Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Eutus Poland Bunkley (1882-1961)

Portrait from the Abilene Register-News, October 6, 1948.

   A  well-known physician based in Stamford, Texas, Eutus Poland Bunkley practiced medicine for over four decades and was a former president of the Texas Surgical Society in the late 1940s. A lifelong resident of Texas, Bunkley earns a place here on the site due to his service as Mayor of Stamford, an office that he would hold for two terms.
    Born in Farmersville, Texas on November 22, 1882, Eutus Poland "E.P." Bunkley was one of nine children born to James Edward and Elizabeth (Henslee) Bunkley. Deciding upon a career in medicine at an early age, Bunkley enrolled at the Tulane Medical School and earned his medical degree in the class of 1907. Soon after his graduation he removed to Stamford to join his uncle in the practice of medicine and would remain here for the remainder of his life. Bunkley married in Stamford around 1910 to Lutie Allen (1887-1970). The couple were wed for over five decades and later had three children: Dorothy (1911-1998), Thomas Allen (1914-1985) and Ann (1924-2009-).

Portrait from the Tulane University Yearbook, 1907.

   In the early 1920s, Bunkley and three other Stamford based physicians joined together to help form the Stamford Sanitarium, with construction beginning in 1922. The facility would be enlarged in 1927, and previous to its establishment Bunkley had been affiliated with a Stamford based nursing school beginning in 1910.
   Active in the civic life of Stamford in addition to practicing medicine, Bunkley was a past president of that town's Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club. In 1933 he entered into his first term as Mayor of Stamford and was later reelected to that post, serving until 1937. During his mayoralty, Bunkley oversaw the construction of a $155,000 reservoir made possible by the New Deal's Public Works Administration and also was the principal speaker at an Albany, Texas Lions Club meeting in July 1936.
   Bunkley retired from the practice of medicine in 1946 and two years later gained additional prominence when he was elected as President of the Texas Surgical Society for the upcoming year. He continued to be a prominent figure in Stamford until his death at the Stamford Sanitarium on July 26, 1961. Bunkley's obituary notes that he had been a patient there since suffering a heart attack a week prior to his death. Both he and his wife were interred at the Highland Cemetery in Stamford. 

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