Anna Jarvis is best known as the founder of Mother's Day. She was born in Webster WV, located on Rt 119 about 5 miles south of Grafton.
Anna Jarvis was born in the tiny town of Webster in Taylor County WV. She was the daughter of Anna Maria Reeves Jarvis. The family moved to nearby Grafton WV in her childhood.
On May 12, 1907, two years after her mother's death, she held a memorial to her mother and thereafter embarked upon a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday. She succeeded in making this nationally recognized in 1914. The International Mother's Day Shrine was established in Grafton to commemorate her accomplishment.
By the 1920s, Anna Jarvis had become soured on the commercialization of the holiday. She incorporated herself as the Mother's Day International Association, claimed copyright on the second Sunday of May, and was once arrested for disturbing the peace. She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against the holiday. Both died in poverty. Jarvis, says her New York Times obituary, became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said, "A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment!"
Anna Marie Jarvis never married and had no children. She died in Westchester PA, and is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. [End of Quote]
During the Civil War, Gen. George McClellan used this house as his headquarters while his troops were encamped nearby. At the time, the town of Webster was the southern depot for the train, so it was busy with troops and supplies.
After the war, Mrs. Jarvis (Anna's mother) worked hard to bring families and communities together who had been torn apart by the war. It was later her wish to have one day each year set aside to honor all mothers. Anna took her mother's desire for this holiday and helped create Mother's Day.
Historical marker located on Rt 119 in Webster, about 5 miles south of Grafton.
Looking northbound on Rt 119. Anna Jarvis home is on the right.
Better view of Anna Jarvis' birthplace.
Interesting sign on front lawn.
I took my wife back here the next day, and we did the tour. It was very interesting. Really! There are even some artifacts from Gen McClellan, including his desk "office". I would highly recommend any husband who needs to score points with the wife to take her here for the tour. And, it's only $5. Say "Hi" to Tiger-Lily, the resident blind cat. Really! For information, call (304) 265-5549. Closed Mondays.
Inside the Anna Jarvis house. This square grand piano (Steinway) belonged to Anna's mother. They allowed me to play on it, and I played one verse of "How Great Thou Art", my Grandmother's favorite hymn. Yesterday would have been her birthday.