Quilt square added to trail display

Friday, December 3, 2010
Lynda Potts, vice president of the Marshall County Historical Society, and Don Jeter, president, get ready to carry the other square. At the podium is Emily Gordon, who spoke about the quilt square and the quilts on display for the meeting.

Another Lewisburg quilt square was added to the Southern Middle Tennessee Quilt Trail last month.

In conjunction with the Marshall County Historical Society's quarterly meeting on Nov. 7, the quilt square was unveiled at the Hardison Office Annex, 230 College St. It is two squares, hung on either side of the main door into the Annex. The pattern is called "Grandmother's Fan." The artist was Linda Gupton. The squares were ceremoniously unveiled in the museum, and then carried to their places by the doors, where hooks had been placed to hang them. Carol Perryman and Frances Murdock of the Senior Citizens Center carried one, and Lynda Potts and Don Jeter of the Historical Society carried the other.

"The talent that abounds in our county is phenomenal," said Emily Gordon, who spoke about the making of the quilt square and also about the quilts on special display in the lobby.

The Marshall County FCE (Family and Community Education club) provided refreshments and the lobby filled with people admiring the quilts. They saw contemporary quilts like Ruby Higdon's prizewinner at this year's State Fair, and Ida Marion O'Neal's "Unity" quilt made for the Greater First Baptist Church in 2002. The oldest quilt on display was over 200 years old.

Before the quilt portion of the program, the Historical Society heard a presentation about Leslie Reynolds Woodward (1892-1961). Woodward was born in Marshall County, and established the Woodward-Green Motor Company in Lewisburg in 1925. A born salesman, Woodward went on to own several dealerships, including one for Allis Chalmers farm equipment. After 25 years in the business, Woodward had sold 15,375 automobiles, which was reported to be more than anyone else in Middle Tennessee.

Local artist Melanie Gordon, Woodward's granddaughter, reminisced about Christmas with "Big Daddy" and Ann Ford told the story of her mother's first car. Woodward took a down payment of a Jersey calf worth $35 from Ford's mother, Sara Sawyer, who signed a note to pay off the balance at $10 per month. The sticker price of the Model A Ford was $150. Sawyer needed the car to commute to her job in Fayetteville, but she didn't know how to drive, so Woodward sent one of his porters home with her for the weekend to give her lessons.

"When he died with leukemia in 1961, he was mourned by a grateful town who felt his generosity in giving to the underprivileged, in contributing to the First Presbyterian Church where he was a member, in supporting the retail merchants' association, and in providing jobs for more than 20 people," wrote Potts in her appreciation of Woodward for the Marshall County Historical Quarterly.