Carbondale Historical Quilt
The idea for the Carbondale Historical Quilt came to Millie Dunkel as a result of a walking tour of historic houses in Carbondale, guided by Helen Deniston. In 1982 local artists and craftsmen combined their talents to design and produce a quilt depicting Carbondale history. Millie Dunkel, project coordinator, and 26 other individuals worked on the project for two years. Since a new library for the Carbondale community was in the planning stages the group decided it would be the perfect place to display the finished product and contacted the library's Board of Trustees. The quilt was completed in the spring of 1983 and hung near the entrance of the new library building when it opened on July 14, 1983.
The quilt is comprised of 24 blocks, each with 14 inch dimensions. Each square portrays an important person, historical building or historical event dating from the founding of Carbondale in 1852 to the burning of Old Main on the campus of Southern Illinois University in 1969.
The Meaning of each Quilt Block
|Rapp House by Mary Alice Kimmel & Mary Barrow Brown: This notable home was considered the masterpiece of Isaac Rapp, an early builder in Carbondale. Rapp built this towered residence for the Frank J. Chapman family in 1868. The woodwork was hand turned at the Rapp mill. It had a curved walnut staircase and eleven open fireplaces with mantels. After Mr. Chapman's murder in Johnson County, the John Campbell family purchased the home. In 1901 the First Baptist Church purchased the house and it became the Baptist Annex. The first documented public library in Carbondale was located in the Annex. The structure was demolished in 1966.|
|John A. Logan by Vera Grosowsky: John A. Logan was a Civil War general and statesman. He was a native of Murphysboro and lived in Carbondale, Benton and Marion. He was the Republican candidate for Vice President in 1884. He served 4 terms as senator, 2 terms as a representative at large and 1 term as representative. He was severely and repeatedly wounded in the Civil War and died as a result of those wounds in 1886. John A. Logan Community College in Carterville, IL is named in his honor. His house still stands on Oak Street in Carbondale.|
|Old Main Fire by Carolyn DeHoff: In 1869 a newly formed university called Southern Illinois Normal University purchased 20 acres of land from Mrs. Mary A. Sanders. Upon this land on May 17, 1870, was laid the cornerstone for the first building of this university--Old Main. The building cost approximately $225,000 and opened for classes on July 1, 1874. Nine years later, on November 26, 1882, this original Old Main was destroyed by fire. The college was then housed in temporary quarters until 1885, when reconstruction of the second Old Main was completed. Incorporated into this second structure were the existing walls of the first floor still on the original foundation. As Southern Illinois University grew and expanded, Old Main was an integral part of the university until Sunday June 8, 1969, when it was again ravaged by fire in which arson is suspected. The building was razed by the university after this second fire and never rebuilt.|
|Dr. and Mrs. Dan Foley Home on West Walnut by Jean Foley: The central portion of the house at 511 West Walnut was built in 1858 for William Dixon. According to stories of early residents, it was General Williams Union headquarters during the Civil War and soldiers were encamped on the surrounding grounds. The home sold a few times and was inherited by the Foleys in 1964.|
|First Train into Carbondale by Millie Dunkel: After years of
false starts, the Illinois Central Railroad line going through
Carbondale was completed. The first train came north from Cairo, IL.
It arrived on July 4, 1854. It was another 2 years before the line was
completed to Chicago, making it the longest railroad line in the world
|Interurban by Vivian Marks & Margaret Vallo: In the early
1900's a trolley, the Interurban, stopped at the Franklin Hotel on the
corner of Illinois Avenue and Jackson Street. Passengers were allowed
to leave or board at any crossroad between Carbondale and Murphysboro.
The only regularly scheduled stop was midway between the two towns at
the Henry Amusement Park.
|Roberts Hotel by Judy Moeglin: Built in the 1870's by James M.
