Frank Cuellar Sr. Collection, 1924-1985Add to your cart.

By Emily Aparicio

Collection Overview

Title: Frank Cuellar Sr. Collection, 1924-1985Add to your cart.
Predominant Dates: 1948-1973
ID: 01/ BA.19
Extent: 14.0 Boxes
Arrangement: The collection is arranged into series by type of material.
Date Acquired: 00/00/1978. More info below under Accruals.
Languages: English


A collection of Frank Cuellar Sr.'s printed materials and photographs from his career as a restauranteur and cofounder of the El Chico Corporation.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains letters, financial documents, printed materials, literary productions, photographs, and scrapbooks relating to Frank Cuellar Sr.'s career as a restaurateur and cofounder of the El Chico Corporation.  The collection includes several hundred photographs of the Cuellar family and their business activities. Materials are primarily in English with a few items in Spanish.

Collection Historical Note

Frank Cuellar Sr. (1903-1995).

Mr. Cuellar was a restaurateur and cofounder of the El Chico Corporation, and the El Chico Commissary.  Today there are El Chico restaurants in multiple U.S. states and three other countries.

Mr. Cuellar was born December 3, 1903 into a large family.  He left school early to help with farm work and support the large share cropper family.  Life on the farm was a struggle, but young Frank envisioned a brighter horizon.  One year, when the chores at home were in a slack period, he and his brothers helped their mother make tamales and other foods, which they sold at the Kaufman County Fair.  Frank realized that the income from the short period at the fair almost equaled profits from a year's operation at the farm.  As time passed the tamale business continued to grow, and eventually a small cáfe was established.

Frank Cuellar went to Terrell, one brother went to Wills Point and another remained in Kaufman.  Each enterprising brother engaged in a small business and a chain of restaurants was born.  Denied a formal education, Mr. Cuellar was piling up a fortune in experience and knowledge of human relations.  He made mistakes and he suffered failures, but in every instance he emerged  wiser and with renewed energy and determination to make the business succeed.

Mr. Cuellar  placed emphasis on finding the most advantageous locations and providing a pleasant atmosphere, along with excellent food, to bring customers back to his tables.

Mr. Cuellar was a concerned citizen, always involved in the needs of his family, his associates, and the world.  He participated as a director or member of many civic and community organizations.  He would meet regularly with a group of minority businessman whose goal was a national savings and loan association.

Mr. Cuellar was married to Julia Flores and they had three sons, Frank Jr., Robert, and John, as well as multiple grandchildren.  Mr. Cuellar enjoyed restful weekends in the country fishing or entertaining his grandchildren.

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

This collection is not restricted.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Physical Access Note:

Collection is housed in the UNT Special Collections department vault. Advance notice for use is preferred. Please contact the UNT Special Collections department for further information.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: Manuscripts
Accruals: Accruals to collection: 1985 and 1986.
Acquisition Source: Cuellar, Frank Sr.
Acquisition Method: Gift
Preferred Citation: Frank Cuellar Sr. Collection, University of North Texas Special Collections


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