- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) - When Mary Lou Lebold-Fort can let go of the quilt on her granddad’s bed, it will be going to the McLean County Historical Society.

The bed is more than 100 years old and the quilt, made between 1937 and 1939, belonged to her mother.

“The quilt had been in a closet for quite a few years before I put in on the bed,” Lebold-Fort said.

In 2006, the Messenger-Inquirer published a book of old photographs that were submitted by readers, and one of them was a picture of the boys and girls at Little Grove School in McLean County. Their teacher was Lebold-Fort’s mother, Wilhelmina Leachman Lebold. The quilt was made for her by her students and their mothers. The children’s names are sewn on the quilt.

Little Grove School was a one-room school for grades one through eight. The photograph had been submitted by Jim Beller, who was a student of Lebold’s and his name is on the quilt. Each square has a butterfly appliqué with a student’s name.



“If it hadn’t been for that photograph I wouldn’t have met six of my mother’s students,” Lebold-Fort said. She was able to contact the five other people through Beller.

“She (Lebold-Fort) brought the box with the quilt to show me,” Wynona Basham said. “I was kind of surprised, to tell the truth, because I don’t remember it real well.

“I’m 86 and that was a long time ago,” Basham said. “It was a good surprise seeing that we did something like that.

“Mary Lou wants to get us all together,” Basham said.

“I remember her (Lebold) as being a good teacher,” said Helen Beller Willis, who is a sister of Jim Beller.

“She was real young and single,” Willis said. “She was a good teacher.”

“A man she was dating would visit with her during lunch hour,” Willis said.”We thought is so funny that he would come see her. The school was way back in a field.

“She was quiet around us,” Willis said. “We didn’t visit but I knew of her and went to the funeral home when she died.”

“I remember the quilt. We all made a square. But I think my mom made mine.”

Lebold-Fort, 69, who is a retired schoolteacher, said she’s fortunate to have met her mother’s students.

“They’re all so sweet and nice. I’ll give up the quilt, but I want to keep them as friends.”

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Information from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, https://www.messenger-inquirer.com

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