Akron museum members seek information on quilt

Posted April 5, 2018 at 5:00 am

j Museum quilt with Joann Hedeby.tif

By Julie Ann Madden

A beautiful large bed quilt with more than 460 hand-embroidered local names in 39 lavender and spring green-colored diamond-shaped quilt blocks has been donated to the Akron Historical Society for display in the Akron Area Museum.

The Society’s board members are seeking more information about this unique square quilt, which is 84 inches wide by 84 inches long.

According to the donor, Joann (Ericson) Hedeby of Akron, her Great-Aunt Louise (Ericson) Harker had the quilt in her house for many years. The Harkers owned a drug store in Hawarden.

The quilt was passed down to Louise’s granddaughter, Mary Louise Johnson, and about a year ago, Johnson passed it on to Hedeby.

One of the blocks states “1932 Class” and has the following names: Milo Jacobs, Edsel Aalfs, Morris Miller, Johnnie Huls, Leslie Lorensen, Rev. Samuelson, Opal Lorenson, Arlene Plueger, Marion Dirks and Marilyn Wedmark.”

Hedeby thought it might have been made by a Union Creek Lutheran Church women’s sewing circle as she was told by Sibyl Campbell, of Akron, that such quilts were often made and sold to raise money for something.

Some of the embroidery on the names has come off but there are still the faint ink lines made as an embroidery pattern on each block.

Hedeby has made a list of each block’s names to the best of her ability but there are still a few unknown names and some of the spelling is questionable. She told The Akron Hometowner, she thinks the quilt had to be made by the Immanuel Lutheran Church women.

“I remember a quilt with names on it but wasn’t sure Immanuel Lutheran or Union Creek ladies made it but in checking the name sheet out very thoroughly, I felt it had to be Immanuel ladies as we have so many families listed and not as many from Union Creek,” she wrote in a message. “Since my mother and Anna Frisk knew many of those in the Union Creek area, I’m sure they were contacted by them.”

“Furthermore, it would be strange that the Class of 1932 in listing the names, they were all members of Immanuel plus our pastor’s name and (the Union Creek pastor’s name wasn’t listed),” she concluded. “So many of the others listed were friends of our (Immanuel) families plus three or four of our local teachers were teachers of (Immanuel students).”

Seeking More Info

If anyone has information about this quilt, please contact Akron Historical Society board members Rodney Anderson, James Kiger, Julie Ann Madden, Carla Winquist or Mary Swain.

“We are always excited when we receive such a piece of our Akron area’s history,” said Board Member Julie Ann Madden. “It is quite a piece to add to our Victorian mansion museum’s three floors of artifacts. Our goal is to preserve as much of the area’s history as possible.”

To donate items to the museum, contact a board member.

To take tours, contact Board President Rod Anderson at 605-670-8378.

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