Small Bear, Big Story: Part 3
Today’s feature is a guest post by my friend Donna di Natale. She’s a quilter and author with Nebraska roots. After retiring from the medical field, Donna was an editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She lives in Lenexa, Kansas and enjoys history, antiques and vintage quilt treasures.
by Donna di Natale
I have procrastinated writing the last part of this post, hoping for something more positive to write. As with a lot of research, you look and look and ponder and hope, all to no avail.
My last entry ended on a note of hope. A number of the people whose names were on the bear had been located through online genealogy resources, and there was a logical reason for these people to be associated with Mormon temples.
However, I have had no luck in finding either a “Harmony” temple or an “Equality” temple. These two words have an important role in the Mormon religion and it would seem reasonable that they would use the terms in naming temples. But the names were certainly not used in Missouri.
The history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a.k.a. the Mormon church) goes back many, many years. In fact, founder Joseph Smith thought that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri.
The Mormons were persecuted and rejected. You can learn more by watching this slide show.
They moved further west and eventually settled in Utah.
Today there are Mormons and temples all over the United States and the world. The Mormon population in Missouri has waxed and waned and is growing again, perhaps due to the belief that the second coming of Christ will take place in Missouri, in the same spot as the Garden of Eden.
The Mormons are known to have vast genealogy records and many of the names on the bear are found there. But I couldn’t locate information on the existence of a Harmony Temple or an Equality Temple.
So this little bear will continue to be a mystery, and like the quilt that originally held the blocks, its true story may be lost forever.
The takeaway from this story is to always label your quilts with a name, a place, and a date. Affix this information to the quilt permanently (I’ve been known to write directly on the back of a quilt) so that its story will not be lost.
Many thanks to Donna di Natale for allowing me to tell what we know of this little bear’s story here on Stash Bandit, and for the time she spent on research. Maybe someday we’ll learn more.