Madam Candelaria was born in either Laredo, Texas or Presidio del Rio Grande. She moved to San Antonio at the age of 25 and married her second husband, Candelario Villanueva. She had four children and raised 22 orphans. Madam Candelaria was known for her philanthropy and her nursing skills. She claimed that she nursed Jim Bowie during the Battle of the Alamo. Until the day she died, she would relate the story of the Alamo with tears running down her cheeks.
Because there isn't well documented evidence either way, it is impossible to prove Madame Candelaria's story, but in 1891 the Texas legislature awarded her a pension of $12 a month for being a survivor of the Alamo and for her help in nursing smallpox victims in San Antonio.
She is buried in the San Fernando Cemetery.
Madame Candelaria lived to see Texas become its own republic, then a state in the United States of America, then a member of the Confederacy after seceding, then a state once again. She saw so many innovations and inventions change people's lives dramatically.
A Few Inventions Made During Madame Candelaria's Lifetime:
1793 Cotton Gin
1801 Suspension Bridge
1833 Sewing Machine
1836 Morse Code
1839 Train Sleeper Car
1842 Ether Based Anesthesia
1843 Rotary Printing Press
1846 Printing Telegraph
1857 Mass Produced Rolled Toilet Paper
1859 Electric Stove
1860 Vacuum Cleaner
1885 Electric Mixer
1890 Incandescent Lamp