Ofelia Vasquez-Philo was born December 28, 1932 in Seguin, Texas, and was the oldest of nine children. She grew up on Freeman Ranch, in Wimberley, Tx., where her father was the ranch foreman. She married Joe Vasquez, Jr. in 1950 and they raised 7 children in San Marcos. After Joe's death in 1986, she married Harry Philo. Ofelia worked part-time in 1966 at the Office of Community Action. In 1970, she became executive director, a position she would hold until her retirement in 1993. During this period, she obtained her GED certificate, and her bachelor's degree from Antioch University, Austin campus in 1978. She was the first Latina to serve on the San Marcos Independent School Board from 1969-1971. She was a charter member of the San Marcos Heritage Foundation, and a member of the Hays County Historical Commission, the San Marcos League of Women Voters, the Hijas de Maria, the Archicofradia of St. John's Catholic Church, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Finance Council and the Bereavement Ministry of St John's Catholic Church. She also worked for the preservation of Hispanic cemeteries and served on numerous other city and county boards and commissions. She is coauthor of Suenos y Recuerdos del Pasado, an historical account of the Hispanic settlers of San Marcos, Texas. Mrs. Vasquez-Philo died in 2017.
Mr. Mendez was born and raised in the San Marcos area, where he attended the "Mexican school". He reminisced on the pervasive discrimination against Mexican Americans during his youth. His studies at Texas State were interrupted by the draft during the Korean War years. Mr. Mendez was a member of a political alliance between Mexican Americans, liberal Anglos and African Americans in San Marcos; this coalition, later called Hays County Independent Party, helped elect some of the first minority public officials in the city. Mr. Mendez was the first Mexican American trustee in the San Marcos school board; during his tenure, he pushed for the integration of the local schools. In the mid 1970s, a cross was burned in his front lawn; the act was attributed to the Ku Klux Klan. Mr. Mendez also reminisced on a major boycott of the San Marcos schools in 1972.