Quilt Boothsville, WV

The ladies of Boothsville, WV (near Fairmont) presented their pastor (my grandDad) Rev. E.G. Bailes a quilt when he was assigned to a new church, probably around 1938.

When my dad died in 2004, we were intriqued by the quilt my dad got from his dad, Rev. Bailes.  Each square had a signature embroidered by one of the ladies of the church.

Granddad served many churches throughout WV  (and KY).  I had been told the quilt was made by the ladies of a church, but I didn’t know WHICH church.

I can’t now remember how things fell in place.   Betty Reed Dowdell attended GradnDad’s church in Boothsville.  Her son wrote:

I will have Mom [Betty Reed Dowdell] come over and help me with the particulars…..but I know most of the names and knew the people. It is a walk down memory lane for me. Arah Hall, Arrella Clelland, Betty Middlemas, Edna Rumbaugh, Ida Watkins, Louise Davis, Maggie Clelland, Mary Alice Tucker, Maud Fancher, Pearl Nixon, Ruby Smell, and Zula Martin…….I am related to all of them I think…..cousins back in time. It is true when people tease us about being related…….the names and the families represent the ones that came early to that part of WV, settled in the Boothsvile area and made it a thriving community. At one time there were several mills on Booths Creek, downtown there was a tannery, several mercantile businesses, and 2 or 3 hotels. When I grew up the old general store closed when I was about 5 or so, the “new“ one closed in 1974.  It is no longer there except in my memory. The books went back to the 1840s when it was still Virginia…..I think they are now in the WV heritage library in Morgantown . Thanks for sending the note, it was a pleasure to read.

                                                                                                         Bill Dowdell

My daughter is now a Methodist pastor in Osterville United Methodist Church on Cape Cod.  She has the quilt and GrandDad’s saddle bags.  GrandDad rode a mule as a circuit preacher.

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