The Story of Homer Temple Mulkey

(This document was written by Frances Keys, probably for a club presentation in the 1980s.)

Homer Temple Mulkey, son of George and Frances Mulkey of Fort Worth, Texas, was born in Fort Worth on December 27, 1884, in which city he grew to manhood.

He received his education in Fort Worth Schools and Polytecnic College. He was a Christian from early childhood. It was a great joy for him to have the opportunity to travel to Europe with his father in 1901 to attend a worldwide conference on church affairs. On December 27, 1906 Homer was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Ella Cochran at her home in Coleman, Texas.

About November 9, 1907, at Amovilla, Texas, Homer Mulkey was being admitted on trial into the Methodist Northwest Texas Conference, and after two years on account of poor health and discouragement over the poor money salary he had earned, he was discontinued at his own request from his loved employment but not from active work in the church. As a Circuit Rider preacher, Homer had served in the Gustine community.

For a while, Homer Mulkey supported his pretty Georgia native wife and son, Homer Hugh, born October 3, 1907, by working as a salesman for the Heavy Hardware Co. in Fort Worth. He was also interested in selling pianos to families around the Coleman and Santa Anna area where he met, fell in love, and married Ella. Finally, the young family moved to the town of Coleman. They borrowed money and purchased two town lots from the Cameron family and built a comfortable two-story home near the West Ward School building. Homer worked in Coleman and also got acquainted with farm work on the Cochran farm at Coleman Junction.

The couple was very happy when a daughter, Martha Frances, was born on June 17, 1911. From the first, Frances was quite frail and it was difficult to find foods that agreed with her. Also, she had all the childhood diseases early and close together. Whooping cough and a very serious case of diphtheria at the same time weakened her for years. Double pneumonia was almost fatal.

Abe Mulkey, a well known Methodist evangelist, held a successful meeting in Stanton and he liked the country very much. His brother, George Mulkey, had met Mr. F. G . Oxsheer and Mr. C. C. Slaughter in Fort Worth and he had become very interested in ranch land in Stanton. He especially wanted to invest in some good ranch land for his sons, Homer, Young J. and George Francis. Finally, he persuaded Homer to travel to Stanton to see the land. The ranch was purchased from Mr. Oxsheer and the oldest son, Homer, agreed to run it for the family. The young Homer Mulkey family made plans to move to the ranch house about five miles or more east of Stanton. Ella took Hugh and Frances on the train to Stanton. Diets had to be watched carefully but when some passengers gave Frances some bananas she ate them quickly and hungrily. It was a real surprise that this fruit seemed to agree with her so well.

The climate of Martin County seemed to suit and be healthy and happy for everyone. However, duststorms were another story as they were very frightening to Ella. George F. Mulkey came to live with them. He was an extremely restless boy, spoiled and not much help on the ranch. George was fun and had a good sense of humor, kept everyone busy, and he was soon loved by all. Ella was so proud of her family and was so hardworking. She was jolly, outgoing, and she made friends quickly. She played the piano by ear quite well for family, friends, and church groups. Homer seemed happier than ever before. He was handsome, witty, but still a rather quiet, sensitive, person. He liked to hunt and he had a fine, beautiful dog to help in this sport. Also, Homer liked cars and he had owned one of the first automobiles seen in Coleman County. In fact, he purchased one for use on the ranch. Ella learned to drive it and it gave her much pleasure. The children thought it was great fun, too.

In the meantime, the H. T. Mulkeys were making friends and taking part in community and social affairs, especially in the Stanton Methodist Church. Homer was a faithful and painstaking worker. He became a teacher in the Methodist Church Men' s Sunday School Class. There, he spread God's word among the ranchers, farmers, cowboys, and other, early settlers of the area. As Sunday School Superintendent he was always at his post on time, and the work grew under his hand. His last service was happily conducting the Children's Day Service.

An earlier childhood operation had resulted in the growth of troublesome adhesions. Finally, a serious intestinal blockage developed. On June first, 1916, Homer was taken very seriously ill, and all that loving care of the family, physicians and friends could do was done, but to no avail.

On Tuesday, June 6, about 12 o'clock, under the direction of the family surgeon, Dr. Brazzel of Fort Worth, assisted by Doctors Brown of Stanton, Young J. Mulkey of Philadelphia and Robert Cochran of Coleman, an operation was performed at the ranch home.

The operation was successful as to the work, but the vitality, drafted so heavy upon the suffering and hard conditions made by his trouble, was inadequate to sustain him until he could rally and respond to the needed treatment.

Talking, to his pastor, Homer said, "I am ready to go, I have no fear, the way is clear." Is not the Christian's death beautiful? At 5 o'clock, June 7, 1916 Homer Temple Mulkey was laid to rest in the Evergreen Cemetery.

What a heartbreaking shock it was to Ella Mulkey with two children and another one on the way to raise and support with little or no help from anyone. A deep faith in God guided her through the years ahead.

About five years later, George Mulkey had his son's body removed to the Coleman Cemetery. Ella and the children had moved back to Coleman where they had a home not far from her people, the Cochran family. Homer Temple Mulkey, Jr. was born January 10, 1917. No one could have been more courageous or a better mother than Ella. She was a good business woman, a wonderful, loving mother, and she made a very happy home for her children. Ella died quietly June 28, 1962 in San Angelo, Texas. Ella's memorial service was held in the Coleman Methodist Church with burial in Coleman Cemetery.

Now let us consider Homer and Ella's children. Hugh had had a very severe case of the flu in 1918. He recovered but a serious relapse left its mark. His eyesight became impaired and a badly enlarged heart brought on complications. Hugh's disposition was always cheerful. A bad case of pneumonia caused his death January 14, 1928, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Homer Temple, Jr., the youngest child and seemingly the strongest, was an honor graduate of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Texas. He married Daisy Shirley of Port Arthur August 30, 1940. He made his home in Port Arthur where he took a very active part in church, school, music, business and social affairs. His two beautiful daughters, Ann born October 16, 1945 and Sue born September 24, 1954, made life very happy and full. He became a very busy owner of two pharmacies in Port Arthur. Perhaps, he over worked or became too tense. Circulation problems began to develop. H. T. died very suddenly February 5, 1963 of a cerebral hemorage, and he is buried in the Port Arthur Cemetery. His two daughters are now married and there are two (son) grandchildren. Daisy has retired from the drug business.

Frances, the middle child enjoyed good health for a long while even though she had rheumatic fever as a child. She graduated from college, got married to Albert Keys, had a daughter, Kay, born Dec. 9, 1947, and taught 28 school years. Poor circulation and a heart valve required surgery in Houston, Texas. Dr. Cooley performed surgery in 1962, 1974, and 1976. Frances now seems in good health, is retired, and is enjoying church, club, and home work. She has faith that the years ahead will be good.

See also Frances Mulkey Keys' Family and Frances Mulkey Keys.

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