Piece of Civil War history donated to a Heartland museum

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 10:27 PM CDT
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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) -An Illinois family is returning a piece of civil war history to its new home in southern Illinois.

“We are just thrilled as the family members of Herbert Logan Rieke to bring it back to Murphysboro, to bring it home,” said Susan Rieke Schanowski.

Rieke Schanowski is the cousin of General John A. Logan and relative of former Murphysboro Mayor Joseph H. Davis.

The quilt topper that is being donated has been passed down in her family since the Civil War.

Rieke Schanowski, is a descendent of Margaret Davis, daughter of John Logan.

“Her son Abel Cartwright Davis fought in the Civil War as did General John Logan, his cousin and his wife would make quilts as did the other women for the military cots of those who served in the Civil War,” said Rieke Schanowski.

But this piece of history was never completed.

“We’ll the war ended and so this quilt was not finished. So we just had the quilt topper. And after having it passed down from generation to generation, we finally decided it’s tome to find a permanent home,” said Rieke Schanowksi.

The piece from the 1860s will now be in the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro.

But you may be wondering how is it still in this condition?

“Never saw the light of day, never was taken out of the box,” said Rieke Schanowski.

Museum Director Mike Jones says he is thrilled to have this piece of history donated to the museum.

“It’s wonderful, we have some original Logan items , that the Logan family had given us. And the quilt that they are bringing, the quilt top belonged to Logan’s first cousin and they were all kids here together, all grew up about the same time,” said Jones.

Jones added that this piece of history will continued to be preserved.

“When we do stuff like that, we have things like that because they’re fragile and don’t need to be in the light a lot. They will come out at certain times, maybe we’ll have a quilt show maybe we’ll have a special show on the civil war,” said Jones.

Rieke Schanowski tells what her favorite part of touring the museum after donating the quilt topper.

“The stories that I was told, growing up through my grandmother, through my dad, who taught history, and then to see it and it’s here too. So I know all those stories that were passed down were true,” said Rieke Schanowski.

The General John A. Logan Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.

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