Cornelia Driggs Small

Michigan; United States

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Biographical information provided by the family of the quiltmaker reveals that:
Cornelia Driggs Small was born 26 March 1844 at the Elyria, Ohio farm home of her parents, Joseph and Cornelia Pierson Driggs...Cornelia was their eighth child.

In 1865 they...moved to Rome in Lenawee County, Michigan...Cornelia met Henry Small at the Rome Grange, and after a courtship of three years, they were married at the home of her parents the 20th of February 1869.

Henry and Cornelia Small purchased a farm three miles south of Reading, Michigan in Camden Township where they erected a log house from timbers on their property.

Cornelia was an accomplished homemaker, and an excellent seamstress who took great pride in her work and family....Shortly after they were established on their farm Cornelia..purchased a weight-driven Seth Thomas clock...Family history has it that this clock was the first in their area. It still keeps accurate time in the home of her great-grandson.

Henry and Cornelia had only one child, Charles Driggs Small who was born 2nd, January 1870...

Cornelia Small died 19th June 1903, and was buried alongside her husband at the Berg Cemetary near Camden, Michigan.


Family history further records that this Shoofly in a Frame quilt was made by Cornelia Driggs Small while living on the farm south of Reading, Michigan. Of alternating pieced and plain blocks, it was made for family use to "equip the .... beds." Upon Small's death, her daughter-in-law, Effie Luticia Small, inherited the quilt. It was then passed to the quilter's granddaughter, Florence Amelia Surratt, and finally to Stanley Charles Surratt, the quilter's great-grandson.

Written by MacDowell, Marsha

MacDowell, Marsha and Fitzgerald, Ruth, ed. Michigan Quilts: 150 Years of a Textile Tradition, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI, 1987, page 35.

Michigan State University Museum


  • Michigan Quilt Project

    Documentation Project

    Michigan State University

  • c1870

    Shoofly in a Fram...

    Small, Cornelia

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