Friday, May 6, 2011
In 1914, the Federal Government designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
The idea for Mother's Day in the United States may be traced to “Mother’s Day for Peace,” which began to be promoted in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910). Howe wrote the lyrics to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” She was also a proponent of peace and sponsored celebrations honoring motherhood, womanhood and peace beginning in 1873.
Mildred Holloway Minto standing "under the maples" on the family farm near Loon Lake with her daughters, Katherine (in her arms) and baby Ruth in buggy, circa 1908. LCDM 188.8.131.52
The first true Mother's Day observance was held on May 10, 1908 as a church service honoring Anna Reeves Jarvis, who had worked during the Civil War to better sanitary conditions for soldiers and to reconcile people who had fought on opposites sides of the war. Her daughter, also named Anna, thought that children often lacked an appropriate appreciation for their mothers while their mother was still alive, creating the hope that a holiday honoring mothers would increase respect for parents and strengthen family bonds.
Harriet Rouse Ray and her daughter, Pearl, on the porch of their home at the Ray Farm, Diamond Lake, 1914. The family ran a summer resort, and Harriet was known as an excellent cook. Her Sunday chicken dinners were especially well attended. LCDM 91.17.34.
In Lake County, there is only one legendary woman known to have used “mother” in her name. Wealthy Buell Harvey Rudd, or Mother Rudd, was the proprietor of the O’Plain Tavern in Gurnee in the 1840s and 1850s.
The Mother Rudd House, as it came to be known, was something of a “town hall” and meeting place for the community, and Mother Rudd became synonymous for hospitality. Today, Mother Rudd’s house is home to the Warren Township Historical Society. Photo of Mother Rudd's, circa 1910.
During World War II, this mother and daughter served in the Women's Army Corps at Fort Sheridan. Private Cleo M. Yount (left) and her daughter, Private Avis M. Larson, circa 1943. LCDM 92.24.770.
Happy Mother's Day! And remember to call your mother!