Anselmo M. Longoria
Anselmo M. Longoria (1894–1936) was born in Los Cuates, Mexico outside Matamoros. His parents, Alejandro and Estefana (Martinez) were listed as living in Brownsville in the 1900 US Census along with their three daughters (Louisa, Mathilde, and Estefana) and three sons (Guillermo, Anselmo and Alejandro, Jr.). The older children were listed as already working (day laborers and needlework) while the younger children's occupations were listed as school.
When he came of age, Longoria went to work for his cousin, Francisco G. Longoria, a local building contractor. Later he moved to McAllen and went to work for M.R. Nelson Construction Company and by 1917 he was made foreman.
Longoria married Ofelia Montalvo in 1918. He continued working for Nelson and pursued a formal education in building, earning a degree at Chicago Technical College before venturing out on his own in 1923.
Phoenix Lumber Company
His father-in-law Evaristo Montalvo invested in Longoria's new venture, The Phoenix Lumber Company, in 1926. It was located at Houston St. and 15th Ave in McAllen. In November of that year, McAllen Daily Press newspaper reported that "A.M. Longoria, building contractor for Phoenix Lumber Company, has done more than sixty thousand dollars worth of building in McAllen since last April."
He contributed many buildings to the area, including homes for prominent families like the Cardenas brothers, Don Enrique Guerra and businesses like the Barrera family drug store and service station in McAllen. In 1927, Longoria completed the Nassar Building (Main St. & 15th Ave.), which held space for four stores and 32 offices. Longoria was also active building churches, including additions to Sacred Heart Church (McAllen, 1924) and carrying out the Leo M.J. Dielmann's design for Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church (Mission, 1926). By all accounts the business was profitable, and Longoria was able to buy out his Evaristo's interest quickly.
Gutierrez & Austin Building
Gutierrez and Austin Commercial Building was located at 500 block of Conway Blvd. in Mission, TX. Anselmo M. Longoria constructed a single-story brick building in 1925 to house the general mercantile operations of Gutierrez and Austin. It was just one block away from Dr. J.J. Austin's office and was one of a few commercial buildings constructed for the prominent Mission family in the early 20th century. During WWII, the store was run by Emilia Austin Guiterrez and remained a busy place for shpping for scarce goods in wartime.
C. G. de la Garza Building
Longoria constructed a second store for local grocer Don Carlos G. de la Garza previously located 716 Lomita Boulevard (razed in 1997). According to the Historic and Architectural Resources of Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas (1998), “After several successful years, de la Garza built a larger masonry store and warehouse at a more central location adjacent to the railroad tracks at 716 Lomita Boulevard (razed in 1997). A major employer of Hispanic clerks and delivery men, Don Carlos was highly respected within South Mission's social and political structure.”
Roosevelt School Addition
In October 1929, the school board for McAllen ISD voted in favor of expanding facilities for the Roosevelt School "in the Mexican section" of McAllen. Enrollment at Roosevelt routinely surpassed other schools in the district, jumping from less than 500 (Sept. 1929) to ~700 (April 1930) in less than a year. Longoria was awarded the contract and began work on a four-story addition in December 1929.
Polygonal Wall Design
In 1931, Longoria submitted an application to patent a building design based on an ancient technique for polygonal masonry, but his design was applied to the modern bungalow. The application described rooms layed out as irregular polygons to create a more space design that allowed "the convenience of ample light and ventilation."
"About Anselmo M. Longoria." Pistil Consortia Boutique Architecture (website).
Anselmo M. Longoria. (1934). CA338625 (A) Building Patent. European Patent Office, Espacenet.
Historic and Architectural Resources of Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas. (1998). National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form.
Lomita Boulevard Commercial Historic District, Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas. (1998). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form.