Saturday, February 12, 2022

Madame Candelaria by Bea Tifton


Madam Candelaria was born in 1785 as Andrea Castanon Villanueva. She died in 1899 at the age of 113 and claimed to be a survivor of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. 

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

1834      Refrigerator

1833      Sewing Machine

1836      Morse Code

1839      Train Sleeper Car

1842      Ether Based Anesthesia

1843      Rotary Printing Press

1846      Printing Telegraph

1850      Dishwasher

1857      Mass Produced Rolled Toilet Paper

1859      Electric Stove

1860      Vacuum Cleaner

1867      Motorcycle

1877      Phonograph

1885      Electric Mixer

1886      Automobile

1890      Incandescent Lamp



  1. What an exceptional woman she must have been. Imagine raising 22 orphans as well as her own children. She certainly accomplished a lot in her long lifetime.

    1. She did and I would have loved to know what she thought about all the inventions and changes she saw in her lifetime.


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