Hood County Music Teacher

Born September 18, 1895

Written by William Turner Covey, son, and presented by Jenny Day, great-granddaughter, on the occasion of Bun Turner Covey Eddleman’s 100th birthday celebration on September 17, 1995 at the Methodist Church in Tolar, Texas

We all know that we cherish a good, long, happy life, and we really admire the ones that have been able to fulfill this wish. Sometimes we wish we could relive, or in some cases, forget some segments of our lives.

Sometimes we even think if we had a choice, what segment of history would we have chosen to relive?

Of course, we aren’t given this choice, so we take the block of time that was assigned to us.

Well, now this is where Bun Turner Eddleman comes into the picture. It appears to many that Bun was assigned a block of time that included some of the most remarkable, interesting and historical years of our ever changing history. A brief history of Bun’s life and some of the notable events will point out some of these outstanding parallels.

Bun was born at Bluff Dale, Texas, September 18, 1895. She wasn’t a resident of Bluff Dale very long because Dad and Mommie Turner moved to the old home place five miles southwest of Tolar on January 1, 1896. In 1895, Cleveland was president, the population of the United States was 65 million, and there were only 300 motorcars registered in the U.S. The bicycle, called the “Silent Steed” was becoming extremely popular that year, which in turn had made the “proper ladies” skirts rise 3 to 4 inches above the ankle to keep their skirts out of the spokes; lead weights were sewn in the skirt hems to hold them down.

Bun had already been blessed with her older sister, Neva, who was also born in Bluff Dale, on July 23, 1893. The two young girls were the pride and joy of Dave and Nora Turner. While the girls played with their homemade dolls and toys, Lillian Russell, the “American Beauty,” was the darling of the N.Y. stage, Theodore Roosevelt had just returned from the Spanish American War, a hero nicknamed Teddy, which he didn’t like; also the first moving pictures were being shown on a public screen in New York.

In 1900, McKinley was president, the U.S. population had increased to 75 million, automobiles had increased to 8,000, but there were only ten miles of pavement in the entire United States. You could buy the new Brownie box camera for $1.00, and film cost 10¢ per roll.

Dad Turner was once asked why he remembered 1900 so vividly. He said it was a very dry year, but that in September of that year, he saw the most miserable weather that he had ever seen. He said he remembered that it was just a few days before Teak Turner was born on September 12, 1900. Of course, the bad weather was a result of the Galveston flood of September 8, 1900 that killed 8,000 people. News of the flood and details were received by the Tolar depot telegraph a few days later.

In 1902, Bun was blessed with the arrival of another sister, Jo Turner, born on June 30th. This gave the Turner family four young, beautiful girls. Some of the girls had started to school, but some were left home to play with their homemade cotton boll dolls. As the girls played, Henry Ford founded a new company to sell his “Family Horse” for $850. Down at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers had taken to the air and had flown a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds.

On June 16, 1904, Bun was blessed with a little brother, Coke Turner, and the girls were ecstatic! Teddy Roosevelt was re-elected as president, we now had 77,000 cars registered; and Cy Young had pitched the first perfect baseball game for the Boston Americans.

On October 1, 1906, Bun was blessed with her second little brother, Rush Turner. Of course, Rush Turner didn’t have anything to do with it, but the worst disaster in U.S. history occurred when earthquakes and fires hit San Francisco. Some good news for the local community was that the famous Bluff Dale tabernacle was built; and many good meetings, dinners and sermons were enjoyed by the residents; and it is still in good use today. That year some Kellogg cooks left some boiled grain on a burner unattended, and the famous Post Toasties were accidently discovered.

As the Turner kids grew up and went to school, other major events were happening. General Motors was formed by William Durant, the Model T was introduced by Ford in 1908 for $850; and in 1909 Peary reached the North Pole for the first time in history. Dad Turner said 1909 was the driest year he ever saw, and this probably contributed to the burning of the town of Tolar in 1909.

By 1910, the Turner family had bought a piano, and the girls were taking lessons from a Mr. Fro. Bun’s song of that time was “Highland Laddie,” and she still has the music and can still play it today, I’m sure.

