Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fanny Kreeger Hallar

A Kreeger family member recently sent me a link to this photo of Fanny Kreeger Hallar, probably taken about the time of her marriage to George Washington Hallar in 1876.

I was thrilled to see a picture of Fanny as she is someone I have been tracking for years.

One of the reasons I got interested in quilt history was this old pattern from the Kansas City Star in 1929. Columnist Ruby Short McKim of Independence, Missouri, told the story of the pattern she called Order Number Eleven, something she revised for her book 101 Quilt Patterns.
Notice the Order #11 block in my Circle of Friends
 quilt you readers made for me.

McKim told the story of Fannie Kreeger Haller (It's probably really spelled Fanny Kreeger Hallar), “a dear old lady in her eighties who was a little girl …back in war times [who'd] seen her mother’s choice new quilt snatched from the bed by marauders. She carried the memory of this striking pattern in her mind.... and years after reproduced the quilt, christening it 'Order No. 11'."
Having read a lot of far-fetched quilt history I was inspired to see if I could find out anymore about Fanny Kreeger Hallar. She indeed existed and following her trail led me into many more stories about the border wars in Kansas and Missouri before and during the Civil War.

A similar block dated 1849

Order Number Eleven was named for a Union order forcing Southern sympathizers to leave their homes in 1863 after Missouri Bushwhackers under the control of William Quantrill burned the pro-Union town of Lawrence, Kansas. The Federal Army issued the order evacuating four counties in western Missouri, permitting Union soldiers and guerillas to terrorize families into leaving by burning their homes and stealing their possessions. The roads south and east of Kansas City were filled with frightened and angry refugees, among them the Kreeger family of Lone Jack, Missouri, who lost their Hickory Leaf quilt to the enforcers.
Martha Frances Kreeger was born August 21, 1853 in Lone Jack, Missouri, near Independence. She was just ten when her family had to leave their farm. Her obituary told about their trip east into Missouri. They drove with "an ox team to Davis, Lafayette County, Mo., staying there the following winter. When they crossed the Tebo River in Lafayette County the oxen were so thirsty, they broke from the drivers' control and plunged into the stream." Fanny was able to follow that path many years later in an automobile.

In her early twenties she married widower George Washington Hallar. Buried near her are two young children Willie and Mable. In 1884 a daughter Aileen Hallar was born. Aileen survived and outlived her mother.

Wash Hallar (1836-1903) farmed near Blue Springs in Jackson County, Missouri. He also carried mail for the government overland from Independence to Salt Lake City before the Civil War.  Like many other young men of Jackson County, Missouri he and his brothers allied themselves with the Bushwhackers,  proslavery guerilla fighters. After the national Civil War began brothers William and James Albert (Abe or Ab) joined forces with William Quantrill's troops and 21-year-old William was killed in April, 1863. Abe is counted among the men who rode with Quantrell to burn the town of Lawrence, Kansas, in August, 1863. He was shot and killed a month later at the age of 20.

Brother Oliver survived the Civil War but led a troubled and violent life. He killed his wife Alice Noland Hallar and her "paramour" in Pueblo, Colorado in 1883. Ten years later he shot himself.

Whether Wash rode with the Lawrence raiders is a little vague but he was one of the group who met with Quantrill's mother when she visited the Kansas City area in 1888.
The Kreeger family had members just as wild as the Hallars---it was an epidemic along the Kansas/Missouri border. Robert A. Silva wrote to say he is publishing a biography of his ancestor Lewis M. Kreeger, titled Lead in Trinidad. Lewis Kreeger, a cousin of Fanny's, was said to have ridden with Quantrill and served as sheriff in Trinidad, Colorado at the end of the century. Bob wrote and asked if I knew where those quilts made by Fanny's mother Araminta Daniel Kreeger were.

I wish.

He is querying his cousins and perhaps some antique Hallar/Kreeger quilts will show up.

Somehow Fanny and Wash Hallar managed to put the Civil War behind them, although they carried the memories. They lived near Blue Springs, I think, in this handsome house that Wash began during the war. His obituary said he "built the old Proctor residence and nearly every brick house in the eastern part of (Jackson) County for fifteen years after the War." Wash died in 1903 in his late 60s. The house was still standing when I drove down Woods Chapel Road a few years ago.
Fanny lived on in Independence with her daughter and told at least two stories about quilts to Ruby McKim, but she didn't live to see the tales in print. Her mother's Seth Thomas Rose pattern appeared in the Star on October 12, 1929, a few weeks after Fanny's obituary. Order Number Eleven was published November 23rd.
I write about the Kreeger quilts a lot, because they are such a fascinating link to local history.
Here are some prior posts:


Virginia said...

Wonderful info!!

Every Stitch said...

Interesting story - I always love to read these histories - thanks for your excellent research. This Wash must have been a confident chap to build a house so dominated by huge columns - can't imagine building that now! A sign of the times perhaps?
Every Stitch

pegsplace said...

So interesting! I love reading about those who came before....double that with quilts. Thanks

Villas for Rent in France said...

How you got the idea about the civil war quilts?

Jen said...

Thank you for the history stories and photos and the quilt blocks tutorials.

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Anonymous said...

Alice Hallar was a very intelligent, highly educated
woman who bore 7 children; she was from a wealthy
Independence family. She was taken to Coloradr,
abanndoned by her husband who left for Oregon, and
basically abandoned her. She was alone for years with
her children, 5 died, the other two were educated by
Alice's family. She was killed by her husband in Denver
Not Pueblo. She was forced to make money so she ran
a boarding house in Denver with several long term
residents. She was a very religious woman. Mr.
Hallar shot at a tenant; she quickly stood in front and
took the bullet intended for him. He was not her liver at all, as proved in court. Alice died immediately, age
32, killed by a man for whom she bore 7 children. She was very beautiful, and tool all the horse riding blues in Kansas City, and at her boarding school, before marrying. She is buried in Saguache, Colorado with her
Father, Jesse Noland and her Mother, Nancy Ann Benton Smallwood Noland. I had to set the record straight,

J Hooper said...

The story I have about the quilts is that they were used as signals to the home guard that it was/wasn't safe to come to the Kreeger home. If there were other meanings I do not know.

Though I have not seen them my sister has a set of quilt patterns from the family used at that time. The story of the patterns were given to her by our aunt, Elizabeth Mayhan Berry and her husband Charlie Shepard Berry, former mayor of Lone Jack.

Oliver Johnson Hallar has never been officially associated with Quantrill and his merry men nor was he another brother of the Haller boys in Quantrill's demand. He was their uncle. Just another sycophant.

Jim H.

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