“K” stands for “Katie” … sometimes

Two Katie’s have quilts blocks in this set from Athelstan, Iowa: Katie Kemery and Katie Fidler. Both signed their friendship quilt pieces ‘Katie’. One is Katherine with a K, and one is Catherine with a C.

DSC00205Katie Fidler, born in 1881, was 53 years old in 1934. She was probably a member of the Athelstan Quilting Guild. Katie, Catherine Inis (Hutson) married Fred Fidler August 24, 1898. They had five sons: Edily, who died in infancy, Elmer Virgil, who died at the age of 14 years, Dewey Donald, Otha Paul Fidler, and Dale Kenneth 

Katie and Fred’s son Dewey Donald married Elva Imogene Sickels. Imogene’s obituary reports:

“Mr. and Mrs. Fidler operated the Athelstan telephone office for two years, spent two years on a farm north of Athelstan, and then moved to Athelstan, where they operated a cream station. After two years, they moved to the farm three and one-half miles northwest of Athelstan. They resided there until 1941, when they moved to their farm three miles north of Shickley. They lived there until Dewey was called to the Navy.”

Katie lived a full life until September 15, 1962. She died in San Diego, at the age of 81. Funeral services were held Athelstan CommunityChurch and she was buried next to her husband, Fred, at Hawleyville cemetery.

DSC00199Katie Kemery (1906 – 1964), the Katherine with a K, made a quilt square for herself and one for her daughter Norma Jean (1925-1971).

According to the Bedford Times-Press:

“Katherine Dorothea Hillers, daughter of Karl [Herman] and Anna [Margaret Heitmann] Hillers, was born at Blockton, Iowa, on September 18, 1906, where she spent her youth.

On May 16, 1925, she was united in marriage to Roy Kemery at Grant City, Mo.

To this union was born five children:  Norma James of Lenox, Shirley Dodson of Kansas City, Connie Mains of Sharpsburg, Rosemary Kemery of Kansas City and Daniel Kemery of the U. S. Army.

The first 17 years of their married life they made their home at Athelstan, Iowa, moving to Lenox in 1942.”

Katherine has roots that go back to Germany. Her mother’s obituary in the Bedford Times Press states:

Anna Margaret Heitmann was born in Bremen, Germany, December 31, 1876, and died July 26, 1958, at the age of 81 years, five months, 26 days.  Her early years were spent in Germany, coming to America with an older brother in 1900 and [they] started farming south of Blockton in 1902.

She was married to Karl Herman Hillers in 1904.  To them were born four children: George Hillers of Blockton, Katie Kemery [Katherine Dorothea] of Lenox, Mary Jennings of West Branch, Iowa, Christe Hillers of Blockton.

The heritage of many of these women may trace back to European origins. However, the legacy that they left in these Athelstan, Iowa quilt blocks is truly an American memory.


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