Designed by Dessie Corrie Lee Morrison (1871-1936)
Wilkes County, NC
Gift of Mary Alice Jones
McKissick Museum Collection 6.273
Made for her daughter’s 9th birthday, this lively hand-pieced cotton crazy quilt is a utilitarian version of the late-19th century crazy quilts designed as a decorative art. Most crazy quilts are unquilted or simply tied to a backing; this one is stitched to a blue paisley printed cotton backing.
Dessie Corrie Lee Coogan Morrison (1871-1936) 6.273
Dessie Coogan was born in Greenville County, SC. An only child, she was the daughter of Alice Beacham Coogan and an unknown father. Her grandfather, Hartwell Beacham, was a private in the Palmetto Sharpshooters during the Civil War and worked as a carpenter in South Carolina and Georgia.
Dessie married Columbus Morrison in 1891 and they had four children: Dessie, Paul, Waverly, and Worth. Her husband was from North Carolina and by 1900 the couple was living in Wilkes County. Columbus was a hardware merchant in Wilkesboro and in 1905 was appointed to serve as a county magistrate.
By 1910, Dessie’s mother Alice was living with them, and they employed a cook named Allie Reynolds. Both Worth and Waverly worked in the hardware business. Their oldest son Paul became a civil engineer in the U.S. Navy, but he died of unknown causes in 1931. A year later, Columbus also passed away. In December of 1935, Dessie Morrison moved to Columbia, SC to live with her daughter and she passed away just four months later. Two weeks after Morrison died, her youngest son, Worth, died of “acute alcoholism and bronchitis.”