State Historic Site
Rosa-Maye & Manville Kendrick (AHC Kendrick Collection, TESHS)
Eula & Mattie Wulfjen (Hoff Collection, TESHS)
A Whole-House Exhibit at the Trail End State Historic Site
March 2008 - December 2008
JOHN KENDRICK AND Eula Wulfjen were both born in Texas – and there ends any similarity in their upbringing. Given the fifteen-year difference in their ages, one might expect a few other differences, but those between John and Eula were based on economics, education, culture, and family values, not just age:
JOHN'S BANG-UP ADVENTURE
We only have one picture of John Kendrick as a child, taken when he was a young teenager. In it, he looks at the camera with a quiet dignity. But, according to author J. R. Burroughs, the young boy in the photo could be a handful at times:
At the age of thirteen he had yet to enter the saloon which was the principal gathering place for sociable males in the small Texas town where he was raised. One Christmas season the sounds of conviviality proved irresistible and, pushing through the swinging doors, the boy stepped inside. It was customary in the Texas of that day to set off firecrackers at Christmas time and, on this occasion, John Kendrick was well supplied. He lost no time in dropping a lighted cracker in the gaping overcoat pocket of a man warming his hands in front of the stove. The result exceeded his most sanguine expectations. The fellow just had come from the hardware store, and the aforementioned pocket contained a pound packet of black powder!
EULA'S SMASHING TIMES
As for Eula, we have several images of her as a child. The earliest, taken in about 1876, shows a very serious-minded little girl. She, too, had a bit of a wild streak, as evidenced by this story she told on herself:
I remember getting furiously mad at my big sister but one time when we were little girls in Cheyenne, though I had playfully knocked her head through a pane of glass, being unable to resist the opportunity - when I came upon her unaware one morning leaning against the window pane with her nose pressed flat - I stole to the bed, clutched a pillow and banged her head with all my might. The following crash and scream accompanied with crashing glass frightened me near to death to say nothing of the flow of blood, though why she wasn't seriously cut I will never know.