Lost and Found

This picture was taken at the Post Office located in the home of James Pendroy in Falsen Township in north-central North Dakota during a neighborhood quilting bee. The photo shows seven neighborhood women seated around a large quilting frame quilting a Double Irish Chain quilt with two small children underfoot. The photo is one of the oldest in North Dakota showing women working at this handcraft. This photo dates from 1888 and shows the interior of the Pendroy family’s surprisingly sophisticated family home given that at this time, North Dakota was still a territory and the Pendroys had settled on the frontier only a few years earlier.

photo courtesy of State Historical Society of North Dakota
Pendroy Family quilting party.
Left to Right: Myrtle Robinson, Liza Hestness, Suzie Pendroy, Mrs. J. McKay, Algy Allen, Jessie Pendroy, Sarah Jane Pendroy (her husband was Postmaster and County Commissioner)  Children Unidentified. 

The community surrounding the Pendroy Post Office never became a town and like many early North Dakota settlements became a ghost town and the post office moved location after the death of James Pendroy. This photograph made its way into the State Historical Society where it remains a favorite momento of women’s lives during early settlement.

Much to the surprise of North Dakota Quilt project volunteers, the Pendroy quilt, which had been thought to be lost, was brought in to a Discovery Days sponsored by the North Dakota Quilt Project.

However, it was no longer in its pictured form.

Apparently when the maker died, her two daughters both wanted their mother’s lovely quilt and decided to divide it rather than fight over it. The quilt was cut in half and re-bound with each daughter keeping a cherished reminder of their mother’s artistry.

Click here to learn more about the history of the Pendroy family and the township’s history.