1872 Morgan Coverlet at Somerset Historical Center

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

Objects and artifacts are crucial to telling the story of southwestern Pennsylvania’s pioneer life and the changes encountered by the region’s early settlers, ordinary people – farmers, millers, traders – who helped propel westward expansion. The Somerset Historical Center owns a collection of twenty-two coverlets made in Somerset County, including five bearing the maker’s mark of a woolen factory located in Jenner Township. The factory, begun in 1812 by William Dalley, was operated by Owen Morgan, who took over not long after he married Dalley’s widow. When Morgan died in 1871, his son William Smiley Morgan took the reins of Owen Morgan and Son, which continued into the 1880s. In 1870, the factory employed ten workers and produced a variety of woolen goods, including blankets, coverlets, carpets, and yarn. The Morgans wove the signed coverlets in the center’s collection between 1869 and 1872.