The Family Tale of Anna Jarvis

On Mother’s Day, I‘d like to tell a story about my dad, Glade Reeder, or rather a story he told me while growing up.

Dorotha (my mom), Glade and me.
Mom, Dad and me.

Dad loved to tell people we were related to Anna Jarvis, the woman credited for establishing Mothers Day in the United States. He didn’t know exactly how, but that was the family myth. As a teenager, I would roll my eyes. My dad was always telling stories. But, as the world turns, his family tale is true. My dad’s mom was a Jarvis and thanks to, I can now say without a doubt that we are, in fact, related to Anna “Mothers Day” Jarvis. I wish Dad were here for me to tell him that Anna Jarvis is officially his 2nd cousin, 3X removed. Mystery solved.

My Grandmother (my dad's mother).
My Jarvis Grandmother (my dad’s mother), Chloe Jarvis Stubbs Reeder.
Emanuel & Lettice Jarvis
Emanuel & Lettice Jarvis

My daughter, Cimcie, is standing next to her gr-grandparents Jarvis tombstone in Marysville, Ohio, the same place my parents and many other relatives are buried. Emanuel Jarvis was a leading citizen in his day, yet no letters by this Jarvis have been found by me to date.

But, Dad loved words. He loved to talk, but really he could have been a writer. Instead, his father left his mother with five kids during the Great Depression, forcing my dad to leave his education to work labor jobs to help support his mother and siblings. Luckily, my grandmother’s extended families of Jarvis and Stubbs helped some.

Jarvis House Raymond Pike, Ohio
Jarvis House on Raymond Pike, Marysville Ohio

My dad spent much of his youth roaming around these large estates and this Jarvis/Stubbs house, “a fine, commodious residence of modern architecture, erected in 1884, at a cost of $3,400, – a home which betokens the taste and refinement of its occupants, and which cannot fail to attract admiring attention.”

Eventually, Dad was a detective in the Columbus Police Department and a president of the Fraternal Order of Police, so he did alright.

Glade Reeder Police Officer
Glade Reeder Police Officer

Dad’s  last name was Reeder, which I like to do: read. He also enjoyed my writings, especially for EQ Magazine in the decade before he died in 1999. I think he would like the poem I wrote for my own mother on another Mothers Day. Dad was a mush about her, too. Mothers were high in his esteem. My sisters and I always knew he was there for us, not like his no-show father. But Dad also encouraged me to write songs and poems and letters, and so it seems, just like my cousin, Anna Jarvis.

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