The Friendship Quilt

Posted October 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm


MarkNealQuilt.psd

Albany auctioneer Mark Neal shows the Friendship Quilt that was discovered among the possessions of the late Dorleen McWhorter’s belongings by her children recently. The quilt, which has been donated to the Peolia United Methodist Church and has significant Clinton County historical value, will be on display this weekend during the Foothills Festival at the Cumberland Street office of local attorney David Cross.

Historic find to be displayed during Foothills weekend

It was stored in the possessions of Dorleen McWhorter, in immaculate condition. It was a quilt, with name after name stitched in the quilt blocks. Most were people from the Peolia area, or from the southern part of Clinton County.

A close inspection enabled us to determine about when the quilt was made. Lucille Hicks was listed as Lucille Cross; Nellie Mackey’s as Nellie Cross. Eddie Lovelace’s name is on the quilt, as was Billy G. Talbott’s, but Bill’s sister Wanda (born 1940) is absent. And certain politicians of that era were listed that might have had a vested interest of having their name included.

It was a Friendship Quilt, circa 1939. Friendship Quilts were common fund-raisers, done by various churches years ago, and might occasionally still be done in scattered places.

The ladies of the church (in this instance Peolia United Methodist Church) made the quilt, and folks could pay to have their names embroidered thereon. Or, if you stitched a quilt block, you could put your own family’s name thereon.

Undoubtedly, Dorleen’s father, Otto Cross (“By The Way” was his oft-used phrase), bought the final product at a church fund-raiser; his wife Sophie had surely helped quilt the masterpiece. Otto and Sophie were two of the most faithful of the Peolia flock. Sophie was a Ewing, raised near the Ewing School(before the Fairgrounds Road was the Fairground Road it was called the Ewing School Road). “Ewing” is a name that has passed from our county’s rolls, found only on maps as a branch southwest of Albany, and the locals still refer to the hill on either side as the Ewing Hill.

Other names thereon who have passed from our county’s roles include Nolan, Shoopman, Carr, and Denton.

The Friendship Quilt in question bears the names of many memorable folk and notable Clinton Countians. (See the complete list below). The vast majority have passed on, as the quilt was made some 74 years ago. There are only a handful of persons now living found thereon.

The names found thereon include Albany Postmaster W.E. Ferguson, Dr. S.W. Bristow, Kim and Mary Dot Sawyer, and merchants such as Jesse Booher, O.C. Delk, Porter Guinn and Mary Etta Langford.

Among the political names are “Jargo” Allen, who was then Sheriff of Clinton County, an imposing figure whose nickname came from his large frame’s similarity to a circus elephant; Carvin Ren-au, the county school superintendent; jailer Bill Craig; John Omer Dicken, the long-time circuit clerk; county clerk Logan Frost; and Senator Cloyd Farmer.

Years ago, churches, rural schools, and country stores all were focal points of rural neighborhoods. Now all the schools are gone, and the country store has nearly evaporated from the landscape in the last few years. People move around more; places get smaller. Peolia (which is actually a corrupted spelling of the village of Paoli, had a post office before Albany was established, with future Governor Preston Leslie as Postmaster) was once considered well out in the country; now the Albany Bypass loops around the town, creating a circle that takes in what old-timers still know as the Owens Place, the Perkins Farm, the Talbott Place, the Laura Delk farm, the Story Place, the Hopkins Place, the Jim Smith place, and other old reference points.

The days of the church raffle and pie supper, events where romances were kindled and sweethearts within the community impressed, are nearly gone. There are undoubtedly other Friendship Quilts stored away in trunks around the county, each of which could afford us a glimpse into the community at the time it was quilted.

Rex McWhorter and Judy Duncan are donating the quilt to the church that their parents and grandparents loved so much, and the quilt will be hung there as a reminder of the way things used to be, not just at Peolia, but throughout the land. The quilt will be on display in the window of David Cross Law Office during the Foothills Festival.

