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What Did You Get Mom?

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By Jolene Hawkins

As Mother’s Day has come and gone, have you ever wondered how some holidays came to be, who started them, and how we celebrate them?

In 1908, a woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia.  Looking through the old newspapers we have, on May 10 of that year, it is asking people to wear a white carnation to pay honor and tribute to the best mother that ever lived — you own.

In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day be held on the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers, and the mothers of Springville were the ones now sporting the white carnations.  Ceremonies were in all the churches in town.

By 1923, Frank S. Chesbro, owner of Springville Greenhouse, was offering flowers and arrangements for mothers so that people could express those tender sentiments which is so difficult to express in words.  Nothing could please a mother more than a gift of flowers! As the years went by, there were ads for fine candy from Teddy’s Candy Kitchen, books, cards and fresh fragrances from Walters’ Pharmacy, and then gloves, hats, shoes, cameras coats, dresses, even washing machines and sewing machines. And we can’t forget jewelry from Sheret’s Jewelry Shop— yes, it is still in business and going strong!

For Mother’s Day in 1932, it was recommended to asked young mothers to join the W. C. T. U.  In that article, it states that it is just as bad to ask a person to take a drink as to ask them to take poison.

The United State Post Office issued a special stamp in 1934.  The stamp was purple and had the likeness of the famous painting of “Mother” by James Abbott McNeill Whistler.  Although the works of Whistler are now held in great esteem, at one time he could not gain recognition of his talent.

Speaking of letters, in 1844, this letter appeared in the Springville Express:

A Wife Wanted, By the subscriber, one that is amiable, affectionate, affable, accomplished, beautiful, benign, benevolent, charming, candid, cheerful, complaisant, civil, constant, dutiful, delightful, elegant, easy, entertaining, faithful, fond, faultless, free, good and graceful, governable, handsome, harmless, healthy, intelligent, industrious, ingenious, just, kind, lively, lovely, modest, merciful, neat, obedient, pretty righteous, submissive, temperate, undazzled, virtuous, well-informed and young.  If I can find a girl possessed of all the above requirements, I will marry her, no matter what her circumstances in life are, high or low, rich or poor, she is really worth having and will make a good companion.  J.L.F.  ( did you noticed that the qualities are listed in alphabetical order?)

The following week, there was another letter that appeared in the Springville Express, in response to the letter that stated … Sir, if you indeed find a lady, with the qualities you listed, she would not married you as sir, she would be too good for you!

And indeed our Mothers do share wonderful qualities and deserve the very best of the best.  Local flower shops, candy shops and pharmacies carried items for us to purchase to show her how much we care.  Over the years, it expanded from a simple flower and candies, to books and cards, to Victrolas and records.  Later came the gloves, hat, scarves, shoes and even outfits. Throughout the years, our little town, all of our shops that we had, supplied it all!

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