Campbell, the Newell House was remodeled in 1903 after a fire and
renamed the Roberts Hotel after its manager. This building still
stands at the S.E. corner of Main and Washington streets across from
what was the old Opera House. The building was again remodeled in 1965
and renamed the Bening Building.
|Illinois Central Railroad Station by Clairbel McDaniel:
Carbondale was a busy railroad center during the first half of the
1900's. The old Illinois Central Railroad station was built of red
brick in 1904. It housed the train depot as well as the American
Express and Western Union Telegraph companies. It has recently been
renovated and now houses the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau.
|Training School (SINU) Art Ed Class by Susan Perry: The "Old
Normal" (SINU) was and continues to be an important part of Carbondale
history. Originally SIU was a school for teacher education. Art
education classes in the 1900's were limited to what the teacher would
need in the classroom. A favorite model designed for the blackboard
was the American flag. This square depicts a student practicing
|Hundley House by Bonnie Moreno: The frame house at 204 South
Maple originally occupied the southwest corner lot at Main and Maple
streets. This house was moved in 1907 by John C. and Luella Hundley to
make way for the construction of their new home, now called Hundley
|Daniel Harmon Brush by Marilyn Boysen: In August 1852 Daniel
Harmon Brush and Asgill Conner explored the land along the surveyed
properties of the Illinois Central Railroad. They discovered that for
about a mile the land in direct line with Murphysboro and Marion was
level. Brush went to Jonesboro to secure sufficient land to build a
town, and if possible convince the railroad to put in a switch and a
stopping place. On November 24, 1852 the town was laid out and named
Carbondale. Brush not only founded the town of Carbondale but
continued to be an active member of the community. In 1853 he opened a
general store, where he later ran a telegraph office. He also owned
the town mill. In 1854 he shipped the first freight in by railroad
from Cairo, IL and the next year shipped goods to Chicago. When the
first school was built in 1856, Brush was one of the few to help with
the expense by donating over $800. He was also responsible for the
town's first bank in 1859. In 1860 he was licensed to practice law and
in 1863 he was made a colonel in the Union Army under General Grant. On
February 10, 1890, Brush was in his study writing his memoirs. The
property outside his window was being cleared for Brush School. He was
always ready to assist in the work of the community and left his
writing to offer assistance in removing a tree. He was holding one of
the ropes but made the mistake of tying it around his waist. When the
tree fell it sent him in the wrong direction and cost him his life.
Brush School burned in the 1970's. In 1982 its remnants were removed,
and Carbondale Public Library now stands on the site.
|The Opera House by Donna Hertter: The building was in existence
by 1887. Several businesses occupied the first floor: a dry goods
store, Prickett and Porter's drugstore, and the First National Bank.
The second and third floors were an opera house, which later became a
silent movie theater. The building is still standing, although the
front has changed several times. Located on the corner of Washington
and Main streets, the building was occupied by the Bank of Carbondale
until 1981. In 1983 it was made available to the Jackson County Stage
Company for renovation as a community theater.
|West Side School by Jewell D. Vieceli: This elementary school
was the first school in Carbondale. The wooden frame structure, 20x30
ft., was built in 1856 at a cost of between $500 and $935. West Side
School, in the 400 block of West Main was used a s a school until 1905.
|Paul and Virginia Fountain by Doris Dale: This statue on the campus of SIU was a gift from the class of 1887.
|Harker-Mitchell Home by Ann Gardner: This house, which stood at
416 West Main, was built by Judge Oliver A. Harker in the early
1880's. Judge Harker was also one of the original incorporators of the
First National Bank, chartered in 1893. The house was later purchased
by E. E. Mitchell about 1906.