{Editor’s note: Our apprecation to Rex McWhorter and Judy McWhorter Duncan for donating this piece of Clinton County history to the Peolia Church, so that it and its historical significance can continue to be viewed in Clinton County. Also our appreciation to Albany attorney and historian David Cross for the research regarding this article and especially for the time in compiling and transcribing the names contained on the quilt, and in the following list.}

FRIENDSHIP QUILT NAMES

(Most, but not all, spellings are given as listed on the quilt.)

FIRST ROW, BLOCK ONE

HOWARD JOHNSON MAGGOLINE SELL LILbORN JOHNSON

MARIE JOHNSON GUINDLINE SELL MARY JOHNSON

BOBBY JOHNSON WILLIE ROBERTS

FREDA JOHNSON NANNIE ROBERTS

FIRST ROW, BLOCK TWO

ELDRED TAYLOR IVA PITTMAN EDWARD TAYLOR

BILL DUVALL ELVA FARMER RANDLE TAYLOR

BILL CRAIG ABNER BROWN

LOLA GIBSON ROBERT GROCE

FIRST ROW, BLOCK THREE

INA SUTTON MRS. KENADY J.P. TAYLOR

EULA WILSON TOMMY JOE MORGAN MILLIE TAYLOR

VACH CARR JIM FARMER

ROSCO CARR PORTER GUINN

FIRST ROW, BLOCK FOUR

ALVA EWING GLENN FERGUSON MARY GRIFFIN

MRS. OREN RENEAU STELLA FERGUSON LEO GRIFFIN

MRS. SWIFT HALL EWING

MRS. J.I. GRIFFIN MRS. J.C. EWING

FIRST ROW, BLOCK FIVE

DALLAS CAMPBELL CHRISTENE CAMPBELL ELDORA LEE

TENA CAMPBELL KENNETH CAMPBELL JACK FERGUSON

LILLIE SELLS IRENE CAMPBELL

OLETA SELLS KATHLEEN CAMPBELL

SECOND ROW, BLOCK ONE

JEAN MORGAN BESSIE MORGAN CLARA MAE MORGAN

DEAN MORGAN FREEMAN MORGAN MARY DOTT SAYWERS

J.W. BRYANT SHERLEY ROGERS

NOVA SELLS NANNIE MASSENGALE

SECOND ROW, BLOCK TWO

LEONA CROSS MARIE FARMER SOPHA CROSS

DORLEEN CROSS LUCILLE CROSS OTTO CROSS

ADDIE STOCKTON M.M. EWING

HERBERT STOCKTON NETTIE EWING

SECOND ROW, BLOCK THREE

HELEN WOOD CLAUD CARR CLARENCE DICKEN

ELSIE HARLAN EDNA HARLAN NORA HARLAN

ROXIE BUTTLER HULBERT PITTMAN

DAISY LOWHORN CHARLIE LOWHORN

SECOND ROW, BLOCK FOUR

LILLIE WARINER BAKER SELLS BEN HANCOCK

SUE MCWHORTER MRS. S.B. SELLS ROSE HANCOCK

JESSIE BROWN IMOGENE CROSS

MOLLIE STOCKTON GEORGIA SAWYERS

SECOND ROW, BLOCK FIVE

CORA SMITH GRANVILLE SHOOPMAN MAURICE DAVIDSON

NORMA DAVIDSON CAL THOMPSON DENNIS DAVIDSON

DORA LEE MATHEWS GERTIE MATHEWS

MARION PEARL MATHEWS ADDIE MARIE CLABORN

THIRD ROW, BLOCK ONE

OPLIS FLOWERS GARY LEE SUSIE COWAN

FLONNIE FLOWERS EDNA GARNER LEONA CROSS

VERBLE BROWN CARRIE CRAIG

