Mr. and Mrs. Leven Tull
by Eleanor Peak Zane
We would like to tell you about a couple who lived a full life. Who, even though they were in their 80's, were determined to continue to keep independent
and busy. In spite of knowing unfortunate circumstances for a period of time, they did overcome those times to rise above them. We love to read about
old folks who just don’t give up when things look bleak. Let us tell you about these wonderful people.
For some years Mr. Tull and his wife had lived on a farm, working to make a living and apparently loving that they were farmers, even though they did not
own the farm and its land.
One morning early in March, 1917, on his way to his hot-beds to prepare them for the day, Mr. Tull was attacked by one of his farm hands - a man who
before this incident had been considered trustworthy. The man waylaid Mr. Tull, hit him in the head with an axe, robbed him, and ran off leaving him to
die. For weeks and months his life was despaired. Finally, health and strength came creeping back. It became obvious, however, that he would never
again be able to assume the responsibilities of a large farm. Mr. Tull was sixty-seven years of age when this misfortune occurred.
Realizing that life must go on, and that he had the responsibility of providing for himself and his wife, he decided to sell all of his farm equipment. They
moved into town to start anew. He and his wife decided to open a small confectionary store, catering particularly to school children. Pedricktown was the
most logical town in which to locate, because he had lived there all his life. He was well-known and highly esteemed by the people of the town.
The couple found a double house for sale, directly opposite the school house in the center of town. Their son, William, purchased the property, and
moved his family into one side, while Mr. & Mrs. Tull moved into the other side. There they were completely separate and independent. The house had
lots of room for the couple. They were able to make the front room into a modest confectionary store.
A small capital was required to purchase the store furnishings and stock. Counters, display cases, a table and a few chairs, and they were ready to
open. The couple started with ice cream and candy, featuring the penny candy that was very popular with the school children. The store also carried a
small stock of smoking tobacco and cigarettes.
Mr. Tull would rise about 6:30 in the morning, checking his stock before he opened about 8 A.M. Some of the school children would stop in before
school, but most would wait until recess or at lunch time, when the store was the busiest. The gentlemen of the town usually gathered in early evening,
purchasing tobacco or cigarettes, and socializing for a short time. At 8 P.M. business was over for the day. The couple would work together to sweep the
store, straighten the stock and close and lock the doors. The shutters would be shut and the money was carefully counted and put into a special sack. If
it happened to be winter, the fire was tended. Mr. Tull would drink his half-cup of coffee, which had been prepared by his faithful companion, who never
failed to have it in readiness for him. Then the old couple would trudge, lantern in hand, upstairs to bed.
We leave this couple where contentment is evident, and we can be sure that the remainder of life for these two independent and determined folks would
be happy. We admire the resolution of this couple who overcame hardship to claim happiness in service to others.