Temperance Quilt

prohibition quilt

Donated by: Dorothy Pike Deethardt (1998:113:001)

The Temperance Movement of the late 19th century and early 20th century advocated for the abstinence from alcohol. Many woman championed this cause, speaking out about the negative social problems of alcohol use. Smaller temperance groups were organized through their local churches. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the first nationally recognized group, was formed in 1874.

Temperance quilts like this one were made and sold as fundraisers for the cause. People would pay to have their names stitched or inked on the fabric. Then the quilt would be auctioned off. This quilt was made by the Aurora, SD Methodist Ladies Aid. The donor’s mother was the president of this organization. Mrs. Pike and a friend, Mrs. Willard Webb, completed the quilt in 1922. It is 90″ long and 77.25″ wide. The center block reads, “Aurora Aid Without the Kick.” The donor’s father, Willis Pike, bought the quilt for $50 at an auction during a basket social at the church.