Monday, September 28, 2015

72 Years Ago Today

“Aged Mexican Injured in Highway Accident”

That was the headline of the article I found on the front page of the Valley Morning Star, dated 29th September 1943. 1

A few years ago, when I first started researching my family tree, I started by asking my dad a few questions.  During our conversation, he mentioned as a side note, “oh yeah, and someone in my family was killed because he was run over by a car.”  He said it in a way as if he didn’t remember exactly who that might have been.

As I continued looking for records for my great grandfather, Ines Gonzalez, I found a copy of his death certificate on 2

There it was, listed as cause of death; “Shock due to injury, (hit by auto)”. 

I had found the person my dad remembered as having died by being “run over”.  It was his grandfather.

For months following I wished I had access to the archives of the Harlingen area newspapers.  I looked forward to the next time I was down in the Valley exploring, so I could spend some time at the library looking through old newspapers.

One day, back in February of this year, I wondered what had online for Harlingen area newspapers.  I was surprised to find it had a couple of the Valley papers available without having to join  And what luck, The Valley Morning Star, was not only one of them, but the first month and year available was September 1943!

Rather than do a search, I just opened up the paper dated 29 September 1943, the date following the accident that killed him.  And there on the front-page, a small article as titled above “Aged Mexican Injured in Highway Accident.”  The article luckily identifies Inez[s] immediately as the victim. 

I couldn’t believe I had taken so long to go look for this record online.  Once on the hunt, it was such an easy find.  If only all searches were that easy!

72 years ago tomorrow, an aged Mexican man was hit by a car while walking down the highway; an accident that subsequently killed him.

We remember Ines Gonzalez today.

[1] "Aged Mexican Injured in Highway Accident." Valley Morning Star [Harlingen] 28 Sept. 1943, p. 1. col 1., image copy, ( : accessed 21 Feb 2015)
[2] Texas, Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982; Citing death certificate of Inez Gonzalez, No. 71240, 1943, online image;, ( accessed 27 Sep 2015)


  1. Great work Jr. Amazing how headlines have changed.

  2. Raul,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. What a sad story, & how interesting that your dad didn't remember 'who' got hit by a car!

    I like these post about 'so many years ago' today. I think I'll try to write more of these by searching for dates in my genealogy program. It's nice to remember these anniversaries.