1877 : First Known Observance of Mother’s Day in Albion

May 13, 2022 all-day

On May 13, 1877, the second Sunday of the month, Juliet Calhoun Blakeley stepped into the pulpit of the Methodist-Episcopal Church and completed the sermon for the Reverand Myron Daughterty. According to local legend, Daughterty was distraught because an antitemperance group had forced his son to spend the night in a saloon.

Juliet Calhoun Blakely

Rev. Myron Daugherty

Proud of their mother’s achievement, Charles and Moses Blakeley encouraged other to pay tribute to their mothers. In the 1880’s the Albion Methodist church began celebrating Mother’s Day in Blakeley’s honor.

The official observance of Mother’s Day resulted from the efforts of Anna Jarvis of Philidelphia. In 1868 her mother had organized a Mother’s Friendship Day in a West Virginia town to unite Confederate and Union families after the Civil War.

Anna Reeves Jarvis died on the second Sunday of May 1905. In 1907 her daughter began promoting the second Sunday in May as a holiday to honor mothers.

Following an act of Congress in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day.

Juliet Calhoun Blakely was also an active participant in the underground railroad.

Sources :

Albion Michigan Historical Markers : Mother’s Day

Frank Passic, “Juliet Calhoun Blakely“, Albion Morning Star, May 3, 1993, p.3.

Frank Passic, “Grandma Blakely Active in Underground Railroad“, Albion Morning Star, May 11, 2003, pg. 5.