Mary Eulalia Coward


October 30, 1892 - May 31, 1994
Role: Foreman's Wife, Teacher
Known for: Never at a loss for words
Maiden name: Marmion

Eulalia was born and raised in Victoria, Texas. Her mother came from a well-to-do family in Alabama. Although her father died when she was five, her mother’s family was able to help support a single mother with six children. Eulalia married Jim Coward, the foreman at the O’Connor Melon Creek Ranch on Oct. 12, 1912 and she has been told that they were the first couple to be married in Victoria’s St. Mary’s Church. She taught school for twenty-eight years. Being both a foreman’s wife and a teacher gave her a special status. Teachers were highly regarded. “I began living on the ranches as a bride in 1912. There was no electricity or modern conveniences, but it really wasn’t all that tough. I had a lot of help. Being a foreman’s wife was fun. Jim loved the ranches so much he was always happy. I learned to fish and shoot snakes and ride horseback. Ranch life was a good life around good people.” Eulalia was an original from beginning to end. She was always dressed to the nines with some marvelous hat to complete the outfit. She was renowned for her ability to out-talk everyone in the room. Even into her nineties she was engaged in some fascinating activity that kept her healthy and alert. One of her favorite hobbies was to hunt emeralds in Arkansas where she would, in spite of her advanced age, do her own prospecting.

Introduction to Eulalia Coward

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Eulalia Coward
Eulalia Coward – I was born October 30, 1892. Married on October 26, 1912. And would you believe this, see I was a town girl, but Mr. Jim's daddy didn't want any sissy. So, I had to learn how to ride, and I had to drive the horse. I knew nothing. And listen, you know what my wedding present was from him? A beautiful little rubber-tired buggy, just for two seats, you know. And this horse… had a pretty horse, but he would balk. Every time we got ready to drive away he didn't want to leave the ranch. They'd put tobacco in his mouth and then he'd go. I lived at two ranches, the first one I lived in was Martin O'Connor, and then we moved to Tom O'Connor's ranch. Now, Martin O'Connor's ranch and they had not indoor conveniences. So, when I moved over to Tom O'Connor's ranch, why, I put one in. We put one in ourselves over there at the ranch then. And I lived there twenty-five years on that place, and ten years on the other one. That's thirty-five years. I never would have moved to town. Jim was the one that wanted to get away and put Rusty out there. But I would have stayed out there, didn't mind it a bit.