In 1911-12 Bun was riding her horse “Tony” from the home place to school in Tolar, but in 1912-13, Mommie Turner moved to Tolar with the children so they could go to school. Dad Turner brought in produce from the farm to feed the family.

Bun loved to play the piano, and attended John Tarleton College in 1915-16 to increase her knowledge of music. Before she left for college, however, she attended her first slumber party. At that party Bun had her first taste of peanut butter. She couldn’t believe how good it was, and it’s still a favorite today!

During these years, Neva Turner had attended a Methodist College in Memphis, Texas and then taught school at Memphis a year, and then a year at the Colony school in 1916. To close out this decade, World War I had begun and ended in 1918, Dad Turner buys a new buggy, Neva marries and moves to Dallas. Bun works as a stenographer for Sears-Roebuck in Dallas, the population had increased to 105 million, the Panama Canal had been constructed, and the devastating 1918 flu epidemic killed between 400,000 to 500,000 people.

The ’20s were exciting years for Bun. She married a childhood sweetheart, Houston E. Covey in Fort Worth in August. She became a first time aunt when her sister Neva gave birth to a baby girl, Neva Jean, on October 8, 1920, and, on September 7, 1921, William Turner Covey was born to Bun and Houston at the home place in Tolar. William weighed in at a whopping 10½ pounds, and was the only child. No wonder!

As Bun does her housework and raises William in Fort Worth, the world continues to grow and make progress. Prohibition is passed, and President Harding is the first president to be heard over a radio. There were 15 million cars by 1923, and you could buy a new Model T with a crank for $290.

By 1925, Bun was ready to get back into music. She saw an ad in the paper for a pianist at the Lyric Theater in Fort Worth. Movies were still silent, but in between films, various vaudeville acts were a main attraction. She learned the art of transposing music to any key during this time and played for all the singers, dancers and comedy acts. This ability to play in any key was a great asset when she taught music and put on her musical programs in later years. During this time, Capone was making millions in Chicago, and Lindy had made his solo flight over the Atlantic. Bonnie and Clyde were well known, too.

The 1930s arrived with the population at 122 million, Hoover was President and 1,300 banks had been closed. With the depression in full swing, Bun relocated back to Tolar and started teaching music for $2.00 to $3.00 a month. She taught at Rock Church in 1934, and later in Tolar and Bluff Dale. This was a shot in the arm for these communities because her musical programs brought the residents together and were very entertaining and professional. Bun began teaching in her home after marrying Dick Eddleman in August, 1938, but eventually moved into a music room at the schools. Bun became a step-mother to Hillyard, Dick’s 10-year-old son, when they married. Dick passed away August 18, 1961 at their Tolar home; Hillyard died December 18, 1992 at his home in Salado.

Bun’s school programs were carefully planned, and every student given a chance to perform in some manner. She instilled in her students confidence, pride, and lots of self-esteem. She worked very hard to put these first-class shows together, and all the proceeds went to the PTAs or the local schools. Her programs gave the school pride and excitement. Her music students, glee clubs, and comedy skits are still a refreshing memory.

After 40 years of teaching, she finally decided to retire and do things she had not had the time to do previously. Of course, she was still the Methodist Church pianist as she had been for 40 years. She has always loved her family, friends, church, and the community. There are few people that have given of herself and brought so many happy moments to Tolar as she has, and we all love her for it. We just wish she could last another 100 years so we can start planning for her 105th birthday.

In summary, after 20 presidents, buggies, to trips to the moon, chalkboards, to computers, castor oil, to organ transplants, six wars and, of course, her favorite singer Elvis Presley, SHE HAS SEEN IT ALL!

I represent the fourth generation and my son represents the fifth. I wonder…if he lives to be 100 will he see the progression and dramatic changes that my great-grandmother has seen in her century of life? If he does, he has a very interesting and exciting life awaiting him.

We would like to thank everyone for coming and making this a very special and memorable day.

(To Bun) On behalf of all your friends and family, we are so proud of you, and we love you dearly. (Kisses Bun)

Note from Bill Covey:
My mother has been a Hood Co. citizen all her life and is now in the Valley View Nursing Home in Granbury awaiting her 105th birthday next month.August 18, 2000