Saturday, December 11, 2021

Ankey Keaton Hutchison's Verse Quilts

A remarkable pair of quilts by Ankey Keaton Hutchison (1820-1908)
in West Virginia

The quilts were discovered far apart in the 1980s, both in the hands of family members, one in Nebraska and one still in West Virginia. Both are now in museums.

International Quilt Museum
Hymn Verse Applique by Ankey Keaton Hutchison for William Hutchison 1882

Hymn Verse Applique by Ankey Keaton Hutchison 1884

Now in the West Virginia State Museum

Ankey Keaton (1820-1908) was named for her grandfather Ankey.

Her families were farmers in what became West Virginia during the Civil War.

Family genealogy tells us she married twice, first to Asa M. Ellison in 1839 when she was 19,
second to Andrew Hutchison in 1856.

Their marriage record indicates he was a widower and she was "single." First husband Ellison remarried in the 1840s indicating their marriage lasted only a few years and they divorced. Her second husband was twenty years older than she and had children from his first marriage. Ankey did not raise any children of her own but was mother to several.

1850 census: Andrew is married to Mary and has 5 children

1860 census married to Ankey

James M. Hutchison (1829-?) was grown but she was stepmother to Elijah F. (1843- ?) and grandmother to William A Hutchison. Andrew's 1880 will mentions daughters Sally Cummings and Mary Margaret Comer.

His will probated in 1884 left little to his "beloved wife"
but one good bed and saddle (typical of the time.) 
James, the major heir, was instructed to "render unto her a good and comfortable life." 

Andrew was in his 80s in the early 1880s and not in good health. Ankey may have spent her time at his bedside appliqueing letters into words.

Ankey's father Johnson was a minister in the Primitive Baptist or Campbellite religion, also known as the Disciples of Christ. Her religion was obviously important to her. Both quilts transcribe songs in the Primitive Baptist hymnal.

Advice for grandson William in his 1882 quilt. He was 
heading west to marry.

William A. Hutchison (1851-1902) with wife Anna Hookstra Hutchison
 (1862-1928) in Butler County, Nebraska from Nebraska Quilts & Quiltmakers. 
They wed in 1882 and farmed in the Edholm community.

Edholm today

David City is the county seat

Anna came to Nebraska from Iowa when she was 3.

The second quilt dated 1884 was made for Andrew's niece Martha Ann Hutchison Riner 
who lived in Fayette County, West Virginia, pictured in West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers: Echoes from the Hills.

Martha's quilt passed through the Cogar family until recently donated to the West Virginia State Museum. Family history says the quilt was hung in Martha's Pleasant View Church of the Brethren to serve as a wall-sized hymnal.

Martha Hutchison Riner (1840-1934)


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