in the previous year.[4]  Her response to the bond was also meant to highlight the lack of sufficient school funding for the district. Individuals in the meeting quickly followed suit to discuss district-wide funding on issues such as school repairs, flooded streets because of the lack of drainages and sidewalks, which equated to low attendance rates. Historically, the westside had dealt with inadequate and underfunded municipal infrastructure that caused the flooding of major throughways which was coupled with the lack of sidewalks, drainages, and curbs.


Within the Edgewood meeting, the list that Josephine and residents compiled went to San Antonio City Council which approved a $1,600,000 bond for the construction of new schools and repair of older schools.  Although the city council approved the bond, Edgewood ISD as a whole was underfunded in comparison to other school districts in town like Alamo Heights. Josephine’s comments provide a window into the many parents and community members that argued support of changing school funding and increasing student achievement during the period.  These became crucial arguments in the 1971 supreme court case Rodriguez v. San Antonio ISD that argued against inadequate school financing.


Josephine passed away on July 18, 2015, at the age of 84. She was survived by her husband and her two children Alexis and Daniel, her grandchildren Abby Rios, Annie Mancha and Alex Mancha, and one great-grandchild, Joshua Rios.

“If the city isn’t going to improve our district in any way, I don’t think we should support the bond issue in any way.”

--Josephine Mancha

 
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Herrerra gate
Herrerra gate

One of the original wooden gates from the Alamo, stored on Josephine's family's property on Somerset Road. Thrediscovered there in 1984 and are currently on display at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.[1

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1960 City Directory listing Daniel Mancha as a printer for Prompt Printers
1960 City Directory listing Daniel Mancha as a printer for Prompt Printers

Originally Daniel Mancha worked for Prompt Printers, before he established his own printing company.

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Henry B. González elementary school, the other school library where Josephine worked.
Henry B. González elementary school, the other school library where Josephine worked.

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Herrerra gate
Herrerra gate

One of the original wooden gates from the Alamo, stored on Josephine's family's property on Somerset Road. Thrediscovered there in 1984 and are currently on display at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.[1

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Courtesy Bob Bullock Museum.