Jan. 4 through 31
The McHenry County Historical Society will display a selection from its archive of about 160 quilts from Jan. 4-31 at the Woodstock Opera House – during box office hours. The free display features nine quilts from the 1870s through 1940s, including the following examples:
• Signature Quilt, 1900-1905
This red, white and blue Signature quilt was made by the Women’s Relief Corp to raise money for the local Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization composed of Civil War veterans of the Union Army. The names of Woodstock citizens who donated money to the cause were embroidered on the quilt in red and white thread. The quilt was auctioned off in 1905 and was won by Charles A. Lemmers of Woodstock. Charles A. Lemmers, a son of Cornelius and Lois Wheeler, was born in Woodstock on May 21, 1864. After a basic education in the Woodstock schools, he “entered the office of the New Era at Woodstock to learn the printer’s trade.” In 1883 he became the editor of the McHenry County Democrat. Later, in 1902 that paper merged with the Woodstock Sentinel and he became a part owner of that paper, as well as its editor. On Oct. 6, 1886, in Lake Geneva, Wis., Charles Lemmers married Lake Geneva native Alice Marlott. Charles was very interested in the affairs of the city of Woodstock. He served as its clerk in the 1890s, a director of the Woodstock Public Library (when it was located in the Woodstock Opera House), and was an active member of Woodstock’s Presbyterian Church choir. Charles died in Mattoon, Illinois on November 4, 1943. He is buried in Woodstock’s Oakland Cemetery with his wife who died in October 1938. This quilt was donated to the McHenry County Historical Society by Vinita Lemmers Frame, a daughter of Charles Lemmers.
• Mosaic Quilt, 1930s
Multi-colored print and solid fabrics make up triangular pieces to create the square blocks of this mosaic quilt. The mosaic pattern was first published in 1835, and is also known as Honeycomb or French Bouquet. It is thought to be the first pieced quilt pattern published in America. The fabric from this quilt was gathered by Adell Stull Curtiss and her friends from 1890-1910. The friends would exchange fabric, mostly from old dresses. The quilt was pieced by Elizabeth Gardner Boyce, mother-in-law to Adell’s brother, Joel. In the early 1930s Adell Stull Curtiss and her daughter Hulda Eleanor Curtiss sat together and finished this quilt. Adell Stull Curtiss, a daughter of Lefler and Ellen Cannon Stull, was born on the family farm about four miles north of Marengo on Nov. 12, 1854. She was the youngest of eight children. Her parents had come to the area from Pennsylvania in 1838 via an ox-drawn wagon. Adell remained on the family farm with her brother, Joel, following the death of their mother in December 1885. Rozel Curtiss was a noted physician in Marengo by the time, of his second marriage, to Adell Stull on June 6, 1894. Their daughter, Hulda Eleanor, was born in Marengo in 1899. Rozel Curtiss died in Marengo on July 3, 1932. Adell Stull Curtiss died in Woodstock on July 17, 1940. They are buried together in the Marengo City Cemetery.