Luis Fuentes Family Collection

Descriptive Summary:

Creator:Luis Fuentes Sr.
Title:Luis Fuentes Family Collection
Inclusive Dates:1905-1989
Abstract:Luis Fuentes Sr. was a respected business owner and pioneer of the Kingsville community.He was born in Mexico, his family immigrated to the United States when he was a child. He was a hard working citizen who created his own opportunities and owned several respected clothing businesses in South Texas in the first half of the 20th century.
Extent:1 document, 18 digital photographs
Container:STAD 1299 and Masters 2013-034
Repository:South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Historical Notes:

Luis Fuentes Sr. was born in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuanto, Mexico on February 19, 1905. His father died when Luis was eight and he started doing odd jobs to help his step brother support the family. The family immigrated to the United States when Luis was twelve and he went to work in a furniture warehouse in Laredo, Texas. A few years later Luis was offered an opportunity to sell clothes from door to door. He was successful and eventually opened his own clothing store in Benavides at age nineteen. In 1930, things were slowing down in Benavides and Hebbronville was now the new boomtown, due to the oil drilling in the area. Fuentes relocated his store, El Nuevo Mundo, to Hebbronville. There he met Manuela Canales ("Meme") whom he married in 1934. They had three children: Luis Jr., Jose Eliud, and Ruth Maria. In 1941 Fuentes relocated his business to Kingsville to continue to grow. Luis Fuentes opened "El Nuevo Mundo" at 305 E. Kleberg, being the first merchant of Mexican descent to have a business in the Kingsville downtown area. By 1945, due to his success in Kingsville, Luis opened a second store in Bishop and reopened his third store in Hebbronville. He continued to expand and purchased the building where his business was located. In 1960 Luis Fuentes Sr. retired. A plaque was placed on the corner of the building where his businesses were located, labeled FUENTES, it is still there today. On June 27, 1981 the Knights of Columbus honored Luis Fuentes Sr. for all his accomplishments to the organization and community with a banquet dinner. Mayor Mary Clair Hill presented him with a proclamation designating Sunday, June 28, 1981 as LUIS FUENTES SR. DAY in Kingsville. Luis Fuentes Sr. died in 1989 as a very respected businessman, a friend of many, and a good family man.

Scope and Content:

The Luis Fuentes Family Collection consists of a biographical document of Luis and his wife, Manuela Canales Fuentes. Seventeen digital photographs highlighting the early days of the family in the 1920s and 1930s, the name change from El Nuevo Mundo to Fuentes in 1951, and the inside of Fuentes in the 1950’s.


The document is a biography of Luis Fuentes Sr. The photographs are arranged in the donor's original order.


Access:Open for research
Rights Statment:Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A& M University-Kingsville. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.

Index Terms:


  • Luis Fuentes Sr. (1905-1989)
  • Manuela (Meme) Canales Fuentes


  • St. Martin Catholic Church
  • Kingsville Chamber of Commerce

Geographical Names

  • Kingsville, (Tex.)
  • Laredo (Tex.)
  • Benavides (Tex.)
  • Hebbronville, (Tex.)
  • Bishop (Tex.)
  • Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico


  • Business people
  • Business men
  • Clothing stores -- Texas, South -- 1900-1960
  • Clothing trade
  • Traveling sales personnel
  • Real estate investment
  • Mexican Americans

Administrative Information:

Preferred Citation

Luis Fuentes Family Collection, A2013-034.XXXX, South Texas Archives, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A&M University-Kingsville


A2013-024 – Gift of Cynthia F. Villalon

Proccessing Information

Processed by Lori Atkins 2015 June 04

2016 Texas A&M University-Kingsville,
James C. Jernigan Library, South Texas Archives,
MSC 197, 700 University Blvd, Kingsville, TX 78336-8202