Sunday, May 9, 2010

The West Virginia Family that Brought Us Mother’s Day

It took the individual effort of each Jarvis, mother and daughter, over two generations to forge the Mother’s Day we recognize today. And it’s a story with a twist, so buckle up!

Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis, of Grafton WV, had attempted starting a series of Mothers’ Day Work Clubs in Webster, Grafton, Fetterman, Pruntytown, and Philippi in 1858 to improve sanitation. She continued to organize women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides.

In the summer of 1865, Jarvis organized a Mothers’ Friendship Day at the courthouse in Pruntytown to bring together soldiers and neighbors of all political beliefs. The goal was to work in conjunction with local doctors to provide health care to war veterans plagued by diseases such dysentery, small pox, and tuberculosis.

The event was a great success despite the fear of many that it would erupt in violence. Mothers’ Friendship Day was an annual event for several years.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Note: Yesterday's MHS Blog entry and today's link to Dave Tabler's ever-excellent Appalachian History blog which has just moved to a new home, or to be more accurate, to a new web address, taking all its previous blog entries with it and acquiring a new look. It is now located at -- for now, at least, links to its old address still work but they should be updated.

To go to its front page: Click Here.

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