Charity Hedge Lingenfelter created this quilt in 1889 to raise money for the Women’s Relief Corps, an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. Proceeds from the sponsorship and sale of this quilt would go to help Union veterans of the Civil War, as well as their widows and orphans. Charity had a personal interest in the plight of Civil War veterans, as her husband, Aaron, had lost a finger while serving in the 55th Illinois Infantry.
To raise money, Charity requested a dollar for local businesses in Canton to have their logos stitched onto the quilt and ten cents for individuals to have their names included. Charity designed, laid out, and stitched the quilt herself. Some of the merchants’ images were adopted from their existing logos; others she created herself.
One businessman, a blacksmith named J. Harter, who may have been a Southern sympathizer, refused to donate but wished Charity “good luck.” Charity responded by creating a special square just for Harter: “Good luck to all who buy of J. Harter.”
The quilt’s whereabouts were unknown for several decades after it was sold. In the 1920s, Mr. Elmer Hall of Moline acquired it. In 1976, Hall’s son tracked down Charity’s granddaughter and returned the quilt to her. It remained with Charity’s descendants until December 2017, when it was donated to the Illinois State Museum.