Work, career lead Mexia woman through full life


Mary Edwards, left, of Mexia, confers with co-worker Tanya McCloud, of Groesbeck, at the nurses’ desk at The Manor, from which Edwards, 81, recently retired but is still on call to work. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Mexia’s Mary Edwards looks at reality with clear, unflinching eyes and has lived her life accordingly.
Born in 1933 at her parents’ home on Alice Street in Mexia, young Mary got her first job as just a little girl, working in a laundry.
“I started out at the Mexia Steam Laundry that used to be on Kaufman Street,” Edwards, who turned 81 in April, said recently. “We used to do all the prisoners’ sheets. We ran the mangle,” she said referring to a pressing machine that ironed flat the freshly cleaned laundry. “We used to put a thousand prisoners sheets through the mangle every day. I still went to school. I was 9 when I started, 11 when I quit. We worked after school and on Saturdays. I made 50 cents a day after school and a dollar on Saturdays.”
When she quit the laundry she got a better offer.
“Then I went to work for Mrs. C.C. Yowell,” she said. “Mr. Yowell used to own the jewelry store here in Mexia. I went in the morning and cleaned their house. She had debilitating arthritis, and I would go in the afternoon and massage her feet and help her a little bit.”

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