Elizabeth Patton,

Elizabeth Patton,

Lemon Township, Butler County,
Ohio, c. 1825 – 1828

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sampler size: 14¼” x 16¾” • framed size: 17¾” x 20¼” • sold

Elizabeth Patton’s sampler, a very appealing and folky example, belongs to a small group worked in Lemon Township, Butler County, located in southern Ohio. These samplers, only six of which are known, share similar compositions and depictions of houses shown in three-quarter view, large vases of flowers with hummingbirds, diamond-shaped geometric designs, specific borders and, found on only two of the Lemon Township samplers, a large stylish lady with a parasol and reticule standing on tiny feet. Sue Studebaker’s comprehensive book entitled Ohio is My Dwelling Place: Schoolgirl Embroideries 1800 – 1850 (Ohio University Press, 2002) features Elizabeth Patton’s sampler on its cover as well as on pages 94-95, figures 91 and 92. This book was published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name at Ohio Decorative Arts Center in Lancaster Ohio in 2003. Far fewer samplers were made in Ohio than in more eastern states and this exhibition and significant book contributed greatly to the field. Clearly Mrs. Studebaker, the curator of this groundbreaking exhibition, felt that Elizabeth Patton’s sampler deserved this excellent honor of cover girl.

Elizabeth Patton was born in Ohio in 1812, the daughter of John and Mary Anne (McCormick) Patton, pioneers of the Northwest Territory. The History of Warren County, Ohio (W. H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1882) includes information about John Patton who was one of the early settlers of Deerfield Township. The family lived on what was called a forfeiture of Section 34 between 1797 and 1800. When they inherited land in neighboring Lemon Township, Butler County, they removed and settled there. Elizabeth made this sampler when she was approximately 12 to 14 years old.

On July 7, 1847, she married Andrew D. Small, a farmer and native of Ireland and they lived in Mad River, Clark County, Ohio. Elizabeth died on December 31, 1889, as carved on her gravestone, “Aged 77 ys. 2 ms. 8 ds.”. She and her husband are buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. The sampler descended in the family of the maker for many generations.

Worked in silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a bird’s-eye maple frame. It is accompanied by a copy of the Studebaker book that features the sampler on its cover.

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