This is the story of the life and times of Bella… July 6th, 1860 – 1954. I’ve used the medium of glass art to fully explore the adventure! I used a mix of painted glass, fused glass, etched glass and combined these methods to create unique pieces.
The background is a large 4′ x 5-1/2′ (1.2m x 1.67m) piece of glass that I etched with the state outlines and names. Each state was also etched away to provide more surface for edge lighting. The individual states are mostly painted glass art, but some have piece fused on to them, or glued.
Indiana Glass Art
Sara Isabella Dickson was born in Terra Haute, Indiana on July 6th, 1860 – Running on the Republican Party ticket, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 19th President of the United States of America on Tuesday, November 6, 1860 – The civil war officially began on April 12, 1861
Illinois Glass Art
Sara spent nearly 20 years in Vermillion, Illinois with her family from 1862 thru 1884- When she was a toddler she was held as they watched Lincoln walk in a parade – Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 – In 1867 Nebraska becomes a state- On April 14, Good Friday, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth –
Iowa Glass Art
About 1884, Sara & her family left Illinois for Huron, South Dakota by covered wagon – Traveling through Iowa & Minnesota – Sara met Samuel Sturman French and his family on their journey – A wagon train would typically travel 15 miles a day – It took about 55 days to make the 830 mile journey from Vermillion, Il. to Huron, SD. –
Minnesota Glass Art
In 1884, Grover Cleveland was elected president – The first recorded photo of a tornado is taken by F.N. Robinson in Howard, SD – Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – In 1885, Karl Benz of Germany produced the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, regarded as the 1st production automobile – Sara & Samuel married in 1886 – She always called him Mr. French and he called her Bella – In the 1880’s Minnesota had 3151 miles of railroad tracks and the population was about 780,773 –
South Dakota Glass Art
Mr. French & Bella had 3 children; Dora Dean, b. 03/1889 in SD. -Iva P., b. 07/1890 in MI. – Orva R., b. 07/1892 in NE. – Mr. French farmed their S.D. land until they moved to Pender, NE. in 1892 – They headed towards NE. as the Woman Suffrage Movement was heating up– upon Samuel’s death, Belle made arrangements to fly his body back to S.D, by airplane. In 1954, following Bella’s death, her body was also returned to S.D.
Nebraska Glass Art
After 1920, they retired from farming & moved from Pender to Lincoln by car – Dora attended the University of NE. where she met Clarence Emerson – He had arrived in Lincoln with the clothes he was wearing and $86 – 9 years later they were married 1/4/1911 and left for Chicago where Clarence, whom already had 3 degrees, attended Rush Medical Center – Dora & Clarence returned to Lincoln where he was a Physician for over 50 years.