Powers Museum is preparing to remember the 100th anniversary of America's involvement in World War I with a display featuring relics from Carthage in the era and they're seeking the public's help.

Powers Museum is preparing to remember the 100th anniversary of America's involvement in World War I with a display featuring relics from Carthage in the era and they're seeking the public's help.
Powers Museum is putting out a call to residents asking if they would loan any family heirlooms, documents, books or other items dating back to the period of 1914-1919 when the Great War was raging in Europe or when American troops were coming back home.
The museum is especially interested in finding what it calls the “Red Cross Quilt,” a quilt made by Adora May Stephenson Boland, the wife of then-well-known auctioneer B.F. Boland and sold in an auction to raise money for the American Red Cross.
Retired Museum Director Michele Hansford said a Red Cross yearbook from the time says the quilt was sold for thousands of dollars, a fortune at the time, but it has disappeared since its initial sale.
“A bed quilt, in startling vividness, is the outstanding feature in the history of the Red Cross campaign of 1918, in the Southwest Missouri District,” the yearbook said. “A unique quilt, a well made quilt of quality, but for all time, a quilt of record.
“In itself, beautifully emblematic, it would instantly attract attention, but in the hands of B.F. Boland, of Carthage, it acquired a history that makes it, probably, the most valuable quilt that was ever made,” the yearbook continued. “Thousands of dollars have been paid for it, yet it remains in the hands of the one who made it.”
According to her obituary, in the Joplin Globe on Oct. 8, 1926,  “Mrs. B. F. Boland, well known Carthage woman and a resident of Jasper county since 1869. died at 9:30 o'clock this morning at the Boland residence, 1419 South Garrison avenue. Death was caused by neuritis and heart disease. She had been bedfast two weeks, but her condition was not regarded as alarming until a sudden change for the worse this morning.”
She and her husband were buried in the Faskin Cemetery. B.F. Boland left Carthage for California after his wife died. He passed away on Jan. 23, 1928.
His obituary, in The Carthage Evening Press, says he was credited with over 4,000 auction sales in over 38 years in the business.
Hansford said no good pictures survive of the quilt, only photo copies of a picture from the Red Cross yearbook, but if it still exists, the Museum would love to feature it as a center-piece of the 2018 exhibit.
She said the quilt, if it still exists, is likely in fragile condition, and the Museum would take special care to display it in a manner that doesn't damage it.
Other items the Museum is looking for include items relating to military service, volunteer corps, or items from the home front or family experience from the years 1917 and 1918.
Examples of these include: soldier portraits, an Army nurse uniform, Big Smith Army jackets, or a "Red Cross" quilt. The museum asks that people call the museum at 237-0456 or email at powersmuseum@att.net to make an initial inquiry of send the photo.
All items to be considered for the exhibit need to be brought to the museum by March 29 during the Museum's working hours, Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The museum is currently closed to the public until the start of the season on April 6 for preparation of the exhibit.