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CRA252 -- Jesse Villapando, Sr. Papers


1.25 Linear Feet
October 1996


Mr. Jesse Villalpando, Sr. donated the Villalpando Sr. Papers to the Calumet Regional Archives in October 1996.

Property rights in the collection are held by the Calumet Regional Archives; literary rights are dedicated to the public. There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Linear feet of shelf space: 1.25 linear feet
Number of containers: 3 boxes
Calumet Regional Archives Collection 252

Scope and Content

The Jesse Villalpando Papers trace the life and accomplishments of Jesse Villalpando from 1932 to 1986. Mr. Villalpando has been a lifelong resident of northwest Indiana and a very active member of the local Latino community. The collection documents a variety of subjects. Several files of correspondence offer information on local elections and politics, particularly in the town of Griffith. The letters contain data on Jesse's political role as precinct committeeman as well as on the Lake County Democratic Party. Other records in the collection, such as tally sheets and flash cards, offer additional information on local elections. A large portion of the collection includes programs and other materials from Griffith community organizations, detailing events, and activities of these groups. These files reveal Mr. Villalpando's heavy involvement in youth and community development. Finally, a series of family photographs provide a visual record of Jesse's growth and activities; these images also contain some useful views of East Chicago and Indiana Harbor in the 1930's and 1940's.

The Jesse Villalpando Sr. Papers will furnish valuable information on both an energetic, dedicated individual and the larger Latino community in northwest Indiana. Researcher should note that historical information on Jesse Villalpando, Sr. is located in Box 1, File Folder 1. Additional collections on Latino history in the Archives include the International Institute Records (CRA 102), and the Vertical File Manuscripts (VFM) Collection.

Historical Sketch

Born on January 3, 1932, the son of Isaac and Maria (Guerrera) Villalpando, Jesus (Jesse) Villalpando, Sr. has become a well-known and respected member of the northwest Indiana community. Mr. Villalpando spent his youth in the Block and Pennsy neighborhood in the Indiana Harbor section of East Chicago. While growing up during the Great Depression and the Second World War, Jesse worked at a number of jobs to assist his family, including work as an ice truck assistant, a bowling alley pin setter, and a waiter at his mother's restaurant.

His vigorous working life continued while attending Washington High School as he secured a night job at Inland Steel's 76" Hot Strip Mill during his senior year. After graduation in 1950, he transferred to the Plant One Weld Shop. In 1951, however, he left Inland to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Korea until his discharge in 1954. Upon his return to East Chicago, he resumed his welding duties at Inland, recording over thirty-five years of continuous service with the steelmaker.

Outside of the mill he became absorbed in family and community life. In 1958, he married Rose Marie Oria of East Chicago and began family which eventually included Jesse Jr. (now an Indiana state representative), Rose Marie, Debbie, and Stephanie. While devoting much time to his growing family, Jesse also found opportunities to become involved in several community groups. After moving to griffith in 1960, he joined the Jaycees, and later assumed the post of external vice-president. In 1968, he ran for precinct committeeman of Griffith Precinct 3, a post which he continues to hold as of this writing. Both the Griffith Youth Commission and Griffith Swim Club elected him president of their organizations. In addition, he was active in USWA Local 1010 in East Chicago and in St. Mary's Church in Griffith. With all of these obligations, he still managed to find time to attend Calumet College and earned an A.A degree in Labor Studies in 1977; he pursued his college studies at Indiana University Northwest.

Throughout his life, Jesse demonstrated strong leadership and interpersonal skills and had developed many acquaintances and contacts in northwest Indiana's Latino . As a result, he became well known among area Hispanics and played key roles in the improvement of the lives of his people. In 1986, realizing the importance of the contributions of Latinos to the development of the Calumet Region, he was instrumental in funding the Latino Historical Society of Northwest Indiana.

Today, Jesse Villalpando Sr. continues to work at Inland Steel and remains an active leader in community affairs.

Box File Description
1 1 Historical Information, Jesse Villalpando and Family, (1932-1994)
2 Military Papers, Jesse Villalpando, (1951-1956)
3 Correspondence, Jesse Villalpando, Precinct Committeeman, Griffith Precinct 3, (1968-1985)
4 Correspondence, Jesse Villalpando, Sr., (1973-1995)
5 Correspondence, Griffith Democratic Club, (1970-1984)
6 Declarations of Candidacy, Jesse Villalpando, (1968-19??)
7 Election Certificates, Jesse Villalpando, (1968-1980)
8 Delegate Certificates, Labor Conventions, 1962, 1968
9 Achievement Certificates, Steelworker Training Workshops, 1969-1974
10 Awards, (1956-1984)
11 Appointment Books, 1967-1970
12 Minutes, Griffith Youth Commission, 1969-1970
13 Programs, Griffith Jaycees, 1967-1970
14 Programs, Griffith Swim Club, 1969-1970
15 Program, Inland Athletic Association, 25 Year Club, 19??
1 16 Handbook, Lake County Migrant Council, 1971
27 Articles, Jesse Villalpando in 1010 Steelmaker, (1962-1972)
28 Newsclippings, Elections, (1967-1978)

Box File Description
2 1 Newsclippings, Griffith Jaycees, 1967-1971
2 Newsclippings, Griffith Swim Club, 1971
3 Newsclippings, Griffith Youth Commission, n.d.
4 Newsclippings, St. Mary Church, Griffith, 1974, 1976

Box File Description
3 1 Election Tally Sheets, (1966-1986)

Addition of April 1995
Box File Description
4 1 Program, Family Night, National Hispanic Heritage Month, 1993
2 Program, Hispanics for Higher Education, Graduation Ceremony, 1993
3 Awards, Jesse Villalpando, 1989-1993
4-5 Communications and Related Materials, Latino Historical Society of Northwest Indiana, 1984-1995

Subject Tracings

  • Alcoholism
  • Calumet College
  • Churches
  • Community Organizations
  • East Chicago
  • Elections
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Griffith, Indiana
  • Indiana Harbor
  • Inland Steel
  • Labor
  • Politics
  • St. Mary Church
  • Union Benefica Mexicana
  • United Steelworkers of America
  • United Way
  • Villalpando, Jesse
  • Youth Groups