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Life

Frieda Warther, born Frieda Richard, was the oldest girl of thirteen children. Born November 12th, 1890, Frieda spent the first four years of her life in Switzerland before she and her family moved to the United States and found home in the small town of Dover, Ohio. Growing up in a big family, Frieda was one of a few girls who wished to hold on to her Swiss roots. Beyond her growing button collection, Frieda raised the children, supported her husband in all his endeavors and opportunities, and often traveled to see him while he was on the road. While the children were growing up, her gardens were filled with vegetables, feeding the family all year. After the children began leaving the house, her gardens slowly turned over to beautiful, flowering plants. These beds, Swiss-styled with some of her original plants, remain on site today. Like Mooney, Frieda had a great passion for educating others and helping the community. She opened her home to many in Dover, holding wreath making classes, flower arranging, and jewelry making. She was a 4-H leader and founder of the Dover Garden Club. In her own right, she became a unrequited legend.

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Artist

As the oldest girl, she helped her mother immensely at home, learning great patience at a young age, and also earning her the gift of her mother's button box, a European tradition that gave the eldest girl her mother's box full of buttons and sewing tools. Soon after, she began making simple pieces of jewelry and she collected many buttons from other young girls who discarded their own button boxes in the hopes of being more American. Her collection began to grow, and her crafting mind sparked new ideas and designs. Eventually, she would lay these designs out in many patterns, like a quilt, and her collection would grow to over 73,000 buttons mounted, with thousands more she would not be able to mount.