The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 629
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bers her father as a quiet, gentle man with a sense of humor who
invented a cotton and corn planter, while her mother was frugal,
yet broadminded and blessed with common sense.
From her youth Edna Turley Carpenter recalls making her
own toys, square dancing (before joining the Methodist Church),
picnics, and camp meetings. As a child she attended subscription
and public schools on Onion Creek and in Manchaca south of
Austin. Following her father's death, she continued her educa-
tion, with the aid of her brother Will but against her mother's
will, at a Summer Normal School in Austin and later at Sam
Houston State Normal School in Huntsville. The young grad-
uate then returned to teach in Manchaca, where beaux began to
gather providing her recollections with passages on courting and
singing in the fashion of the times.
In June, 1897, Edna Turley married Tommie Carpenter, the
handsome young owner of a general merchandise store whose gen-
erosity eventually bankrupted him. The Carpenters then super-
intended the Travis County poor farm through 1903-1904, before
Tom returned to farming and operating a cotton gin in Man-
chaca. Mrs. Carpenter's memories of the small farming community
are excellent descriptions of local society and politics including
the first car-a Hupmobile, the activities of the Ku Klux Klan,
the problems of nursing the sick and laying out the dead, and
the amicable race relations of the area.
On the lighter side, Mrs. Carpenter recalls the pranks and
problems of her growing children, Buck, Tom, and Jane; and the
literal fall from grace of John Matthews, who tumbled tipsily
from a tree at a camp meeting after interrupting a sermon on
Christ by yelling "Bully for Jesusll" Equally amusing are the
story of The Great Bowel Movement and numerous home rem-
edies including one for worms which "tasted like the concen-
trated essence of bilge water combined with the offscum of a
month's savings of kitchen wastes."
Mrs. Carpenter's memoirs also include an account of her
brother Jim Turley who composed the cowboy ballad "Texas
Joe" and married a German immigrant girl he had helped free
from a murder charge while serving as a member of her jury.
In 1924, following a fire at their gin and a boll weevil plague
in Central Texas, the Carpenters moved to Taft where Tom oper-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/707/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.