The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Seventy-Five

The Inauguration of Mother's Day, 1909

In 1909 Governor William E. Glasscock issued a proclamation setting apart the second Sunday in May for the observance of Mother’s Day of West Virginia. The movement started by Miss Anna Jarvis among the congregation of Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church appealed to the governor and caused him to set aside this day for this very worthy cause. On Sunday, May 9, 1909, the first real program was arranged by Superintendent Mr. Lawson L. Loar of the Sunday school of Andrews church, which was as follows”

Order of service

Sacred Music … orchestra 

Song, “Jesus Lover Of my Soul”…..Congregation 

Prayer …..Rev. Harry C. Howard

Piano solo, “Nearer My God To Thee” …..Ethel Loar 

Song, “All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name” …..Congregation

Mr. Loar then arose and led the devotional exercises with these excerpts from the Bible saying: “Honor thy father and mother, as Jehovah thy God commanded the, in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee. My son, keep the commandments of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” The men and boys in unison repeated: 

“Bind them continually upon thy heart, tie them about thy neck.” 

The women and girls responded saying:

“When thou walkest, it shall lead thee; When thou waketh it shall talk with thee!”

Mr. Loar responded saying:

“A wise son maketh a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother!”

The congregation responded saying:

“Even a child may give himself known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right!”

The men and boys responded saying:

“Whose curseth his father or his mother, his lamb shall be put out in blackness of darkness!”

The women and girls responded saying: train up a child in the way he shall go, and when he is old he will not depart from it!”

Mr. Loar announced the Sunday school lesson, at its conclusion the orchestra rendered a hymn. Then Mr. Loar address the congregation, his theme dealing with the objects and purposes of this day set apart to commemorate the memory of the mothers of mankind both living and dead and praised Miss Anna Jarvis followed by the address of Reverend Howard, forceful and published pulpit orator who spoke on the topic of the love and reverence all owed to our mothers and admonished his cures to remember her on this day and all other days if living and pay due reverence to her memory if she has passed on to the better world. He paid a glowing tribute to Mrs. Anna Reeves Jarvis for so many years the teacher of the juvenile classes and both the little Washington street and Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, which inspired her daughter, Miss Anna, after the death of her mother in 1905 to start the movement for celebrating the day as a memorial to her and all other mothers A quartet composed of Harry Souders, Howard Hite, Job Jones and Henry Leps, sung, “The Rock of Ages,” followed the pastor’s address and the church secretary rose to read the report of the meeting. The grand song “Onward Christian Soldiers” was in the next rendered by the congregation and after the benediction the second Mother’s Day exercises came to a close where the movement began the previous year. As the congregation was leaving Mr. Loar, with his assistance, presented each member with a white carnation, emblematic of the day as a gift from Miss Jarvis, who sent 700 of the flowers to Grafton from Philadelphia for the occasion. On each second Sunday in May for the past 31 years the regular morning church service has given way to the observation of Mother’s Day in lieu of the regular service. In the names of all the congregation and others who attended that service held 31 years ago doubtless many familiar faces would be missing at the service this coming Sunday in May. Mr. Loar, who arranged the program and for many years served as the Superintendent of the Sunday school and was active in the church body, even after his departure from Grafton, if his health permitted, never miss Mother’s Day and Andrews church, and, doubtless, felt proud of the part he played in bringing this day to fruition. But it is space will no longer appear among those who will gather between the walls of the mother Church of Mother’s Day and Grafton, and like so many others who had part in that first and many subsequent celebrations, have been called to their reward and sleep beneath the sod in Bluemont and other cemeteries and other places. Since then all churches of other denominations have adopted the idea and hold Mother’s Day services at which some prominent speaker is invited to address the congregation. In 1912 Judge Ira E. Robinson, a delegate to the national Methodist convention held in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, offered a resolution making Mother’s Day one of observance in the Methodist churches throughout the United States. The resolution was adopted and became effective in that year. One May 10, 1913, president Woodrow Wilson, president of the United states, issued a proclamation making Mother’s Day a day of observance throughout the United States and some foreign nations have adopted the custom and set apart the day to pay tribute the mothers.


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