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The Decker family with their automobile, Sheridan County, Kansas The Decker family with their automobile, Sheridan County, Kansas

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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Objects and Artifacts - Tools & Equipment for Materials - Textileworking - Kit, Sewing

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Sewing kit

Sewing kit
Date: between 1861 and 1865
Hand-sewn Civil War sewing kit, also known as a housewife. Rectangular folded case of black-coated fabric resembling leather. Triangular front flap with two string ties. Interior compartments include needle storage flaps, raw wool pincushion, and compartments for thimbles and scissors. Interior is embroidered with owner's initials. Carried throughout the Civil War by Pierce R. Hobble of the 13th Ohio Infantry, Company D. The 13th's service record includes the battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga. Hobble came to Kansas with his family in the late 1870s, settling at Dodge City where he operated a grocery store and bakery, worked as a beekeeper, and served as Justice of the Peace.


Sewing kit

Sewing kit
Date: between 1861 and 1865
Civil War sewing kit, also known as a housewife. Rectangular case of soft, dark brown leather with pointed front flap. Folded case opens to reveal machine-quilted dark blue silk interior over cotton lining. Case's interior compartments include wool flaps for needle storage, leather straps to hold scissors, large pocket with button flap, and second large pocket with two button flaps. This sewing kit was carried during the Civil War by Capt. William H. Ward of the 47th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company B. Ward was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for actions at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in May 1863. He moved his family to Kansas after the war.


Sewing kit

Sewing kit
Date: Unknown date
Green cotton sewing kit. The interior pockets of the kit hold two spools of thread and a threaded needle. Colonel James C. Hughes used this sewing kit while being held as a Japanese Prisoner of War during World War II. Born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1888, Hughes served in the Mexican Border Conflict, World War I, and World War II. During the latter conflict, he commanded a Philippine regiment (Filipino soldiers led by American officers), which surrendered in 1942 on the Bataan peninsula. Hughes spent the next 41 months in various Japanese P.O.W. camps. The number "56" on this kit refers to the prisoner number Hughes wore between 1942 and 1943 while in Karenko, a camp for high-ranking officers in Taiwan. He was liberated by Russian forces at Camp Hoten, Manchuria, in 1945. Hughes died in 1964 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


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