By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Quilt sumbolizes community's stories, people
Liberty lore
Placeholder Image
“Oh look, that’s my aunt, Mrs. J.R. (Rosalyn Taylor) Ryon.”
“Their home was right here where the Hinesville Methodist Church is located now.”
“There’s Mrs. Ellender Caswell Gainey. Her parents owned the old Caswell Hotel on the northwest corner of South and Main streets and raised 11 children in Hinesville.”
“My goodness, that lady, Mrs. Leila Layton, was the wife of Dr. Thomas Layton who was mayor of the town for two different terms. They built what was known as the Mingledorff house, which is where The Heritage Bank is now. The house was ordered from Sears and Roebuck.”
“That name, Mudder, is Mary Rebecca Butler Hines, who was Charlton Hines’ daughter-in-law. Hinesville was named for Charlton Hines.”
On and on went the comments from the Methodist senior citizens’ groups in Hinesville and Midway. What spurred these comments?
I had just shown the group a quilt I received for the Liberty County Historical Society.
The very colorful, crazy quilt is 81.5 inches by 80 inches. It’s made of wool with cotton backing, and in 1918 it was given as a wedding gift to Lolla Smith and Wilbur Harrison from 25 women of the Hinesville Methodist Church. Each woman’s signature is embroidered with gold silk thread in handwritten script. The 16-inch squares are held together and decorated with fancy, silk thread embroidery stitches.
Lolla Aseneth Smith (1883-1968) married Wilbur Harrison in 1918. She was a teacher at Bradwell Institute. Later, she and her two sisters ran the Magnolia Hotel, which was — at that time — on the corner of Main and South streets. The Heritage Bank, its parking lot and part of City Hall are located on the property now. Her father, Olin Carlise Smith, was the sheriff of Liberty County. Her mother was Ida Hughes Farmer Smith. Lolla was Olan Fraser’s aunt.
Wilbur Harrison (1888-1929) was also a teacher at Bradwell Institute. Later, he became the first secretary of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants after moving to Washington, D.C. Both Lolla and Wilbur are buried in the Flemington Presbyterian Cemetery.
They had no children, but provided their niece Berta with a home and an education. The quilt was given to Berta, who later gave it to her cousin Kathy Titterton in New York. Kathy contacted Olan Fraser who asked the Historical Society if we wanted it. She felt the old quilt should be sent back to where it originated. Kathy and her husband visited City Hall after donating the quilt and were very pleased to see it displayed.
The Liberty County Historical Society had the old quilt framed by The Frame Gallery and the Hinesville Glass Company moved it to Hinesville City Hall. Maj. Thomas Cribbs of the Hinesville Police Department graciously contributed his time and talent, building a beautiful shelf to support the heavy, framed quilt, which hangs on a brick wall in City Hall’s lobby. If you have not seen the quilt, please take the time in the next few weeks to check it out while the display still hangs in the soon-to-be demolished City Hall.
Sign up for our e-newsletters