The Times West Virginian

May 6, 2013

Grafton serves as birthplace of Mother’s Day

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — With Mother’s Day less than a week away, a nearby city offers the perfect opportunity to recognize not only mothers, but the birthplace of the holiday.

On May 10, 1908, “The Mother’s Day Church” in Grafton, formerly known as Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, held the first celebration of Mother’s Day.

After her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died in 1905, Anna Jarvis dedicated her life to creating a day that only celebrated mothers.

She did just that.

Jarvis had lived in the Grafton area most of her life with her family. When her father Granville passed away, the family moved to Philadelphia, Pa.

Two years after her mother passed, Jarvis arranged for friends in Grafton to have a memorial service remembering her mother. She also shared with her friends in Philadelphia her vision of establishing Mother’s Day as a national holiday.

The next year, in 1908, at the then-Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, the first observance of Mother’s Day took place on May 10.


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