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Women's Relief Corps, Grand Army of the Republic Post #72

Marsha MacDowell
December/
Michigan State University Museum
 Michigan, United States

The WRC #72 was chartered January 2, 1890.

From the "Mancelona Herald", Thursday, May 10, 1894.

A GAR social was  held at the post rooms in this village Saturday evening at which speeches were made and a very pleasant time was had. A patchwork quilt containing the name, company and regiment of each member of post was sold at auction and W.R. Rice being the highest bidder, the same was struck off to him. The quilt netted the society about $15.


J.G. Smith, the donor of the quilt and a great-grandson of W.R.Rice, acqured the quilt from his uncle, William F. Catlin, in about 1952 or 1953. Intrigued by the names on the quilt, Smith began to research its origins, which led him to the above clipping about the textile and its makers, the Mancelona Women's Relief Corps (the Women's Auxilliary of the local G.A.R. post). He discovered that each of the 56 stars carried the name, rank, and military unit of a member of the G.A.R. post at Mancelona and that the setting blocks carried the names of other famous individuals in United States history. He also leanred that W.R. Rice was born in Rochester, New York, in 1831, served as a member of the Sixth Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War, married Lucy Marsh in 1882, and died in Mancelona in 1902. The quilt is an important document of Mancelona community and Michigan military history.

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