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Section 2. Granville E. Jarvis and Ann Marie Reeves

(2) Granville E. Jarvis, born in 1829 in Pruntytown, Taylor County, Virginia. He married Ann Marie Reeves on June 18, 1850 in Philippi, Barbour County, Virginia. Granville died December 31, 1902 in Grafton, Taylor County, West Virginia. Ann Marie died on May 09, 1905 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ann Marie was well known and highly respected in her community and beyond. The following documentation of part of her life, taken from Ancestry.com file number 269747, give much insight into Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis and why she inspired her daughter to dedicate her life to bringing about Mother's Day:

"The memorial now known as Mothers Day was founded by Anna Jarvis in tribute to her mother, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis. The first fully organized Mothers Day program was held at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, Taylor County, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908. The honored mother had already laid the foundation for such a day in the last fifty years of her life."

"Ann Marie Reeves came to West Virginia at age twelve when her father, the Rev. Josiah W. Reeves, a Methodist minister, was transferred from Culpepper Co., Virginia to Philippi in Barbour County. Seven years later, in 1850, at the age of seventeen, Ann Marie married Granville E. Jarvis, son of a Baptist minister. The couple lived in Philippi for a short time and then moved to Webster in Taylor County where Granville began his career as a merchant."

"Ann was the mother of eleven children, but only four lived to adulthood. In spite of the large family and the tragedies that occurred, Mrs. Jarvis was active in church and civic affairs. Most remarkable was the work she did to combat poor health and sanitation conditions that existed in Webster and in many other neighborhoods, and which attributed to the high mortality rate of children. After eight years of marriage, at the age of twenty-six, the young housewife and mother sprang into action to combat these conditions and called on all women in Webster, Philippi, Pruntytown, Fetterman and Grafton to meet at local churches where she organized clubs, known as Mothers Day Work Clubs. She called on her brother, Dr. James Edmund Reeves and Dr. Amos Payne of Pruntytown to advise and lecture her organizations."

"These two eminent physicians charted the tasks for the clubs to undertake. Members were assigned certain duties to perform in a certain length of time, and their work was inspected by the two doctors and nurses from surrounding communities. The clubs furnished women to care for families with tubercular mothers, medicine was provided for the indigent, and milk for children was inspected. The clubs were honored for successfully carrying out their plans and solving a local community problem."

"In 1861, another need for the Mothers Day Work Clubs was pending. After both Lee and McClellan gave orders to hold the Grafton railroad terminus at all costs, much of Taylor County, including the community of Webster, soon became an armed camp of both Union and Confederates. Mrs. Jarvis quickly sensed possible disruption in the clubs and called an urgent meeting, The group heard Mrs. Jarvis objectives:"

"To make a sworn-to agreement between members that friendship and good will should obtain in the clubs for the duration and aftermath of the war. That all efforts to divide the churches and lodges should not only be frowned upon but prevented."

"When an epidemic of typhoid fever and measles broke out among the military personnel, Mrs. Jarvis and her Mothers Day Work Clubs were called upon for help. Her answer was "You shall have it. .. No mistreatment of any of our members. We are composed of both the Blue and the Gray." The clubs subsequently received the highest commendations from officers and soldiers for the magnificent services rendered the sick soldiers."

"After the Civil War, public officials sought a way to alleviate post-war strife, and once more Mrs. Jarvis was called upon to help. She rallied the members of her clubs to meet at the Pruntytown Courthouse, and there they planned a "Mothers Friendship Day" to be held in Pruntytown, the county seat. The members were to invite all soldiers, Blue and Gray, and their families. An immense crowd arrived on the designated day. When the program started, Mrs. Jarvis appeared dressed in gray, and another women appeared dressed in blue. Two teenage girls assembled with the Pruntytown band on the courthouse porch, and a bugler called the crowd to assemble."

[Unfortunately the rest of this document was lost.]

Ancestry.com file number 269747 indicates that Granville and Ann Marie had eleven children. But only one is well known. I have only names for two others, and not even names for the rest. The three children are Anna Jarvis, Lillie Jarvis, and Claude Jarvis. The only information I have on Lillie and Claude is contained in the following note. I have no information on any of the other children.

