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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

Frontera: Businesswomen / Entrepreneurs

Centralized guide to all EPCC's local history publications, videos and guides and sources for local history topics

Businesswomen / Entrepreneurs

Acosta, Silvia  former president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the El Paso YWCA.

Arrambide, Lilia Natalia De-Cory founder of Pancho’s Mexican Buffet  See Restaurants in El Paso

Ayoub, Zacchia Jabalie Syrian Lebanese.  1930 Built Border Tobacco

Bucher, Anne 1892-1973 Prominent El Paso businesswoman 

Owner and manager of the First National Bank building

Calisher, Ada 

  • wife of Jacob Calisher, merchant and proprietor of the J. Calisher Dry Goods Co, 1881-1912
  • She operated a boarding house.  First superintendent of  the El Paso Hebrew Sunday School, organized on Oct 4, 1890
  • El Paso County Historical Society  090-2002-008-061  "Letter from Cpt. Billy Woolverton, retired E.P. fireman and policeman Aug. 2, 1968 to Bill Hooten with story of the 1910 Calisher Fire. 3 pages."

Daughtry, Barbara Jean banker

Davis, Estine  / Estine’s Eastside Barbershop, 106 N. Piedras.  African American hub of the community for decades

Elliot, Caroline Stras First female bank officer in El Paso

  • Granddaughter of Albert B. Fall  (who we have written about already in a Borderlands article)
  • First female bank officer in El Paso and when she retired in 1978, she was senior vice-president of operations at the Bank of El Paso.

Holland-Branch, Patty  entrepreneur

Mapula, Olga "Cookie"  entrepreneur

Mares, Elia Del Carmen (formerly Elia Mares Purdy) 

May, Harriet  former President of GECU

McFadden, Polly  former banker/business owner/founder of El Paso's Race for the Cure

Orndorff, Alzina (Mama De)  builder of the Cortez Hotel in the early 20th century

Peyton, Mary co-owner with her husband J.C. of Peyton Packing.  See Business in El Paso

Ponce, Mary and Ernest  2015 El Paso Historical Society Hall of Honor Nominees. Entrepreneurs, civic leaders, philanthropists

Van Patten, Lucy milliner/businesswoman from 1880s-1900s

search for articles in historic El Paso newspapers on her including photos

Wardy, Lorraine entrepreneur/businesswoman

Wolfe, Florida J.  "Lady Flo"  early pioneer of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, African American common law wife of rich rancher Lord Beresford

Young, Barbara Gail "Bobbie"  Banking trailblazer

Research tips

Note details that might seem insignificant at first glance, in case one finds other information later.

Women's information is often found through researching the men in their lives (i.e. husband, fathers, etc.) so the notes here might only state that Mrs. X was married to Mr. X who was important for some reason, but in researching him, there might be information about his wife found later.

Research full text of local newspaper articles back to 1881 in this database available to EPCC users and in person in EPCC Libraries: 

EPCC Web site || EPCC Libraries Web Site || EPCC Library Catalog
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