DORA BERTRAM EULALINA MCGILL

THIRD ROW, BLOCK TWO

DAISY MATHEWS EMANA TAYLOR DEWEY LEE

ROB STOCKTON NELLIE JONES FREDRICK LEE

LANDO THRASHER RUBLE SHANKLE

NANEY SHIPLEY L.L. MCONNELL

THIRD ROW, BLOCK THREE

BERNICE JONES HAZEL FARMER HERBERT STOCKTON

REMA MATHEWS ARTENNIA WRAY ADDIE STOCKTON

ESTER GIBSON ROXIE PHILLIPS

ELMA HUDDLESTON NANNIE HONEYCUTT

THIRD ROW, BLOCK FOUR

EMMA STOCKTON EVELYN FELKINS PORTER GRIDER

JOHNNIE PITTMAN PEGGY WINNINGHAM GEORGE CARR

JIM SLOAN FRANCIS SLOAN

WANDA SLOAN JARGO ALLEN

THIRD ROW, BLOCK FIVE

JESS BOOHER GLENN DYER JULIA DICKEN

CORA SLOAN GENEVA SLOAN L.C. FROST

BRADLEY CARTER BARNEY LEE

ERMON CARTER GERTRUDE CRAIG

FOURTH ROW, BLOCK ONE

AMP LOVELACE EDDIE LOVELACE HOMER COWAN

FLONNIE LOVELACE BRYAN COWAN BESSIE COWAN

ZONA FERGUSON M.V. COWAN

WILLIE MAE SHERFIELD JUANITA COWAN

FOURTH ROW, BLOCK TWO

W.C. FARMER ERMEL CROSS MARY DOTT SAWYER

LAURA FARMER NELLIE CROSS KIMBALL SAWYER

ALLIE EWING ANNIE HARLAN

JOHN EWING ARTHUR HARLAN

FOURTH ROW, BLOCK THREE

MABLE GRAHAM FORIA WISDOM MELVIN DISHON

ETHEL SHECKLES GEORGE CARR EDNA DISHON

CLARENCE DISHON MARIE STOCKTON

NORA HARLEN JOHN B. SMITH

FOURTH ROW, BLOCK FOUR

ELMER FELKINS W.E. FERGUSON LILLIAN NOLAN

ESTHER BERTRAM W.H. VITATOE REBA EPLEY

DR. S.W. BRISTOW JOHN J. GRIDER

MARY E. BRISTOW MOLLIE GRIDER

FOURTH ROW, BLOCK FIVE

LOLA GIBSON STEVE GIBSON CLOYD FARMER

MOSSIE ARMSTRONG JARGO ALLEN LAURA FARMER

ED NORRIS J.W. SELL

EVA WRIGHT GEORGIA LEE

FIFTH ROW, BLOCK ONE

LIZZIE MASSENGALE O.C. DELK IMMA D. GIBSON

LANDO THRAHSER MRS. L. DELK W. LEO BROWN

PARADINE HUDDLESTON EDNA DENTON

OPAL TALBOTT HERSHEL STOCKTON

FIFTH ROW, BLOCK TWO

LIZIE CROSS CARRIE CRAIG BABY GENE WILSON

LETHA JOHNSON HALATINA THRASHER AUDRA MCWHORTER

SCOTT TAYLOR REBA PARMLEY

CARVIN RENEAU FRANKLIN HANCOCK

FIFTH ROW, BLOCK THREE

BOBBIE TALBOTT VERA TALBOTT R.H. TALBOTT

BILLIE G. TALBOTT JENNIE M. TALBOTT BEULAH TALBOTT

W.F. TALBOTT OREN THRASHER

MARIE TALBOTT RUBY TALBOTT

FIFTH ROW, BLOCK FOUR

SALLIE BOWLIN NORA ALLEN BILL STALEY

WILLIAM M. BOWLIN LILLIA SLOAN EVERETT JONES

MABLE FROST JOHN O. DICKEN

LOGIN FROST MRS. JOHN O. DICKEN

FIFTH ROW, BLOCK FIVE

EDWARD STORY STELLA BEATY LAURA FARMER

MARY ETTA LANGFORD JIM SLOAN GRANVIL GIBSON

DELLA WRAY OSEL BEATY

LIT JONES FRANK DUVALL