Alice Dickerson Montemayor

Lived:August 6, 1902—May 13, 1989 (aged 86)

Alice Dickerson Montemayor was a Texas feminist, artist and leader in the League of United Latin American Citizens. Though she wasn’t a suffragist in the traditional sense, Montemayor was a model for women’s political involvement and a fierce voice for gender equity.

Montemayor was born on August 6, 1902, in Laredo, Texas to John and Manuela Dickerson. She graduated from high school in 1924 and hoped to study law. After her father’s death, however, she stayed in Laredo to help her mother and attended Laredo Business College for a year. She married Francisco Montemayor in 1927 and had two sons. In 1934, Montemayor started her career as a social worker. She faced discrimination from white clients and, initially, was denied an office key and forced to work outside under a tree.

In 1936, Montemayor joined LULAC, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of Mexican Americans. She quickly became secretary and then served as president of Ladies LULAC 15 from 1938-1939. She was also elected second national vice president general in 1937, her first national role in LULAC. By 1940, she had become associate editor of LULAC News and director general of Junior LULAC. During her time in LULAC, Montemayor promoted women’s leadership in the organization through several essays written in the late 1930s. She left LULAC in 1940.

Montemayor worked for the L.J. Christen Junior High School until she retired in 1972. Post-retirement, she developed an interest in folk art and became a prominent artist in this genre. Her works were honored at the Fifty-ninth Annual LULAC Convention and at a presentation at the Smithsonian Institution.

Alice Dickerson Montemayor died on May 13, 1989.

Orozco, Cynthia E. “Alice Dickerson Montemayor's: Feminist Challenge to LULAC in the 1930s.” IDRA. Intercultural Developmental Research Association, February 1996.

Orozco, Cynthia E. “MONTEMAYOR, ALICE DICKERSON.” The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). Texas State Historical Association, June 15, 2010.

Sandra Jordan, "Alice Dickerson Montemayor," in Folk Art in Texas, ed. Francis Edward Abernethy (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1985).