Piece of Civil War history donated to local museum


MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) – An Illinois family brings a piece of Civil War history to their new home in southern Illinois.

“We are delighted as members of the family of Herbert Logan Rieke to bring him back to Murphysboro, to bring him home,” said Susan Rieke Schanowski.

Rieke Schanowski is the cousin of General John A. Logan and a relative of former Murphysboro Mayor Joseph H. Davis.

The donated mattress topper has been passed on to his family since the Civil War.

Rieke Schanowski, is a descendant of Margaret Davis, daughter of John Logan.

“Her son Abel Cartwright Davis fought in the Civil War, just like General John Logan, his cousin and his wife made quilts like other women for the military beds of those who served in the Civil War,” said Rieke Schanowski.

But this piece of history was never completed.

“We will end the war and so this quilt was not finished. So we just got the mattress topper. And after passing it down from generation to generation, we finally decided that it was up to me to find a permanent home, ”said Rieke Schanowksi.

The 1860s piece will now be in the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro.

But you might be wondering how is he still in this state?

“Never seen the light of day, never out of the box,” said Rieke Schanowski.

Museum Director Mike Jones says he’s thrilled to have this piece of history donated to the museum.

“It’s wonderful, we have original Logan items, which the Logan family gave us. And the quilt they bring, the top of the quilt belonged to Logan’s first cousin and they were all kids here together, they all grew up around the same time, ”Jones said.

Jones added that this piece of history will continue to be preserved.

“When we do things like that, we have things like that because they’re fragile and don’t need to be in the light much. They’ll come out at times, maybe we’ll have a quilting show, maybe we’ll have a Civil War special, ”Jones said.

Rieke Schanowski talks about his favorite part of visiting the museum after donating the mattress topper.

“The stories I was told, growing up thanks to my grandmother, thanks to my father, who taught history, then to see them and it is here too. So I know all of these stories that were passed down were true, ”said Rieke Schanowski.

The General John A. Logan Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Copyright 2021 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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