Dress of the Week: Agnes Esther Alice Banker Kopp

Sep 25, 2023 | Articles & Exhibits

Each week during the Here Comes the Bride exhibit, the history of one of the dresses will be featured on the website and social media. Visit these dresses and more in person from June 2 and extended through October 7, 2023, at the David L. Pierce Art & History Center. Exhibit hours will be listed below the article.

This dress was worn by Agnes Esther Alice Banker (1888-1977) for her wedding to John L. Kopp (1886-1975) on November 19, 1913. Agnes grew up on a farm on Deerpath Road in Sugar Grove Township. Her husband was also from a farm family, from Iowa.

Agnes, a skilled seamstress, made her own wedding dress. The dress is very emblematic of its early 1910s era — a one-piece, narrow-waisted cotton floor-length dress with elbow-length sleeves accented with embroidered lace. The bodice, or top portion of the dress, features embroidered lace in a v-pattern overlay with a high neck collar. Decorative embroidered lace runs vertically down the front center the skirt accented by a jeweled rosette. The waist has a wide sash accented with a rosette.

After the wedding, the couple went to live on the Kopp family farm in Iowa, where they raised their family of four children. The couple moved back to this area in 1956 when Agnes inherited her family farm. They lived the rest of their days here, and are buried in Sugar Grove Cemetery.

Daughter Betty Kopp Gorshe donated the dress to the Aurora Historical Society after her mother’s passing, along with her aunt’s 1912 wedding dress, also made by Agnes.

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