(3) Anna Jarvis born May 01, 1864 in Webster, Taylor County, West Virginia. Anna is rather famous, based on the following information taken from Ancestry.com file no. 269747:

"Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mothers Day, was born in Webster, Taylor County, West Virginia, on May 1, 1864, the ninth of eleven children born to Ann Marie and Granville Jarvis. The family moved to Grafton, four miles south of Webster, when Anna was a year and a half old. It was here that the future founder of Mothers Day spent her childhood, receiving her early education in public schools. In 1881, she enrolled at the Augusta Female Academy in Staunton, Virginia, now Mary Baldwin College. Upon finishing, Miss Jarvis returned to Grafton where she taught school for seven years."

"From childhood, Anna Jarvis often heard her mother say that she hoped that someone would one day establish a memorial for all mothers, living and dead. One incident in particular was a driving force in keeping this wish alive. The incident occurred during a class prayer given by Mrs. Jarvis in the presence of her daughter , Anna, then age twelve, at the conclusion of Mrs. Jarvis' lesson on "Mothers of the Bible." She closed the lesson with the prayer "I hope that someone, sometime will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it." Anna never forgot that prayer, and at her mother's graveside service, Anna's brother Claude heard her recall that prayer and say "...by the grace of God, you shall have that Mothers Day."

"After the death of her father in 1902, Anna Jarvis along with her mother and sister Lillie, had moved to Philadelphia to reside with her brother Claude. After her mother's death on May 9, 1905, Miss Jarvis began an intense campaign of fulfilling the wish of her mother. On the first anniversary of her mother's death, May 9, 1906, Miss Jarvis, with some friends, reviewed the outstanding accomplishments of her mother brought about through her Mothers Day Work Clubs that were established prior to the Civil War."

"After this, Miss Jarvis wrote to Mr. Norman F. Kendall of Grafton asking him to organize a Mothers Day Memorial Committee from her mother's coworkers at the Andrews Church and asked them to pass a resolution favoring the founding of Mothers Day. Mr. Kendall carried out this request, and the resolution was passed. On the second anniversary of Mrs. Jarvis' death, May 12, 1907, a memorial service was held for her at the Andrews Church."

"Miss Jarvis employed every means available to her to achieve her goal of establishing the observance of Mothers Day nationally. She wrote hundreds of letters to legislators, executives, and businessmen on both state and national levels. She was a fluent speaker and passed up no opportunity to promote her project . Most of her appeals fell on deaf ears. Her first real break came from her appeal to the great merchant and philanthropist, John Wanamaker of Philadelphia. With his influence and support, the movement gained momentum. On May 10, 1908, the third anniversary of Mrs. Jarvis' death, fully-prepared programs were held at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton and in Philadelphia, launching the observance of a general memorial day for all mothers."

"The Grafton service was planned and prepared by Miss Jarvis She sent a telegram, read by Mr. L. L. Loar, which defined the purpose of the day:"

"...To revive the dormant filial love and gratitude we owe to those who gave us birth. To be a home tie for the absent. To obliterate family estrangement. To create a bond of brotherhood through the wearing of a floral badge. To make us better children by getting us closer to the hearts of our good mothers. To brighten the lives of good mothers. To have them know we appreciate them, though we do not show it as often as we ought...Mothers Day is to remind us of our duty before it is too late."

"This day is intended that we may make new resolutions for a more active thought to our dear moms."

Anna died on November 24, 1948 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She is also buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Anna fame is well known. The following was taken directly from the CNN Headline News program just recently.


Anna Jarvis
(CNN Headline News - May 9, 2001)

"Perhaps you have heard of Anna Jarvis, whose mission and obsession in life was to honor her mother and all others."

Anna Jarvis - From CNN Headline News

"She was raised in this home (shown on next page) in the United States where women didn't yet have the votes. But in 1914, they got Mother's Day as President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed that it would be observed on the second Sunday in May. But since there is no sentiment that cannot be marketed, Mother's Day was an idea quickly exploited by business which can play on the indisputable fact that everyone has a mother. The most popular gifts are cards, 132 million which will be sold this year, followed by flowers, followed by taking Mom out to brunch."

"From the very beginning, the commercialization of the holiday enraged Anna Jarvis - who filed law suits and was arrested for disturbing the peace - as she valiantly, but vainly, defended the purity of her Mother's Day vision. Today, mothers with young children have the ultimate, inescapable 24-7 job. But of all the gifts that will be given, perhaps the most cherished is the one we seem unable to give - 24 hours of peace and quiet."

"And what would Anna Jarvis make of Mother's Day, today. We know the answer. She spent all her money fighting the commercialization of the day she created. She died at 84, penniless and childless. She was never a mother."

