Red, White, and Blue Dress

Donated by Mary Brashears Mullen

Red, white, and blue dress, circa 1910Jessie Stewart (1892-1980) showed her patriotic spirit when she wore this dress to the annual reunion at St. Paul (Madison County). The dress dates to about 1901, so Jessie would have been about  ten years old when she wore it.

Jessie was born in Hazard, Kentucky, to James M. and Margaret Elizabeth Brashears Stewart. In 1895, the family moved to St. Paul where James ran a mercantile. Jessie attended school in St. Paul, then studied music at the University of Arkansas. Following graduation from college, she taught school in Oklahoma and in the Northwest Arkansas communities of Bentonville and Cave Springs. In 1925 she married Thomas Jacob “Jake” Gilstrap, a lumber yard operator she first met in St. Paul. Jake opened his first lumber yard in Combs (Madison County) in 1915 and went on to own lumber yards in Texas, Kansas, and Northwest Arkansas.

When Jake died in 1946, Jessie moved to Bentonville to run the family lumber business there. She became a successful businesswoman, well-known in the retail lumber trade as “Lumber Lou,” whose columns appeared regularly in trade publications for over thirty years.

Red, white, and blue dress, circa 1910

Donated by Mary Brashears Mullen

Jessie Stewart (1892-1980) showed her patriotic spirit when she wore this dress to the annual reunion at St. Paul (Madison County). The dress dates to about 1901, so Jessie would have been about  ten years old when she wore it.

Jessie was born in Hazard, Kentucky, to James M. and Margaret Elizabeth Brashears Stewart. In 1895, the family moved to St. Paul where James ran a mercantile. Jessie attended school in St. Paul, then studied music at the University of Arkansas. Following graduation from college, she taught school in Oklahoma and in the Northwest Arkansas communities of Bentonville and Cave Springs. In 1925 she married Thomas Jacob “Jake” Gilstrap, a lumber yard operator she first met in St. Paul. Jake opened his first lumber yard in Combs (Madison County) in 1915 and went on to own lumber yards in Texas, Kansas, and Northwest Arkansas.

When Jake died in 1946, Jessie moved to Bentonville to run the family lumber business there. She became a successful businesswoman, well-known in the retail lumber trade as “Lumber Lou,” whose columns appeared regularly in trade publications for over thirty years.

“Barn Raising” Quilt

Donated by Matha Ann (Mrs. Alfred) Lussky and Katherine Lussky Adam

This circa 1915 quilt is a Log Cabin variation called “Barn Raising.” It was made by Anna Catherine Beyer Lussky of Buffalo, New York. The quilt came to Northwest Arkansas with Anna’s son, Alfred Edwin, who was a professor and chair of the German department at the University of Arkansas for many years.

To make the quilt, Anna Lussky used pieces of her silk wedding dress along with silk neckties that belonged to her six sons (Alfred, Herbert, Arthur, Walter, Ernest, and George).

Shuttle

Donated by Annabel Searcy

In the 1800s, before store-bought fabric became the norm, many a pioneer home had a loom where the woman of the house made the family fabrics. Shuttles like this handmade one carried yarns across warp threads, creating fabric.

Backwards “S” on the shuttle.

The shuttle most likely belonged to Temperance Caroline Searcy. (A backward “S” is punch-marked on the top of it.) Temperance, her husband Alfred H. Searcy, and their children came from Georgia to Arkansas in 1859, settling in the Friendship community east of Springdale where they farmed and raised hogs and sheep.

Temperance Searcy’s grandson, Lockwood, inherited his grandmother’s textile tools and other family heirlooms in the 1940s. Lockwood’s wife, Annabel Applegate Searcy, donated many of these pioneer era artifacts to the Shiloh Museum in 1968, the year the museum opened to the public.

Temperance Searcy’s grandson, Lockwood, inherited his grandmother’s textile tools and other family heirlooms in the 1940s. Lockwood’s wife, Annabel Applegate Searcy, donated many of these pioneer era artifacts to the Shiloh Museum in 1968, the year the museum opened to the public.