Letter to Betty Crocker from Frances Mulkey Keys, March 1950


Letter to Betty Crocker from Frances Mulkey Keys, March 1950


Keys, Frances Mulkey, 1916-1987


School teacher, club woman, resident of Coleman and Wall, Texas
Letter to Betty Crocker from Keys, nominating her mother, Ella Mulkey, for an outstanding homemaker aware. Keys outlines her childhood and adolescence with her widowed mother. She explains that her father died before WWI while her mother was pregnant with her younger son. Keys's older brother developed a heart condition and died young as well. Keys's mother turned their home into a boardinghouse into order to bring in additonal money and was generally seen as a good woman in her community.




Keys, Martha Frances; Crocker, Betty


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4 pgs.







Is Part Of

Frances Mulkey Keys Papers

Accrual Method



Keys, Kay

Rights Holder

Woman's Collection, Texas Woman's University, P.O. Box 425528, Denton, TX 76204


Wall, Texas

Betty Crocker’s Magazine of the Air
American Broadcasting Company
New York. N.Y.

Dear Betty Crocker:
How wonderful it would be if my mother, Mrs. Ella Mulkey of Coleman, Texas, could be selected as one of your outstanding homemakers. Naturally, a daughter might be prejudiced, but Mom is my candidate and after you read my reasons, I believe you will agree that she is outstanding.
Shortly before World War I my father died following a brief illness and operation. Two little children, a very small amount of insurance, a partly paid for home, and a broken hearted young mother comprised the inventory.
There were those who advised an orphan’s home, but my mother was determined to keep us together. Several months later when my brother was born she cheerfully and confidently made plans for the future. Fortunately, our home was fairly large so that there was room for a small apartment and also space for sometimes as many as six or more boarders - mostly high school students from rural areas.
When Mom was not busy cooking, helping friends, doing church work, looking after her home and us, she made our clothes and even sewed some for the public. Her days were budgeted so that no one or anything was ever neglected. Our home training, our health, our education, our fun and hobbies, our friends, and our church life were all important to Mom. She encouraged us in our little money making projects so that we could feel more independent and helpful. Although money was never plentiful and there were often difficult problems to face, we had lots of fun, and we felt we were very rich in many ways.
My dear brother was thirteen when he developed a heart condition that necessitated his remaining in bed for a year. He would have given up many times had it not been for my mother’s cheerful encouragement, good nursing, and fine sense of humor. Although my brother died just before his twenty-first birthday, he achieved some of the things he wanted to do most.
As a result of my mother’s careful management of an inheritance from my grandfather, my younger brother and I were both able to attend college and receive our degrees. It had always been Mom’s desire that we be well prepared to make our own livings.
Mom has an easier but a more lonesome life since my brother and I have moved away to establish homes of our own. Still, you could never find a busier person than my mother now that she has extra time for doing many of the things she enjoys most. My brother and I each have a young daughter, and sewing for them is one of Mom’s hobbies. We would drive many a mile for one of my mother’s delicious pies or cakes. There are many more things I could tell you about Mom, but now I think you know why she has been such an inspiration to me.
Sincerely yours,
Frances Mulkey Keys
(Mrs. Albert L. Keys)




“Letter to Betty Crocker from Frances Mulkey Keys, March 1950,” TWU Digital Exhibits, accessed June 18, 2024, http://exhibits.twu.edu/ex/items/show/252.