Saturday, February 23, 2013

Civil War Quilters: Loyal Hearts of Illinois

Floral Wreath Appliqué Quilt, ca. 1860
Made by Elizabeth (Sutherland) Jones (1793-1878)
Long Creek and Mt. Zion, Macon County, Illinois
Hand-appliquéd and quilted cotton
Collection of the Illinois State Museum. Gift of Mrs. Margaret Woodruff.
1974.17 (746931)

I see through one of my favorite blogs, WhatALoadAScrap, that the exhibit of Civil War quilts from the Illinois State Museum that was up in Chicago last year is now at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

This show, which seems to be expanded from the Chicago exhibit with other artifacts including weapons, costume and household goods from the era, will be up until September 8, 2013 

Here's the press release from the Museum:

The Sentimental Quilter got to see the show in Chicago last summer (25 quilts) and here is a post about it
So did Violette

The Illinois State Museum has a substantial collection of quilts.
See pictures of the collection here at the Quilt Index....388 of them!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Don Beld's Reproduction Quilts on Display

Sanitary Commission Soldier's Aid
quilts from the cover of 
Civil War Quilts by Pam Weeks and Don Beld

Don Beld recently donated his collection of six reproduction Sanitary Commission quilts to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. The Museum is showing them along with some of his  9/11 Tribute quilts.

Civil War U.S. Sanitary Commission Quilt Reproductions by Don Beld will be on display at the Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska,  from March 12, 2013 to August 18.

Click here:

Here is the 1864 original of a quilt made by a Soldier's Aid Society

And Don's reproduction.

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. An alternate family tale (see the comments) is that he shot her accidentally while trying to kill a boarder in her Denver boarding house in 1888. 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:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dixie Diary 2: Checkered Allegiances

Block 2
Checkered Allegiances
8" version

Block 2 Checkered Allegiances
12" version with 1" frame
by Sandi Brothers

A checkered block represents the heart of the Southern and Northern loyalties in the Morgan family.
Photographer Andrew Lytle recorded
 Baton Rouge's occupation.
Here, Union tents camped near the Morgans' houses.

Baton Rouge (white star) is on the Mississippi River
northwest of New Orleans
In spring, 1862, Baton Rouge was at the center of a war zone with Union forces in charge and Confederate General Beauregard threatening to retake the town. The family had split their allegiances. Sarah's eldest brother Judge Philip Hicky Morgan was a Union supporter who left town. Two brothers, Gibbes and George, had joined the Confederate Army and the youngest boy Jimmy was in the Confederate Navy.

James Morris Morgan was about
 17 in 1862. He'd been a cadet at the 
United States Naval
Academy when the war began.

Brother-in-law Richard Coulter Drum
 was promoted  to General after the War.

Sister Lavinia Morgan Drum, ten years older than Sarah, was married to a Captain in the United States Army, one who remained loyal to the Union. Lavinia and Captain Drum spent the Civil War in California.

With father and brother Henry dead and the others in the armed forces on opposing sides, the Morgan women---mother, sisters and sisters-in-law---were left in their homes, adjacent houses on Church Street. Should they stay in town and brave the coming battles or flee to a family home in rural Greenwell Springs? Unpracticed in making important decisions, they felt unable to act.

From Sarah's diary:

June 4 1862, Baton Rouge

"Our condition is desperate. [Confederate General] Beauregard is about attacking these Federals. They say he is coming from Corinth, and the fight will be in town. If true we are lost again. Starvation at Greenwell, fever and bullets here, will put an end to us soon enough. There is no refuge for us, no one to consult. Brother [Philip], whose judgment we rely on as implicitly as we did on father's we hear has gone to New York; there is no man in Louisiana whose decision I would blindly abide by. Let us stay and die. We can only die once; we can suffer a thousand deaths with suspense and uncertainty."
Applique a heart or a star after piecing.

Cutting 12":

A – Cut 2 light and 2 medium light squares 4-3/4".
B -  Cut 1 dark and 1 medium dark square 7-1/4". Cut each into 4 triangles with 2 cuts.

Cutting 8":

A – Cut 2 light and 2 medium light squares 3-3/8" (3-5/16" if you use the 1/16" default in EQ).
B - Cut 1 dark and 1 medium dark square 5-1/4" (5-3/16"). Cut each into 4 triangles with 2 cuts. 

Notice how the dark/light shading changes in those triangles.

James in his seventies

Sarah wasn't the only writer in the Morgan family. Brother James wrote his own memoirs of the Confederate Navy.

And their Union-sympathizing brother Philip Hicky Morgan left his mark as grandfather to the three beautiful Morgan sisters of the 1920s: Consuelo Morgan Thaw and twins Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt and Thelma Morgan, Lady Furness. Read more about the more modern Morgans here: