Thursday, April 22, 2021

Two Unusual Applique Quilts & Some Letters

Quilt by Julia Hayden Marshall (1815-1885) & 
Frances Marshall McClurg (1837–1918),
Greer, Knox County, Ohio, about 1860. 

The unique Four-Block quilt is pictured in Ricky Clark's Quilted Gardens, a study of Ohio's red and green quilts where she called it a Single Rose and noted that each squared-off wreath is composed of four border vine units.

Pineapple Quilt
Ohio Historical Society


Julia and daughter Frances are also credited with a second applique quilt in the Ohio Historical Society's collection. Frances married Pennsylvania native George McClurg on June 6, 1861, which may have been the occasion for which the quilts were prepared.

George enlisted in the 96th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in August, 1862. Two weeks later Frances gave birth to a daughter, Albertie. Frances was fortunate to have her parents close by---or at least her mother. Julia was 46 and would live to be 70. Father Edward's life is harder to track.

Julia came to Knox County in central Ohio from Otsego County, New York with husband Edward G. Marshall. She'd been born in Connecticut, one of 11 children, the only surviving daughter of Hezekiah Hayden (1777-1823) and Hannah Hayden Hayden (1778-1823). Julia's parents died within a few months of each other when she eight years old.  

Otsego Historical Society
Lumber remained an important industry around Otsego Lake.

They'd run a saw mill in Springfield at the northern edge of Lake Otsego, migrating there when central and western New York was the frontier in 1806.

1811 letter from Hannah Hayden, "I have 13 in my family."

Remarkably, Julia's mother Hannah left letters now in the collection of the Newberry Library, which have formed the basis for Amber Degn's paper "Hannah Hayden's Work and Family Economy in Frontier New York, 1806–1822" in the 2001 Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife .

See a summary here

Hannah's daughter's and granddaughter's needlework was certainly different from that described in the early 19th century. In their own later frontier they seem to have enjoyed access to fabric and leisure time to design and stitch two unusual quilts.

George McClurg spent five years fighting in the Civil War rising to the rank of Lieutenant. When he returned in 1865 Frances and he took a tour of the northeast, came home and bought an Ohio farm.

1870 Census.
George and Frances have two girls, 7 and 3.
They eventually had 3 girls and 2 boys.

Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilt magazine published a picture
of the wreath quilt with a pattern.

I wonder if anyone ever made a reproduction.

And I wonder if these talented women made any other quilts.

While the pineapple block itself is a little ungainly, the set and
the way they turned a half block into a border is ingenious.

More information on Julia's family.

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