Anna Jarvis House - From CNN Headline News

One final note. There is a Mother's Day Shrine in Grafton West Virginia. One of the Family Tree Maker files on Solomon Jarvis, gives additional background. Ronald L. Knotts, former Lay Leader of Andrews Church, compiled the following report which was included in that Family Tree Maker file. Much of this duplicates what is written above, but it is still worth reading.

"MOTHER'S DAY SHRINE - Grafton, West Virginia"

"As you stand and read the inscription to the right of the main entrance of this historic shrine you become aware of, and perhaps wonder, about the events leading to its origin. Mrs. Anna Reeves Jarvis, daughter of Rev. J. W. and Nancy Reeves, was born September 30, 1832 in Culpepper County, Virginia. During the period her father was a minister in Philippi, Virginia, now West Virginia, she was united in marriage to Granville E. Jarvis."

"Soon thereafter they moved to Webster, a village four miles south of Grafton. It was there that Miss Anna M. Jarvis, was born on May 1, 1864. It was she who was inspired by her mother to promote the idea of Mother's Day. During the first two decades of her life Miss Jarvis received her elementary and secondary education in the public schools of Grafton and attended Mary Baldwin College of Stanton, Virginia. She later was employed by the Board of Education and taught in the public schools of Grafton for a period of seven years."

"After the death of Granville E. Jarvis in 1902, the family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and it was there that Miss Jarvis' mother passed away on May 9, 1905.
Two years later in 1907, Miss Jarvis invited several of her friends to her home in Philadelphia to spend the second Sunday in May, the anniversary of her mother's death."

"Upon this occasion she announced her idea of a national celebration of a day to be called Mother's Day, having been greatly encouraged to do so by John W. Wanamaker, for years America's No. 1 clothing merchant. Early in the spring of 1908, Miss Jarvis wrote to Mr. L. L. Loar, Superintendent of Andrews Sunday School, suggesting that the church where her mother had taught a Sunday School class for twenty years celebrate a Mother's Day in her honor. The idea appealed to Mr. Loar and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother's Day service was held at 10 A.M. in Andrews Methodist Sunday School with an attendance of 407 persons. Superintendent Loar addressed the congregation present and explained the aim and objects of Mother's Day as outlined to him by Miss Jarvis."

"Immediately following, the services were continued in the sanctuary on the second floor of the church, and Fr. Harry C. Howard delivered the first Mother's Day sermon. His text was John 19, versus 26-27, the words of Christ, when looking down from the cross and beholding his mother he said, "Woman behold thy son," and turning to his trusted disciple he said, "Behold thy Mother."

"To his first service, Miss Jarvis sent 500 white carnations, chosen by her as an emblem of purity. One carnation was presented to each son and daughter and each mother was honored with two. The following year of 1909 she contributed 700.
The first Mother's Day proclamation was issued by Governor William E. Glasscock of Morgantown, West Virginia on April 26, 1910."

"Prior to any national legislative action, Judge Ira E. Robinson of Andrews Church had been elected as a delegate to the General Methodist Conference which was to convene in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1912. At this conference Judge Robinson introduced a resolution asking that the conference recognize Anna Jarvis as the founder of Mother's Day, and that the second Sunday in May be observed each year.
In May, 1914, at the request of Miss Jarvis, Representative Robert Heflin of Alabama, and Senator Thomas Shephard of Texas, introduced a joint resolution naming the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. The resolution was passed by both Houses of Congress. The date chosen was that of the anniversary of the death of the founder's mother Mrs. Anna Reeves Jarvis."

"President Woodrow Wilson approved it, and Secretary of State, William Jennings Byran proclaimed it. In the President's proclamation which followed, he ordered the flag to be displayed on all government buildings in the United States and in our foreign possessions on the second Sunday in May."

"It was not long after this church and congressional recognition, until the movement was celebrated in every civilized country in the world and the dream of a Mother had at last become a reality through the daughter and founder, Miss Anna Jarvis."

"After many years of quiet life, Miss Jarvis was called home to again meet her mother. Her final resting place since November 24, 1948 has been the West Laural Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pa."

"This old historic church became the International Mother's Day Shrine when it was incorporated on March 15, 1962. Since funds for the upkeep of the church are needed, contributions in any amount will be appreciated. Mail to the International Mother's Day Shrine, P.O. Box 457, Grafton, West Virginia 26354."