National Hispanic Heritage Month – Herlinda Morales Rodríguez, Freight Logistics Pioneer

By the late 1930s, Dragon Bottling Company was firmly established as a major force among Texas-based soft drink industries. This was due in large part to both the entrepreneurial skills of the company’s president Herlinda Morales Rodríguez and the extensive transportation network that she used for getting beverages to market. 

Morales Rodríguez had been married to Guadalupe Rodríguez, Jr., who – along with his father — established a bottling factory on Santa Rosa Street in San Antonio sometime around 1915. The enterprise, which was originally called Rodríguez & Son Bottling Company, moved to a larger facility on Guadalupe Street in San Antonio in 1921. After her husband died in 1929, Herlinda Morales Rodríguez (only about 26 years old at the time) joined her father-in-law in running the business and stepped in as its president. She became the company’s sole owner after buying out her father-in-law in 1933.        

Morales Rodríguez implemented several major changes to the business. These changes included renaming the business Dragon Bottling Company in 1934. An even more consequential innovation, however, involved the means for distributing Dragon Bottling Company’s products well beyond Guadalupe Street. Under her leadership, a dozen delivery trucks were used on a regular basis to transport cases of the company’s beverages throughout an area within a 160-mile (257.5-kilometer) radius of San Antonio. 

These transportation logistics helped make Dragon Bottling Company one of the leading businesses owned and operated by a Mexican-American in all of Texas. The company remained in operation until the early 1960s. For more information on Herlinda Morales Rodríguez, please check out https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/frozy.

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