He married at least three times. His known wives were Amalia Ortega Blanca, Herlinda (last name unknown), and Adelina Cardenas. Between all of his spouses, Rafael had at least the following children:
- Gilberto Cardenas Ortega
- Esperanza Cardenas Ortega
- Raul Cardenas
- Roberto Cardenas
- Rafael Cardenas
Rafael joined the Constitutionalist Army during the Mexican Revolutionary movement in 1913. He served under the command of General Antonio Medina. I know he was against the Huerta movement, but it seems from what I've gathered that even when some groups would be allies on one front, they were enemies on another, so other than knowing he was "anti-Huerta," I know little else about his side of the War.
Most of the reason I don't know much about his time in the Revolution is because my knowledge of Spanish is limited to what I learned before age 10 and what I can glean based on a working knowledge of French and some Latin. But I do know that during Rafael's time in the military, he worked his way up to Brigadier General.
|One of the many medals that was given to Rafael.|
They are all in the possession of his granddaughter, Amalia Cardenas TristanPhoto taken by Thomas Cardenas
|Certificate in the possession of Amalia Cardenas Tristan|
Photo taken by Thomas Cardenas
While Rafael appears in few books and records, it seems he was rather successful in his professional life. He was a member of Congress, a federal deputy, and he also served as provisional governor of Tamaulipas. He was the governor-elect for the 1920-1924 term, but he only served four days until 8 May 1920 when he retired.
|Photo of Rafael found in a book at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA|
(I forgot to write down the name of the book)
|Taken from death certificate|
|Photo provided by Thomas Cardenas|
Original in the possession of Amalia Cardenas Tristan
- Condecoracion al Merito Revolutionario, Rafael Cardenas Cepeda
- Death Certificate, Rafael Cardenas Zepeda (provided by Thomas Cardenas)
- "Diccionario Porrua: Historia, Biografia y Geografia de Mexico" (found in a local high school library)
- Tamaulipas Bicentennial Site: Rafael Cardenas Cepeda
- Tamaulipas Bicentennial Site: Venustiano Carranza