- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) - An American Legion post has donated a 93-year-old signature quilt to the Louisa County Heritage Center, after three women researched the item and the unique names on it.

American Legion post No. 27 donated the quilt Monday, the Muscatine Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1g8tOQS ). It will be on display at the center as part of its regular exhibit, as well as a quilt and needlework show.

Three women - Linda Pahl, Glenda Thielbert and Karen Schaapveld - found the quilt last year among donations to a Legion garage sale. The quilt, which has signatures sewn on it, was a design used to fundraise. People would pay money to have their name on the quilt, either in their own hand or someone else’s.

The women used old census information to find a record of most of the 200 signatures. Most of the names belonged to people who lived in Louisa County. Some lived in Muscatine, Washington and Courtland counties.

Pahl pointed out a woman named Charlotte Walker, whose name appears on the quilt as Granny Walker. Walker was 102 at the time of her death in 1923, and was considered the oldest resident in the county at the time of her death.

The quilt and needlework show at the center will be held Thursday through Saturday. About 100 quilts will be on display. Norma McCormac, Louisa County Heritage Center board member, said she thinks the signature quilt will draw out people.

“These are all local people,” she said, and added that for a lot of visitors, “it’ll be their relation.”

Pahl said she got attached to the quilt over the span of learning about its history. But she said the quilt was “coming home” with its placement at the center.

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Information from: Muscatine Journal, https://www.muscatinejournal.com

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