A “Bit” of Looking Back – Miss Edna Cunningham Broyles


Edna Cunningham was born on August 24, 1889 at Center, Alabama.  She was the daughter of James Davidson Cunningham and Mary Josephine “Molly” (Moore) Cunningham.  The Cunningham family moved to the Malakoff area some time around 1910. In 1917, Edna Cunningham married Roby I. Broyles who died in 1925 in a tragic accident.

“Miss Edna,” as she was known to many in Malakoff, was employed as a telephone operator for the Gulf States Telephone Company, first from 1916 to 1918, and then continually from 1925 until her retirement in 1961.

In her capacity as telephone operator, Miss Edna became the local bureau of information, and she figured it was her duty to keep up with all the happenings of the community – who was sick, who was visiting, the babies born, marriages, deaths, and the time of day.  She always went far beyond the call of duty in looking after the needs of “her people.”

Miss Edna began her telephone career back in the days of the old magneto hand-crank system, when the telephone operator was called the “Hello Girl.”  The local telephone system in the early days was operated by Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Boyett.  Miss Edna continued working for the telephone
company when it was taken over by the Gulf States Telephone Company and was in charge of the local telephone office until her retirement.

When she retired in 1961, Miss Edna said, “It seems like my residence is getting further from the office every day.  I am going to take life easy and visit friends and relatives that time has not made possible before.  I will miss Gulf States and the many people with whom I have come in contact during the business years.”

With her retirement another era in the community life of Malakoff passed into history.

After serving the community of Malakoff for 55 years, Miss Edna moved to the Odd Fellows Home in Ennis in 1966.  She died on September 12, 1979 at Methodist Hospital in Dallas and is buried in the Malakoff City Cemetery.

NOTE: I am grateful to Miss Edna’s daughter, Vanice Broyles James, who was my source for much information about Miss Edna and who was my friend.  Rest well, Vanice…

Advertisements

One thought on “A “Bit” of Looking Back – Miss Edna Cunningham Broyles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s