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Mary Barber, Waynesville School, Warren County, Ohio, 1832

The Society of Friends, known as Quakers, came to Ohio about 1800, as part of the Westward Movement and quickly established meeting houses and schools in their settlements.  They established the first schoolhouse at Waynesville, Ohio in 1802, a year before Ohio became a state. More early Ohio samplers have survived from this southwest part of the state than from any other.

While we find some traditional motifs universal on Quaker Needlework, like the eight pointed star and sprigs of flowers, the Waynesville School's samplers  produced a number of very individual motifs not found on other Ohio samplers.


Besides the Queen-Stitched Quaker alphabet and the Quaker eight sided stars, the other motifs on the sampler include a Dove with a branch in mouth, a Swan under an Arched Branch and a Pair of Birds facing each other, each holding one end of a branch.  These are motifs often found on Waynesville School Samplers.   Figure 35, in Sue Studebaker's book on Ohio Samplers, Ohio is my Dwelling Place, shows a Sampler made by Mary Ann Hussey that contains all of these motifs and is boldly signed Waynesville School.  Both the Waynesville school and later the Waynesville Academy had numbers of boarding students who attended these institutions because of the counties success in attracting teachers and it's well-deserved reputation for teaching young women not only academic subjects but also good needlework skills.

Besides four alphabets and a numeric progression Mary has included the initials ADB  for Abraham and Drucilla (Gaus) Barber, her parents, and her four older siblings, IB,RB, EB, and SB for Israel Barber, Ruth Barber, Ezekiel Barber and Sarah Barber. These are found on line two after the numeric progression.  Mary was the 5th of 11 children born to Abraham and Drucilla Barber on 12 Apr 1819. She worked her sampler in 1832 when she was 13 years old.

Worked in silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition and conservation mounted.  Size is 17 inches x 11 inches (sight) and 21 inches x 15 inches, framed.


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