|Original City Plat by Bonnie Miller: Carbondale town lots were surveyed by Dr. William Richart in 1852. He laid out the central portion of the town, about 56 acres, with 9.6 acres reserved for the railroad station, switch tracks and a central park. Surrounding this area were a few blocks laid out in small lots, with streets running parallel to or at right angles to the line of railroad tracks. Present bounds are Oak on the north, Walnut on the south, University on the west and Marion on the east. Lots not yet assigned to a proprietor were sold on January 4, 1853, to the highest bidder. Prices ranged from $6 to $100 per lot, averaging $24. Carbondale was formally organized and incorporated by action of the Illinois legislature in March 1856.|
|Woodlawn Cemetery by Ellen Hall: Prior to incorporation of
Carbondale, authority for all decisions affecting its residents reposed
with the Jackson County commissioners. Woodlawn Cemetery was
incorporated by a special act of the state legislature in 1854. Wesley
Winfrey, first prominent citizen to die in the new town was buried
there in 1856. More than 60 Civil war veterans are buried in
Woodlawn. The first memorial service in Illinois, and perhaps the
first in the country, to honor those who died in the Civil War took
place at Woodlawn Cemetery on April 29, 1866. General John A. Logan,
who attended that first ceremony, was impressed by the observance. It
was repeated the next year and on May 5, 1868 Logan, as Commander of
the Grand Army of the Republic, signed General Order No. 11 which set
May 30, 1868 as a Memorial Day with the hope it would be kept up from
year to year. By 1888 it had been made a legal holiday in 12 northern
|First Airport by Myers Walker & Frances Walker: Carbondale's
first airport was located just east of the Illinois Central Railroad
tracks and south of Dillinger's road. Simply a grass strip with a
small hangar nearby, it was operated by the American Legion in the
early 1930's. The plane shown on the ground is the GeeBee in which
Jimmy Doolittle won the Bendix Trophy race in 1932. At that time it
held the world land plane speed record of 296 mph. The plane shown in
the air is a Traveler Sport owned by Floyd "Chaufie" Jones, later
Carbondale police chief.
|Squirrel Tale by Bette Deniston: Colonel Daniel Brush was known
to have a passion for excellence and perhaps that is how the story
concerning squirrels came about. Whether it is fact or fiction Col.
Brush was said to have had all the gray squirrels removed from town and
transported to the woods surrounding Carbondale. He thought they were
ugly and should be replaced with the more attractive Red Fox squirrels
which, according to the story, he had delivered to the new town.
|The Allyn House by Kathleen Sanjabi: The original house was
built by a Carbondale merchant, Edwin Babcock, in 1868. Its style is
Italianate. It was purchased in 1879 by Dr. Robert Allyn, the first
president of Southern Illinois Normal University, who made major
changes to the structure. In 1912 there were still 11 fireplaces and
stoves to maintain. Items of architectural significance include a
walnut staircase. Of artistic interest is a sunflower painted by
Emmaline Harriet Allyn on a wall in a third floor room she used as a
|Halloween by Kara Nasca: Research shows the "festive" Halloween
night received newspaper coverage as early as November 1, 1905. By
October 31, 1914, a parade had been organized. Shop owners spent a
good deal of time decorating their windows for the event. In the years
that followed shop owners offered prizes for the best parade float,
best costume, etc. and the event became known as the "Great Annual Fall
Halloween Festival. In 1931 the celebration cost $2,181.73.
Unfortunately, over the years the event has lost its glamour and become
an university student street party which often ends in disorder.
|West Main Methodist Church by Libby Moore: The West Main
Methodist Church was built in 1888. There are pictures of the church
showing both with and without a steeple. The individual who designed
the quilt block was doing so just after a devastating tornado had hit
Marion, IL. Consequently she chose to put angry clouds in the
background giving the impression that storm might have removed the
|The College by Alma Taylor: "The College" was opened about 1830,
according to an account by Benningsen Boon, first non-Indian child born
in the county and author of one of the first histories of the county.
It was called "The College" because Hamer Hanson was the first teacher
to provide higher education in the area. He offered to teach Latin and
algebra to graduates of the high school. The building served as a barn
on old Rt. 13 near Crab Orchard Creek for many years. Around 1960 it
was moved to the grounds of Lincoln Junior High School in Carbondale.
Eventually it was given to SIU and moved to the university's Outdoor
Education Center on Rocky Comfort Road.
|Daniel Brush Declaiming for the Union by Rene Potter: The
impending conflict between the North and South had citizens in a state
of panic and confusion at times. The union sent a trainload of soldiers
through Carbondale and on to Cairo to secure southern Illinois. In
1861, on the evening of his birthday, Daniel Brush climbed onto the
roof of his store, raised a flag and declared his support for the
Union. The large crowd which gathered was divided in their opinions.
However, Brush kept his flag flying amid threats and raised a company
of men to go with him and join the Union troops. The names of many of
these Carbondale men who were at the Siege of Vicksburg can be seen on
the memorial and plaque at the site of the Vicksburg Battlefield.