Nancy “Nannie” Crum Boylston (1869-1951)
McKissick Museum Collection 2013.11.86
Block-style appliquéd flowerpot and flower basket quilts in solid and pastel fabrics flourished during the Depression. This one is distinguished by the maker’s artful use of complementary colors—blue and yellow in the sashing used to frame each block—and the quilt’s playful, multi-colored border of triangles. Nancy Boylston is the sister-in-law of Olive Boylston, another quilter featured in this exhibition.
Nancy “Nannie” Crum Boylston (1869-1951), Salley, SC ca. 1945. From the Collection of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina
Nannie with her children – Kathleen, Mamie, Motte, Mattie, and Ena (l to r).
The Boylston Home, Salley, SC, ca. 1925. From the Collection of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina
Nancy Crum Boylston (1869-1951) 2013.11.86
Nancy “Nannie” Crum was born in the town of Rowesville in Orangeburg County. One of seven children, she was the daughter of Lewis and Emma Inabinet Crum. Her father died when she was ten years old, and her family moved to nearby Denmark, SC to live with her uncle, John Crum.
She met local farmer Marion “Tom” Boylston through a family friend, and they married in 1891. After the wedding, they moved to Salley, SC and they had seven children: Leynard, Roy, Mott, Katherine, Mattie, Mamie, and Ena. Sadly, Leynard died when he was four years old and Roy died soon after he was born. “Miss Nannie” and Tom built a large home that became a center of social life in the small, rural town. Their daughter Mattie was married in the home and they hosted countless gatherings for friends and family. Unfortunately, a few years after the children married and moved out, the house burned to the ground.
In 1936, soon after building a smaller home on the same site, Tom passed away. After his death, Nannie moved in with her daughter Ena, whose family lived across the street. She suffered through several serious health issues during her later years, including losing part of a leg, being confined to a wheelchair, and eventually suffering from kidney failure. Beloved in the Salley community, the Aiken Journal & Review newspaper described her as being “proficient in needlework” and that people like her “made this little community into Heaven’s doorstep.”