Victor Oliveros is a retired epidemiologist who served for many years with the City of Laredo Health Department. He is still active with committees and projects addressing border health issues. In this November 2009 interview, Special Collections Librarian Pennie Borchers interviews Mr. Oliveros about the public health issues he observed along the Texas-Mexico border during his career, and his work to try to improve public health in Laredo and beyond.
History of Medicine
Oral history interview with Mr. Victor Oliveros
P. I. (Pat Ireland) Nixon Photographs & Biographical Materials
P. I. Nixon
Olive Gray Read Nixon
|Olive Read met Pat I. Nixon while they were both attending the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated in 1905, but they waited until he finished his M.D. degree at John Hopkins University School of Medicine and established his practice in San Antonio before marrying in 1912. They had four boys – Pat Ireland Nixon Jr., Robert Nixon, and the twins Benjamin Nixon and Thomas Nixon. Olive shared Nixon’s interest in history and was his partner in collecting historical materials.|
Fannie Andrews Nixon
|Frances Amanda Andrews was born in Randolph county, North Carolina, on Nov. 5, 1843. In 1866 she left North Carolina with her brother-in-law and sister and after a 3 months journal arrived in Texas, settling at Belmont. She taught school for a few years then in 1872 married Captain Robert Thomas Nixon, the owner of a 14,000 acre plantation 6 miles south of what is now Luling. Captain Nixon had 9 children from his previous marriage. Fannie added 7 children of her own. In 1895 they moved to Luling. When her husband died in 1897, she managed the estate for the next forty-two years.|
P. I. Nixon, Jr.
|Dr. Pat I. Nixon Jr. MD was born on May 28, 1913. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1935 and Duke Medical School in 1939. He joined the Army in 1949 and was stationed at West Point during World War II as a Hygiene Teacher and a member of the Medical Staff. He returned to San Antonio in 1946 and practiced medicine with his father. He married Ruby Baker while in the Army, and they had 4 children. Ruby died in 1982, and he married his second wife, Della. He loved old antique cars and driving and donatedmuch of his time to charity and doing work for the Boy Scouts. He died in October 2012 at the age of 99.|
Ben Oliver Nixon
|Ben Oliver Nixon was born in 1921, the oldest of the “Tennis Playing Twins.” He was a Captain and aircraft pilot in the Air Force and died while flying a plane in 1961. He was married to Grace Nixon and had four children.|
P. I. (Pat Ireland) Nixon, 1883-1965
Dr. P. I. Nixon was a prominent physician in San Antonio and a skillful writer and researcher and is recognized as the preeminent historian of Texas medicine. He was the sole author of three books devoted to Texas medicine and was co-author of a fourth. He was founder of the San Antonio Historical Association and served terms as president of the Bexar County Medical Library Association, the Texas Surgical Society, the San Antonio Ex-Students Society of Texas, the San Antonio Historical Association, and the Philosophical Society of Texas. In 1957 Nixon received two literary honors, the Summerfield G. Roberts and Clement E. Trout awards. In 1963 Trinity University granted him an honorary doctorate.
Education and Career
Pat Ireland Nixon was born in Old Nixon, Texas on November 29, 1883, to Robert Thomas and Fannie (Andrews) Nixon. He graduated from Luling High School in 1900 and the Bingham School in Ashville, North Carolina in 1902. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas in 1905 and his medical degree from John Hopkins University School of Medicine, graduating in 1909.
After completing postgraduate studies, Nixon opened an office in San Antonio on September 27, 1911, as a general practitioner and treated patients for over 50 years. On July 3, 1912, Nixon married Olive Gray Read of Mineola, Texas, whom he had met while attending the University of Texas. They had four sons — Pat Ireland Nixon Jr., Robert Nixon, and twins Benjamin Nixon and Thomas Nixon. Nixon served on the medical staffs of Baptist Memorial, Nix Memorial, and Santa Rosa hospitals and was president of the Bexar County Medical Association in 1926 and the Texas Surgical Society in 1956. He died on November 18, 1965 and was buried in Sunset Memorial Park, San Antonio, Texas.
Role in Public Health
Nixon was appointed to the San Antonio Board of Health in 1928 and served for the next twenty years on city or city-county health boards. He crusaded for improvements in public health and in the government of San Antonio, which he blamed for not doing anything about the deplorable health conditions. He was especially concerned about the spread of polio, tuberculosis, syphilis, infant diarrhea, and other infectious diseases and the living conditions in the barrios, where the poorest people in San Antonio resided. He spoke out at public rallies and on the radio and was a leader in efforts to improve the health of San Antonio’s people.
Rare Books Collector
One of his most enduring contributions to the medical profession in San Antonio was his role in the founding of the Bexar County Medical Library Association in 1919 where he served as Chair. The library acquired over 15,000 volumes and long runs of more than two hundred journals. Because of Dr. Nixon’s efforts, the Bexar County Medical Library was also able to accumulate a large collection of rare medical books, purchased with association funds, donations by patients and friends of Dr. Nixon, and money from the sales of several of his books. He searched for old and rare books over a period of 50 years. This collection of rare medical books was donated to the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio in 1970 and is housed in the Briscoe Library as the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. Nixon served on the advisory council for the Handbook of Texas and contributed many articles on doctors and medicine for the handbook. Nixon also had a personal library of Texana comprised of books on early Texas history, both rare books and more modern publications. This collection was donated to Trinity University in San Antonio in 1964 and became the Pat Ireland Nixon Collection.
Books by P. I. Nixon (Click to view full text)
Selected Papers from the Nixon Collection:
Ron Philo, PhD, on the Anatomical Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci
Dr. Philo, senior lecturer in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, describes his research on the anatomical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and his collaboration with Martin Clayton, Deputy Curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle, England, on the award-winning exhibition catalog, Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man, published in 2010. Dr. Philo retired from the University in August, 2010.
Talks on History and Health
Over the years, a number of important audio and video interviews, lectures and presentations on the history of medicine and healthcare have been collected in the University Archives of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. This project aims to digitize these talks and make them available for download and online viewing or listening through the Internet Archive, or other channels, at the pages linked below.
A Personal History of Bexar County Medicine (February, 1980)
Dr. Perry W. Nadig interviews Dr. Byron Wyatt, a pioneer San Antonio physician.
Historical remembrances of Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. (2007 and 2011)
Two interviews with the eminent South Texas physician: a video interview from 2011, and an audio interview by Special Collections Librarian Pennie Borchers from October 2007.
Oral History Interview with Mr. Victor Oliveros (November, 2009)
Special Collections Librarian Pennie Borchers interviews City of Laredo epidemiologist and public health advocate Victor Oliveros about public health issues on the Texas-Mexico border.
Ron Philo, PhD, on the Anatomical Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci (July, 2010)
Dr. Philo, senior lecturer in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, describes his research and publications on the anatomical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.
Charleen Moore, PhD: “Anatomists and their Art” (October, 2011)
A presentation by Dr. Moore, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Health Science Center’s Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, featuring many important works from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.