Juliaett R. Farnam, Deerfield,

Juliaett R. Farnam, Deerfield,

Portage County, Ohio, 1837

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sampler size: 18” x 17” • framed size: 20¾” x 19¾” • sold

We are pleased to be able to offer this praiseworthy piece, a particularly fine and handsome Ohio sampler made by a schoolgirl from a pioneer family that has long been acknowledged by historians.

Juliaett was the daughter of Jeduthan and Polly (Day) Farnam of Deerfield, a town east of Akron, Ohio. Both Farnam and Day families were originally from New England and were among the pioneers of this area, part of the Western Reserve. Interestingly, the history of Deerfield includes much information about Polly Day who was the first child born in Deerfield and her parents were Alva and Sarah (Beach) Day. Alva arrived on foot from Connecticut in February of 1800. His wife, Sarah, came in July and Polly was born in August. Alva Day quickly became the sheriff and Justice of the Peace of Deerfield. Additionally, he was a captain in the Ohio Militia and served in the War of 1812. His wife kept a diary while he was away at war for two months and a full transcription of this diary has been published in Visions of the Western Reserve Public and Privat Documents of Northeastern Ohio 1750-1860 by Robert A. Wheeler (Ohio State University Press, 2000) on pages 85 -95, and a copy of this book accompanies the sampler. The original diary resides in the collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Sarah’s diary is considered a valuable document and account of daily life as a pioneer in the very early settlement of Ohio, filled with references to family and community activities. Sarah was an important citizen of Deerfield and essentially ran the farm, took care of her four children, worked on her spinning, participated in the local health care system and entertained guests. She died in 1838, a year after her granddaughter, Juliaett worked this sampler.

Jeduthan and Polly were married in Deerfield in 1824 and Juliaett was born the following year. She made her sampler at age 12, in 1837 as she stitched on her sampler. In 1844, she married Isaac Wilson (1821-1910); he was a successful merchant and according to History of Portage County by Warner, Beers & Co (1885), had a stock worth about $10,000 and enjoyed a large and lucrative trade. He was, “a man of pronounced business ability, unassuming in his every-day life, and processing those genial qualities of mind and heart that have won him hosts of friends during his long career in business.” Mr. Wilson also served as Postmaster of Deerfield for more than 25 years. While the Wilsons did not have children of their own, they adopted a nephew, William. Juliaett died in 1910 and is buried in Hartzell Cemetery in Deerfield.

The sampler is very carefully stitched with alphabets separated by narrow patterned bands and a balanced, mirror-image register of motifs of flowers, branches, trees and birds below; the inscription is enclosed within a tightly worked, polychrome rectangle. The four-sided border, a relatively complex vine with red buds or berries, is further embellished with little red and white diamonds that provide it with a wonderful rhythm.

Worked in silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into a molded and black painted frame. 

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