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Though Becky Tull’s parents resided in Switzerland County, Ind., she would be born in Carroll County, since Tull’s father brought his wife to be with her parents in Carroll County for her delivery. This was fitting, because although Tull would live in many places throughout her life, her roots would be in Carroll County where she was born.
That was in 1921, and her parents, Herbert and Florence Bell Wood Morgan, would have a total of six children, who Tull would help to raise when her mother died ten years later.
“I was only ten when I lost my mother,” Tull said, which required her to help out around the house in her mother’s place.
Her grandfather, she remembered, opened Wood Brothers and Simpson. This was the first automobile mechanic shop in Carrollton, where they serviced the first automobile in Carroll County.
A few years after her mother’s death, Tull’s father moved her and a brother to Henry County to farm tobacco. She helped to cook for all of them, including the two farm hands that helped her father with the crop. This was how she got her start in cooking and keeping house, and she truly enjoyed it.
“I loved anything about family and keeping house,” she said. “There was no job about keeping house that I really disliked.” While some might complain about doing certain tasks, she said, she never disliked them.
She learned a lot of her skills from her mother’s mother, who she stayed with often. “Granny was a good granny, and she was an excellent housekeeper,” she said. “She was an excellent cook.”
While living in Henry County, Tull graduated from Sulphur High School, valedictorian of her class, in 1941.
After graduation, she married Harold Raker and had three sons, Bill, Eddie and Jim. “They were my priorities,” Tull said. At night, if they “even whimpered,” she was a light sleeper and would wake up to see what was wrong. The family lived with Harold’s mother on her farm, where she helped keep house.
Now, her sons are well-educated and driven, she said. Bill is CEO of the US Federal Credit Union in Burnsville, Minn. Ed is the chief chemist at Kentucky Utilities in Ghent. Jim is a project manager for a potash mining company in Canada.
After her first husband died, Tull worked at a sewing factory in Madison, Ind. One day, she met Robert Tull, who was “the nicest man” she had ever seen, she said. They were married in 1967 and moved to Illinois, where he worked for Prairie Farms Dairy Company.
The Tulls lived in several different cities in Illinois, moving with Robert’s job. It was in Canton, Ill., however, that Tull began to be interested in quilting. She had quilted some while living on the Raker farm, but now regularly joined her church congregation’s quilting society to make quilts for charity.
Tull went on to make many quilts for her family members throughout her life.
“I always stayed busy,” she said. “If I didn’t have anything else to do, I’d cut patches and piece quilts.”
Patchwork is her favorite kind of quilt to make. She has done some appliqué, but prefers to take patches of different prints and arrange them to make patterns.
The quilt she is working on now “will probably be the last one” she works on, she said, as her health has been making it more and more difficult.
This current project is made up of multi-colored blocks, with an eight-by-four inch square in one, joined with two smaller coordinating squares—one of which is a single four-by-four inch piece, and the other is made up of smaller triangles. Tull got most of the fabric from her sister and niece, who also like to quilt.
After Robert retired from work in Illinois, the couple moved back to Madison, Ind., occasionally taking vacations around the country until Robert died in 2007. When construction on the Milton-Madison Bridge began, Ed moved his mother back to Carrollton to live in Fairview Place, an assisted living facility in town.
“This is my home,” Tull said of Fairview Place. “They’re good to me.”
Tull said she was always active in church and her family has always been her biggest concern. She now has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“Just to put it all in two words,” she said, “’home’ and ‘family’ are the two most important things to me.”