Eden re-dedicates Earl Rudder park

A rededication ceremony last Saturday morning in downtown Eden honored Gen. James Earl Rudder and unveiled a new look to the park’s sign. Attended by Eden city officials, several members of the Rudder family and dozens of area residents, the dedication was highlighted by an emotional account of Gen. Rudder’s life and contribution to the State of Texas and the nation by Dr. Tom Hatfield, Rudder’s official biographer. Eden Mayor Charlie Rodgers welcomed the guests and audience members and introduced Wendell and Carolyn Moody who gave accounts of the history of the Eden square and the veterans of Concho County. In speaking to the audience about the facts and history about Rudder, Dr. Hatfield recounted the increasing number of monuments and tributes dedicated to the life of the former Brady Mayor. ‘After the war, he coached in Brady and served as mayor beginning in 1946 for three two-year terms,’ Hatfield said during his summary of Rudder’s life. From Brady, Rudder was appointed as land commissioner at the General Land Office where he reformed the returns and revenues of that state agency. Rudder served as president of Texas A&M University from 1958-70. That campus now has one of its main structures named in his honor as well as several statues. Hatfield went on to recognized the numerous military and university monuements that have been erected to memorialize Rudder. ‘Rudder could have been a professional soldier,’ said Hatfield, ‘but he was never interested in anything but being a civilian. His war record is so great, he was admired by some of the top generals in the military, but when it was finished, Rudder reiterated the fact that he wanted to be a civilian. ‘Why did he say this’ He said it because of his love for Texas, the land and people who make up this state. His sense of love and pride for this state are what made him say that statement.’ The park sign was unveiled with Rudder’s son, Bud, and daughter, Linda Williams, there to take part in the unveiling.

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