Depression-era quilt that found its way to Santa Rosa returned to relatives of Missouri clan

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The quilt was in sweet shape but clearly was plenty old when Judy Stephens, who loves history and vintage things, bought it in the late 1980s at a quilters’ show at the Santa Rosa vets’ building.

The quilt appealed to Stephens because it bears the stitched names of 33 women.

These past almost-30 years, the quilt lay in Stephens’ hall closet or it was displayed with others on a hutch in her living room. It occurred just this past year to Stephens, a student of genealogy active in the Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that the quilt “really doesn’t belong to me.”

She went onto Ancestry.com to see what she could learn about the women who’d stitched their names onto the quilt’s multi-colored images of friendship baskets.

Stephens discovered that all of the women were listed in the 1930 Census of Nodaway County, MO. Further research revealed that the women lived close to each other there in northwest Missouri.

“They met every two weeks in homes to visit and create quilts,” Stephens said. “They named their group The White Cloud Social Neighbors Club.”

Stephens’ inquiry led her to 92-year-old Missourian Louise Inman, who recollected that her mother, Delia Baldwin, and her grandmothers, Axie Baldwin and Emma King, and her aunt, Allie Coleman, and the neighbor ladies met and made quilts back around 1930.

It turned out Delia Baldwin has a daughter living in Santa Barbara. On Saturday, it made for a special moment at the Santa Rosa Family History Fair at the Mormon congregation on Peterson Lane when Stephens presented to Baldwin the quilt bearing her ancestors’ names.

Baldwin, who’s 64 and came to Santa Rosa with her daughter, Marilynn Granado, beamed as she beheld the historic quilt she never knew existed. In response to a question, she said, “I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it.”

Beyond cherish it.

LOW AND OUTSIDE: A pox onto the vandals and thieves who broke into the equipment shed and office of Santa Rosa High’s baseball team and carried off a pitching machine, the public-address system, a radar gun, 32-inch Samsung TV and some memorabilia and gifts dear to coach Paige Dumont.

The PA system control box and the Junior Hack pitching machine will be costly to replace. Team boosters encourage donations to the Panther Athletic Club, 1235 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa 95401.

Priceless and irreplaceable are gifts from Dumont’s players and keepsakes from his time as a pro in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

NIGHTLINE: That was the label on a column item that the inestimable Herb Caen wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1984, a yellowed copy of which Fred Poulos of Sonoma County’s Mombo’s Pizza has kept and treasured ever since.

The clipping called to Fred to be pulled out and read again just now. Caen wrote:

NIGHTLINE: At 2 a.m. yesterday, Fred Poulos was padlocking his Pizza My Heart at 11th and Clement when along came a police car whose driver announced over the loudspeaker, “Ronald Reagan has just been re-elected president of the United States. Martial law has been declared. Please clear the streets!” Then the car drove off amid gales of laughter from its two occupants.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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