Sunday, April 17, 2022

Which Harriet Dishong?

Harriet J. Dishong created a most extraordinary Ocean Waves quilt,
pictured many years ago in a Quilt Engagement Calendar when
it was in the inventory of the New York shop America Hurrah.

From the caption we learn it was made by Harriet J. Dishong (whose name is at the top) with help from sister Mrs. Mary E. Dishong in Fulton County, Pennsylvania. It is dated March 20, 1890 in a Bible pictured in a heart in the border.

Someone counted 21,672 triangles in the Ocean Wave blocks, each
1/2" x 3/4". It's about 88" wide by 95" long. The quilt was begun in 1875
according to captions.

I had looked around for more about Harriet and Mary but my files were rather confusing. With more available on the internet now perhaps I could tell you more about the Dishongs.

I did find a mention of the quilt when it was still in the
hands of the extended family in Zanesville, Ohio in 1974.
Mrs. William J. Bryan Brock was given the quilt by a cousin.

Unfortunately there are several Harriet Dishongs (DeShong) in Fulton County.

My favorite candidate is the Harriet J. Dishong born 1860 to Delilah & Jacob Dishong who has one sister, Miss Mary E. Dishong. Harriet would have been about 15 when the quilt was begun; 30 when finished. Mary was about 4 years younger.

The 1880 census shows both young women living at home on the farm.

Harriet was a very popular name in 19th-c-America, as was Mary. Mary actually married a man named John Dishong so she is Mary Dishong Dishong. She died in 1916. Harriet lost both her mother and her sister that year.

In 1893 a 17-year-old Harriet Dishong married William Mellott
but that's not her, too young. Harriet J. never married.

Harriet J. Dishong (Deshong) lived until 1920. Born in 1840 she was 80 when she died, but few records of 19th-century women's ages were accurate. And spelling was rather free-form. She was described as "the last surviving member" of her family, although Mary had two boys who lived into the late 20th century.

She and Mary are buried in the Sideling Hill Christian Church Cemetery in Sipes Mill, Fulton County.

I was going to write about the Dishongs' experiences in the Civil War, but I realized I had already written about the Daihls in neighboring Franklin County. Their war must have been similar. See a post here:

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