She Must Have Been a Corker....
"She's a corker." Now that was her phrase. I didn't really know what it meant, but she'd use it when someone was full of life, not devilish exactly but, well, maybe mischievous, prone to get into trouble. This word describes my Grandmother. Mammaw was always full of life, never a dull moment to be around her or her sisters.
This story published in the newsletter of the nursing home where she lived out her last years, can only put a smile on your face as you read it:
by Helen Cardwell
Manor 1900 It was the time of railroads, cotton gins and banks. Manor, Elgin, Bastrop, Georgetown and Taylor had plenty of each and were the Commerce Centers of Central Texas; while Austin was a crossing point on the Colorado River and not yet really born.
Into this bustling, vibant country, on Feb. 4, 1887, was born a little girl, who was to grow up with Texas and be just as bustling and vibrant!
Ida Allison was completely her own person from the day she was born; determined to do whatever she set her mind to - from the fun-filled, carefree days of growing up on a cotton farm in Manor, to becoming Ida Enders - Pioneer in quality care nursing homes in Texas.
The youngest of three girls, Ida said she was "always up to something" and that her sisters Mattie Lou (who is now 98 years old) and Ada (died in 1971) were good girls and would never do the things she did. As a teenager, she was part of the "42 Club" which had 48 young people, who met after church every Sunday at "Devils Hollow" for "Tic-Tacking." This was a place to hide, laugh a lot and plot all sorts of mischief. Rubber Tire Buggy Like the time they all went to the Crocketts' place for the afternoon and decided to race horses and rubber tire buggies - jumping the horses over the culverts - buggies and all. "No one got hurt," Ida said, "and it was fun!"
Then there was the time her good friend Ed Smart, knowing Ida was "sweet on" Henry Enders from Elgin, said he would take her to see Henry. Mama and Papa Allison did not approve of Henry because he was a "railroad man" and was rough in his ways and not the type of person they would like their daughter to marry. Ida and Ed rented a horse and buggy and told Ida's Mama and Papa they were going for a ride. Off to Elgin they went to have a visit with Henry. They were having such fun they forgot about the time. Realizing how late it had become, Ed and Ida fairly flew back to Manor to arrive in time for supper. The horse died the following day and the Liveryman told Ed he would have to pay $50 for the horse, as the animal had been driven too hard. Ida went to her Papa and under some pretense, got $25 from him. Ed paid the other $25 and the Liveryman never said a word to Mr. Allison. Several years passed before Ida told her Papa what that money was for.
Ida in HatMaybe Henry wasn't what Mama and Papa wanted for Ida, but he was what Ida wanted: Their romance flourished and in 1909 Ida Allison and Henry Enders were married.
They lived happily in the Enders family home in Elgin with Henry's mother. Ida busied herself helping her mother-in-law with cooking and cleaning for the boarders that stayed in the Enders' home. Except for a short time in Lampasas, where Henry went to work on the railroad, Ida and Henry lived, loved and raised four children in Elgin.
From the time she was very young, Ida Enders had the strong desire to be a nurse. Mama and Papa would not permit it - ("Nice girls did not become nurses.") Ida tucked it away in the back of her mind and said to herself - whenever, if ever she was on her own - she was going to be a nurse. As of today, there have been 7 doctors, 5 registered nurses and 3 licensed vocational nurses in Mrs. Enders' family.
In 1925 the opportunity came in the form of a job offer at Women's Confederate Hospital on 45th Street in Austin. This was a blessing in disguise, as Ida was to lose Henry in 1931 after a long illness. Now she became the bread-winner for herself and four children.
There were many interesting, funny and sad incidents in the 16 years at Women's Confederate. One outstanding incident involved a psychiatric patient who had gotten out of her room in the basement and found her way upstairs. Everyone had tried to get her back to her room; then the Head Nurse turned to Mrs. Enders and said, "Enders, take Mrs. Alexander back to her room!" Ida's first thought was, "How do you expect me to get her there if no one else could?" But then she remembered something. Walking over to the patient, she said, "Mrs. Alexander, Dr. Eckhardt is waiting for you down in your room." The lady went immediately with Mrs. Enders, practically running. What Ida Enders remembered was that Mrs. Alexander was in love with Dr. Eckhardt!
Mrs. Enders' nursing career included Special Duty Nursing at Seton and St. David's Hospitals over a period of 10 years.
In 1952, while on duty at St. David's, Mrs. Enders - sponsored by Doctors Hardwick and Klotz, received her Vocational Nurse License...a very proud moment in Mrs. Enders' life.
It was in this same year that she remarked to Mrs. Glen, Supervisor of Nurses: "I think I'm going to quit and open a nursing home of my own." That is exactly what she did.
Renting a small place in South Austin, she opened her first nursing facility. The first week of business there wasn't one resident. But by the second week she had ten. The word spread about Mrs. Enders and the excellent care she was giving to her residents. The end result was, she needed more room.
A new home on East Avenue was chosen: the resident census was now 20. More residents - and so a larger facility. The old Swan Schula Home was rented and named "Enders Nursing Home."
The next step was to go into business with Mr. William Connelly. The Connelly Home was turned into "Ridgetop Nursing Home." There were 46 residents and fourteen staff members. This fantastic lady was Administrator, Head Nurse and even at times "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer." There were many long hours of work, laughter, anxiety and rewards in the 14 years of her nursing home experience. In 1965 at the age of 78 years young, Mrs. Enders sold her interest in Ridgetop back to Mr. Connelly.
Ida Enders 93 years old Ida Enders, now 93 years young, retains that same sparkle, wit, fire, dignity, compassion and determination it took to become the excellent nurse she was and the truly fine person we admire and respect. "I wouldn't take anything in the world for my years of nursing," she says. And we believe it!
Ida Enders was a fighter and a hard worker. Over her 94 years she had one of the most fulfilling and joyous lives but also endured economic hardships and health problems, one of which was supposed to be her last. But she fought back with that same determined spirit to live another decade in relatively good health. Her last couple years were in a nursing home. There, though her body was weak, her mind was strong and clear. Many times the nursing staff there would come get her to help with a difficult patient. She just had a way about her.

Ida Allison Enders

Ida, Ada and Mattie Lou Allison
Sisters, Ida, Ada and Mattie Lou Allison
Ida and Henry 1928
Ida and Henry Enders in 1928