“Yes, they’re the Indiana skies … aren’t any others anywhere that ever seemed much like them to me. They’ve been company for me all my life. I don’t think there are any others half as beautiful, and I know there aren’t any as sociable. They were always so …. Seems to me they are the softest and bluest and kindest in the world.”

- Booth Tarkington, Hoosier author and double Pulitzer
Prize-winner, The Gentleman from Indiana, 1899

Maddy, Lizzie, Cookie, and Bootsie are all very family-oriented – devoted to their husbands and children, and in Maddy’s case grandchildren. Sure, Lizzie and Edgar live slightly different lives, him off fishing all the time, and their grown children are a mess, but the couple’s hearts are in the right place. Cookie and Ben are trying to adopt a kid, a nesting instinct that cannot be denied. Alas, poor Bootsie and Jim have never had kids (Jim had a complication with mumps as a boy), but they make up for it with a growing household of “fur children.”

The 4+ Husbands

Beauregard Hollingsworth Madison IV – “Beau,” to his friends. “Four,” to his heritage-minded relatives. “Pooh Bear,” to his wife Maddy. The great grandson of a same-named Town Founder. A retired mayor and former hardware store owner. Beau is a romantic, always dreaming of a better world. A Vietnam vet. Thin as a rail, a tallish man at 6-foot-2.

Edgar Richmond Ridenour – A retired bank president. A bit of an Anglophile, always fascinated by British customs and manners of speech. Since retiring from the bank, he’s swapped his Armani suits for the scruffy visage of a Jeremiah Johnson mountain man, replete with shaggy gray hair and a bushy bird’s-nest beard. Edgar spends a lot of time fishing on the Wabash, a somewhat separate life from his ritzy wife Lizzie. Beau and N’yen’s fishing buddy.

James Dean Purdue – Known as “Jim.” The Caruthers Corners Police Chief. Balding, stocky, a good cop. He likes being a lawman in a quiet, little Midwestern town. Technically, he answers to the mayor, but his wife Bootsie has him wrapped around her little finger.

Benjamin Bentley – Called “Ben” for short. A retired farmer. Head of Sons of Anthony Wayne, a state-wide camper organization for boys. Serves on the Board of Haney Bros. Zoo. He is Cookie’s second husband. As short and wide as a hay-bailing machine, Ben was a high-school state wrestling champion. He’s “Big Bear” to his wife. She’s “Little Bear.”

Bob Brown – Cookie’s first husband. Well liked, well dressed, he was killed in a freak tractor accident.

Maddy's Three Children

William Wordsworth Madison – Known as “Bill.” Runs a children’s shelter in Chicago called Kids 4 U. He and wife Kathy are N’yen’s adoptive parents. A pair of save-the-world do-gooders, they are former volunteers with the Peace Corps.

Katherine Madison – Known as “Kathy.” Bill’s wife, N’yen’s adoptive mother. A teacher by training, she helps her husband oversee Kids 4 U. An odd match, Kathy is as outspoken as Bill is meek.

Frederic Hollingsworth Madison – Known as “Freddie.” The town’s Fire Chief. He and his wife Amanda are Donna Ann’s adoptive parents. Badly scarred by a fire when he worked in Atlanta, he looks something like Freddy Krueger. Sometimes he plays Sparkplug the Clown at the local petting zoo, hiding his damaged face under the greasepaint.

Amanda Madison – Freddie’s wife, Donna Ann’s adoptive mother. A quiet woman, but overly protective of her family. She is very unsure of her parenting skills. Worries about her husband.

Matilda Madison Tidemore – Known as “Tilly.” She and husband Mark are the parents of Aggie and her three younger sisters (“The Trio of Trouble”) – Taylor, Madison, and Mandy. A pretty slender blonde, Tilly tends to be flighty and fanciful. Maddy and Beau’s daughter, she is very insecure. She sees herself as a fairytale princess.

Mark Raymond Tidemore – Tilly’s husband. A former lawyer known as “Mark the Shark,” he now serves as the Town’s mayor. Said to be a shoo-in for reelection. Tough-minded, but very likeable. As handsome as a prince.

Play the Game: See if you can identify the movie stars pictured on this page who look like members of the Quilters Club families. (Answers can be found on the Picture Quiz Page.)

Lizzie's 2 Children

Darlene Maria Ridenour – Edgar and Lizzie’s divorced daughter. A frumpy dishwater blonde. She has often been estranged from her family due to involvement with loser boyfriends and a slacker husband.

Oswald Mario Ridenour – Edgar and Lizzie’s son. Estranged from his father, but he keeps in touch with his mother. An unmarried playboy living in Los Angeles, he works as a talent agent with William Morris.

Bootsie’s Animal Array

What number of dogs are Bootsie and Jim up to these days, six or seven? There’s the canine trio of Inka, Dinka, and Doo – Bootsie’s first pack of rescued dogs. Then came Bippiti, Bobbidi, and Boo – three new mutts rescued from the shelter. And Jim’s talking about getting a police K-9 German Shepard. (Don’t tell Jim, but his wife considers all the unclaimed critters at the Animal Shelter as her own!)

Maisie’s Stray Cat

Maddy’s unmarried twin sister Maisie Walters took over feeding Alexander the Great after the tomcat’s owner got killed in the 2018 Northeastern Indiana Tornado. Maisie swears the cat is not hers, but try telling that to Alexander at feeding time.

Aggie’s Dog

Tige is a wire-haired dachshund mix, a cute little bundle of fur. Despite his diminutive size, very protective of Aggie and her cousin N’yen. Named after Maddy’s childhood pet … who was named after Buster Brown’s dog Tige “who lived in a shoe.”

Next: Maddy’s New Kinfolk

Meet the Friendly People of Caruthers Corners

Other Characters, Crooks, and Cuckoos

Out-of-Towners You’ll Want to Know

Picture Quiz Answers


Town History in a Nutshell

Maps of Caruthers Corners
(and Its Environs)