Crazy Quilt

Made By Sarah Elizabeth Jones King (1845-1906)
Griffin, GA

McKissick Museum Collection 1995.04.61.01

The maker of this classic, high-style crazy quilt embroidered the initials “A.H” and the date 1886. Family history suggests King made this quilt in 1886 to celebrate the 21st birthday of her son, Emmett King. It was not uncommon for 19th-century women to make quilts for their sons, especially when they turned 21. As a highly significant rite of passage for young men, this particular birthday was often commemorated by their mothers, sisters and female friends with a quilt. 

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Sarah Elizabeth Jones King (1845-1906)   1995.04.61.01

Sarah Jones was born in Griffin, Georgia. One of four children, she was the daughter of John Jones and Rebecca Matthews Jones. A successful farmer, her father died when Sarah was 7 years old. Her mother remained a widow and continued to manage their large family farm. Her two sons, George and James, lived with her until she passed away in 1902.

Sarah married John Charles King in 1862. He served with the 2nd Georgia Cavalry during the Civil War. After the war, her husband became a merchant and ran a successful grocery. They had eleven children between 1864 and 1887, but four of them died in infancy. Jennie, Emmett, Lorraine, Lucy, Lillian, Jay, and Fauncene all lived to adulthood.

After graduating from high school, their son Emmett became an actor and worked in stage productions in the Atlanta area and in silent and sound films in Hollywood, California.

By 1900, the King family was living in Joplin, Missouri. Jennie and Emmett no longer lived at home and Sarah’s husband remained in the grocery business. Lorraine and Lucy worked as typists, Lillian was a reporter with a local newspaper, and Jay worked in clothing sales. John and Sarah both died in Joplin in 1906 and are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Griffin, Georgia.


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