Estanislao Goff purchased this blouse on a trip to Mexico in the late 1940s. That trip was the last time she would ever see her homeland, and the blouse was a reminder of the country and culture she had left behind decades earlier.
Estanislao was the cook and housekeeper at a large Mexican ranch in the early 1900s when she married Dean Goff, the ranch’s American manager, who had been sent to Mexico by his father to avoid service in the Spanish-American War. Dean and Estansilao lived happily in Mexico until 1918, when they and their five children were forced to flee the country to escape death at the hands of Pancho Villa’s guerilla forces. The Goff family settled in Dean’s home town of Elgin, Illinois, where Estanislao was, unfortunately, not favorably received by Dean’s family. Dean eventually got a job at the Pearsal Milk Company, and Estanislao did needlework for a shirt factory then later worked in a steel mill during World War II.