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story.lead_photo.caption Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society recruited dozens of local quilters to celebrate Callaway County's 200th anniversary. Those pictured include: in the front row, from left, Esther Digh, Judy Schaneman, Joyce Williams, Nancy Hinnah, Rhea Horstman, Jayne Wills, Terry Pope, Mary Jane Schultz, Marge Lubbers, Brenda Rentschler, Sue Anderson and Bonnie Shiverdecker. In the back row, from left, are Ruth Burt, Brenda Rose, Kay Hord, Mary Osburn, Jill Fansler, Sandy Edwards, Carol Torkey, and Teresa and Mike Cuno (from Rooster Creek Quilting). Not pictured are Carol Leible, Helen Weber, Rita Lamb and Terry Keck.

The quilters of Callaway County have pieced together centuries of local history.

The product of their labors, a quilt commemorating Callaway County's 200th anniversary, is currently on display at the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society museum.

Each square of the quilt features a different place or institution in Callaway County.

"My family lived in this area all my life," quilter and New Bloomfield native Jayne Wills said. "When I look at each block, something about it sparks a memory."

The bicentennial quilt was inspired, in part, by a similar quilt made in 1976 in Fulton to celebrate the United States' 200th year, Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society research director Barbara Huddleston said.

"I thought, surely with all the quilters I know, I could find some to put this together," Huddleston said.

Joyce Williams, who made a square for the earlier quilt that inspired this project, worked with Judy Schaneman to put together a square featuring the National Churchill Museum. The pair chose to try embroidery and photo transfer methods for their contribution.

Tebbetts native Kay Hord was one of the women asked to participate.

"I have friends that are in the history society and they knew I was a quilter," Hord said. "Of course I said yes and then worried and fretted about it for months before I sat down to do it."

Hord used old photographs and embroidery to piece images of the W.A. Rootes Elevator, a tractor and corn, and a picnic with mutton sandwiches together in her block.

"The history society suggested I do the Rootes Elevator," Hord said. "But when I think of Tebbetts, I think of the picnic and the mutton sandwiches."

Many of the other quilters also had personal connections to their blocks.

"Every lady started brainstorming, and I immediately thought of the family photos I have," Wills said.

Wills' New Bloomfield block includes family photos of the Pearre Sawmill, which was owned by her great-grandparents.

"My husband had family that worked on the railroad and lived in Mokane," Wills said. "The block itself has a picture of a train ticket on it and the name is that of my husband's grandmother and my husband's father."

Wills also contributed a block featuring the Callaway 200 logo and another based on local institutions established in 1851, including Westminster College, the state hospital and the Missouri School for the Deaf, where Wills and her husband worked during the early years of their marriage in the late 1970s.

"It's amazing how everything came together to make such an interesting and versatile quilt," Williams said.

Many of the quilters are proud of the diversity of techniques and methods used in each block.

"It celebrates 200 years and the blocks represent the history of different areas of the community, but they're done with 2020 quilting techniques," Hord said. "So when people look at the quilt, they'll see the history, but then they'll look at the techniques and know what 2020 was like."

The quilt is currently on display through January in the front window of the KCHS museum. In the future, the society hopes to take the quilt to events around the county.

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