151 – Greensburg Days 1900s

Mother with children – c 1900

Newton Jarvis had died in April 1899. Anna Burton Jarvis was age 29 and had four children – three boys ages 9, 7, and 4, and a baby girl, Opal, less than a year old.

By September 1899, Anna had settled her affairs in Sugar Branch and moved with her four children to Greensburg in Decatur County. There they moved into the household of her mother Eliza Burton. Eliza’s husband George Burton had died in 1897, so there were two adult women and four children in the household.

Income was likely a daily concern. In November 1899, we find classified ads in the newspaper where Anna was doing washing and sewing.

A new century begins 1900

The 1900 census for Decatur County was enumerated June 4, 1900, just a year after Newton died.

Census – Eliza Burton and Anna Jarvis – Decatur County, Indiana – 1900

The census shows Eliza Burton’s household on North Broadway, including daughter Anna, 30, Elmer, 10, Tommie, 8, Ralph, 5, and Opal 1. Anna’s occupation is listed as Common Laborer. The two oldest boys are attending school.

Eliza’s brother Allen Burton was living just a few houses away, also on North Broadway. His wife Bell and daughter Lillie are in his household. Allen is a farm laborer.

Anna married Harrison Mounts 1901

Anna Burton Jarvis (2G) married Harrison Mounts on January 30, 1901 at the Centenary Methodist Church in Greensburg.

Marriage – Anna Jarvis and Harrison Mounts – Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church – January 30, 1901

Anna and Harrison were the same age – 30. Harrison was called Harry. He was born and raised in Switzerland County, Indiana, in Cotton Township. That’s the same township as Sugar Branch. So maybe Anna knew Harry around Aaron and Sugar Branch.

Harry moved to Greensburg as a young man, so perhaps that’s where Anna met him.

Harrison was a house painter

Harrison is listed in the census as a house painter. That’s corroborated by this 1903 story.

Greensburg Standard – April 24, 1903

Harrison played baseball

Greensburg Standard – May 2, 1905

Harrison was rather famous locally as a baseball player. He was the pitcher for the Greensburg Reds.

Anna’s kids from Newton

When Anna married Harrison Mounts in 1901, her sons from first husband Newton were Elmer, 11, Tom, 10, and Ralph, 7.

In the census, daughter Opal was 2. Sadly, Opal died on August 2, 1902. She was 3 years old.

Greensburg News – August 8, 1902

Anna and Harrison Mounts have kids

Anna and Harrison married in 1901. In 1902 they had a son Lillard Mounts.

Another son Alva was born in 1906, and then Robert in 1908.

Kids Summary

By 1908, there were six boys, from the eldest Elmer Jarvis, 18, to the youngest Robert Mounts, newly born. Both Anna and Harrison were age 38.

It’s 1910

The 1910 census shows some interesting details:

Census – Harrison and Anna Mounts – Greensburg, Indiana – 1910

Harrison and Anna are listed, both age 39. Harrison’s occupation is house painter.

The three Mounts sons are listed – Lillard, 8, Alva, 4, and Robert, 2. Lillard attended school in the last year.

Ralph Jarvis is listed, but as a nephew instead of a step-son. Oh well. Mistakes are common. Ralph’s occupation is farm laborer. It’s also listed that he did not attend school for the last year. He’s age 15. So I’d guess that’s the extent of his education and he won’t be back in school.

Anna’s two older sons, Elmer, 20, and Tom, 19, are not listed in the Mounts household. Here are their circumstances:

Elmer Jarvis was working as a hired farm hand on the farm of Marshall Satterfield in Champaign County, Illinois.

Tom was working as a laborer and at odd jobs in Michigan City, Indiana. Michigan City is an industrial port city on Lake Michigan, so there were lots of jobs on the docks and in factories. The census contains an interest note “These men have no regular place of abode.”

1201 North Broadway

The Mounts lived at 1201 North Broadway. Here’s the location today. I suspect the house is the original that has since been remodeled.

1201 North Broadway – Greensburg, Indiana – 2021

Anna’s 40th

Greensburg News – May 20, 1910

May 15, 1910 was a special day, at least for Anna Mounts. It was her 40th birthday.

We haven’t said much about Ralph Jarvis yet. Here are a couple interesting stories.

A bicycle race

On June 2, 1910, there was held a field day at the fairgrounds. There were many competitions and age groups. Among the event winners was 15 year old Ralph Jarvis, co-winner of the 15-and-older bicycle race.

Greensburg news – June 2, 1910

This story is interesting because we have a photo of Ralph on a bicycle in Greensburg at about that time. Other than the studio photo of Ralph at age 3, the is the earliest photo we have. Ralph looks like he’s dressed to work at Nordmeyer’s Ice Cream shop instead of a bicycle race. His brothers Lillard and Alva Mounts were in on the act, each posing on the bike.

Nine Finger Blackie

“Nine Finger Blackie”. That was my grandfather Ralph Jarvis’ nickname. Although I never knew him, I heard his nickname from those that did. There were lots of stories about Nine Finger Blackie. I’d always wondered about the origin of the nickname.

Greensburg Standard – August 19, 1910
Nordmeyer Bakery – Greensburg, Indiana City Directory – 1911

The mystery of the first part of the nickname is now solved. Maybe our continued search will discover the origin of “Blackie.”

Timeline 1900s


  • Map composite – Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana – Google Maps
  • Newspaper ad – Anna Jarvis – taking washing and sewing – November 29, 1899 – Greensburg Daily Review – FindMyPast.com
  • Census – Anna Jarvis and Eliza Burton – 1900 – Ancestry.com
  • Census – Anna and Harrison Mounts – 1910 – Ancestry.com
  • Marriage record – Anna Jarvis and Harrison Mounts – January 30, 1901 – Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church – Membership Record Book – Greensburg, Indiana – Ancestry.com
  • Image of Centenary Methodist Church – Greensburg, Indiana – 1910 – ia-0158-0156 – Riley Case Collection – The Indiana Album – https://indianaalbum.pastperfectonline.com/photo/CDDE39F9-908D-40DB-8873-195668161923
  • Image – New Point baseball team, New Point, Indiana, circa 1910 – Brenna Green Collection – The Indiana Album – ia-0225-0026 –https://indianaalbum.pastperfectonline.com/photo/838745F5-827D-4196-A72B-924888728162
  • Newspaper articles – NewspaperArchives – FindMyPast.com
  • Images of house at 1201 North Broadway – Google Street View – 2021
  • Image of City Directory – Greensburg, Indiana – 1911 – Ancestry.com
  • Photos of Ralph Jarvis, Lillard and Alva Mounts on bicycle – Jarvis family photos – Chleo Webb Jarvis collection

2 thoughts on “151 – Greensburg Days 1900s

  1. Louise Longworth March 27, 2021 / 6:05 pm

    Continuing to follow with great interest the Jarvis family story as it moves through happy times and sad times. What a stoical family they must have been.


  2. Mark Jarvis March 27, 2021 / 11:12 pm

    Thanks Louise. Through happy and sad times, what choice did they have?

    Aren’t all our family stoic? I think it’s interesting that after researching all our family history, we can see their trials and tribulations through the lens of our lives today.


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