Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Blue and White Signature Quilt

According to Louise Erekson, this quilt was given to her mother, Myrtle Greer, by the Relief Society in appreciation for her having served as Relief Society president. Embroidered on the squares are the names of 24 women who were members or former members of the Aurora Branch and/or friends and neighbors of Myrtle Greer.

When was it made? The current best guess is between June 1948 and December 1951. June 1948 because that’s when Georgia Howard married Raymond Lang, and her married name is included. And 1951 because Cora Hall passed away that year, and we believe would not have been included after she died. Living in Aurora was not, however, a requirement. Several women named on the quilt had moved away. We assume that someone wrote and asked them to send their signatures.

Who are these women? Mini-biographies to come! As a preview, here are their names, beginning in the top left corner:
Row 1: Nancy McCarty, Shirley Phillips, Patsy Ward, Mae McHugh
Row 2: Cora Hall, Anne Cannon, Irma Wienecke, Mable Wendt
Row 3: Bessie Erway, Lizbeth Sutton, Mary Kramer, Alodia H. Schleifer
Row 4: Evelyn Kettley, Clara McElone, Georgia H. Lang, Mary Donnell
Row 5: Nina Head, Mable C. Stemple, Gladys Sullivan, Ruth Larsen
Row 6: Ada Dolittle, Ardis McCarty, Louise Erekson, Mae Lenox

Row One
1. Nancy McCarty, daughter of Ward and Ardis Young McCarty who moved to Aurora from Utah in the 1940s. Her father was the manager of the Montgomery Ward store on Broadway and served as second counselor in the branch.
2. Shirley Phillips and her husband Walt moved to Aurora from Shelley, Idaho, in the spring of 1946 to have an eye specialist in Chicago operate on their 4-year-old daughter, Mauna. She had been born with glaucoma and was already blind in one eye. They parked their large 35-foot travel trailer near Bob and Louise’s trailer on their lots on Hoyt Avenue. Walt and Shirley returned to Idaho in October 1947. (She probably sent her signature for the quilt.)
3. Patsy Ward was the daughter of Ilda Fuller who lived across the street from the Greers on Harrison Avenue. Pat later married and had three sons. Her husband passed away after 50 years of marriage. Remarried now, Pat and her husband divide their time between her home in Indiana and his in Georgia. Pat Ward Smith is the sister of Jack and Gladys Sullivan.
4. Mae McHugh was the sister of Lizzie Sutton, who was Myrtle Greer’s childhood friend. They went to school together in Tunnel Hill, Illinois. Mae was not a member of the branch.

If you know when the quilt was made or can share any information about it, please let us know.


Thanks for your patience

The past two months have been quite overwhelming for me with family, travel, and work. I appreciate those of you who have kept faithfully checking for new postings. Since gathering the history of the Aurora Branch really is my number one project right now, I hope to get back to regular updates on this blog. Keep checking!

Also, please send me scans of photos which I can share on the blog. I'd appreciate receiving the names and addresses of former members of the Aurora Branch so I can ask them to share their memories with all of us.

Thanks again.