183 – Extended Family

Ralph and Chleo Jarvis settled into a new way of life in Salina. They were in a home of their own.

Ralph and Chleo Jarvis with Don and Mel – 1927

Chleo’s mother Anna Webb visited occasionally. Since Chleo and Ralph had been living with Anna in Larned, Chleo kept in close contact with her extended family.

In 1927, Ralph was age 33 and Chleo was 27.

The boys were growing. Mel was age 6 and Donnie was 4.

At work, Ralph was climbing up the ladder very quickly. He surely had a good income. I imagine Chleo had every new electric appliance.

Mel, Ralph, and Don Jarvis – c 1928

Let’s catch up with Ralph’s extended family. We haven’t talked about them since Ralph left Greensburg, Indiana for Kansas in 1916. Ralph visited his mother in Indiana in 1919, on his way home from his WWI military deployment.

Eliza Burton

Ralph’s maternal grandmother Eliza Burton lived in Greensburg, Indiana. Recall that when Ralph’s father Newton Jarvis died in 1899, his mother Anna had moved back to Greensburg with her children to live with her mother Eliza.

Eliza had been healthy and lived a good long life. She had been born in 1839 in Illinois and married George Burton in 1857. George had died in 1897.

In 1923, illness caught up with Eliza, and she died in July 1923. She was age 83.

Anna Burton Jarvis Mounts Stafford

Anna Stafford – c 1920

When Ralph’s father Newton died in 1899, his mother Anna had moved back to Greensburg into the household of her mother Eliza Burton. Anna and Newton Jarvis had three sons and a daughter Opal. Opal died in infancy in 1902.

In 1900, Anna married Harrison Mounts. She and Harrison had three sons. So there were six boys in the family:

  • Elmer Jarvis b. 1890 d. 1911
  • Tom Jarvis b. 1891
  • Ralph Jarvis b. 1894
  • Lillard Mounts b. 1901 d. 1925
  • Alva Mounts b. 1906
  • Robert Mounts b. 1908

Harrison Mounts died at a young age in 1912. Anna worked at numerous jobs to support her kids, with help from her mother Eliza.

In 1918, Anna moved from Greensburg to Anderson, Indiana. It was a bigger town and had a booming railroad car industry. She got a job as janitor at Stafford’s Stag Apartments and another job as a railroad car cleaner.

Railroad car cleaner – c 1920

In Anderson, Anna married Samuel H. Stafford in 1920. They probably met through her job as janitor at Stafford’s Stag Apartments. Stafford had been married and widowed twice. He was a mechanical engineer and had worked in a railroad support industry in Anderson.

Sam and Anna lived at 719 8th Street in Anderson, Indiana.

Samuel and Anna Stafford – 1927
Sam Stafford at 719 8th Street in Anderson, Indiana – c 1925

Tom Jarvis

Ralph’s eldest brother Elmer died in 1911, and his sister Opal died in 1902. His next-older brother was Tom, three years his senior.

Tom had gone to New York City for work. He was a streetcar conductor and worked in a factory. There he married Charlotte Ann Valentine in March 1916. Her nickname was Lottie.

In 1926, Tom and Lottie adopted a 1-year-old boy born in New Jersey. They named him Robert Lillard Jarvis after two of Tom’s half-brothers, Robert and Lillard Mounts. They called him Bobby.

Ralph invited them all to Kansas… to live

In 1927, Ralph Jarvis was doing well. He invited his mother and brothers to come live in Kansas. And they did. Ralph would provide a place for them to live.

By 1927, two of Ralph’s brothers had died. His eldest brother Elmer Jarvis had died in Illinois in 1911. His younger half-brother Lillard Mounts had died in 1925.

Ralph’s mother Anna and her husband Samuel Stafford came to Kansas, as did Ralph’s brother Tom and Tom’s wife Lottie and son Bobby. Ralph’s half-brother Robert Mounts came with his lady friend. And two of Tom’s buddies from New York, Bill and Raul and Raul’s lady friend came, too.

Raul from New York and partner, Robert Mounts and partner, Ralph Jarvis, Sam and Anna Stafford, Chleo Jarvis, Anna Webb, Lottie and Bobby and Tom Jarvis, Bill from New York, Mel and Don Jarvis – Saline County, Kansas – 1927
Robert Mounts, Ralph Jarvis, Sam Stafford, Tom Jarvis – 1927
Lottie and Bobby Jarvis, Don and Mel and Chleo Jarvis – 1927
Tom and Ralph Jarvis – 1927

A place to live

Ralph fixed the family up with a place to live. We’ll talk more about that in a future post. Stay tuned.

Nibbles Extra Credit – The Roaring Twenties


F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the epitome of the Roaring Twenties. Fitzgerald coined the term “Jazz Age”, and he wrote of the frivolity and excesses of the young and wealthy.

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cover – The Great Gatsby – 1925

We’ve seen that the novel doesn’t accurately reflect the lifestyle of most Americans, but it certainly captured their imagination.

Lost Generation

Ernest Hemingway – passport photo – 1923

Fitzgerald was among a group of young authors and artists who lived in Paris after the war and whose works reflected their cynical view of American materialism. These were the “Lost Generation”, a term first used by Ernest Hemingway in his novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

Best books

As some of you know, I’m not much of a book reader. And there are hundreds of best-selling books during the decade of the 20s. So I’ll quote a list of 10 good books of the 20s from the web site Literary Hub, A Century of Reading: The 10 Books That Defined the 1920s. And a disclosure – I’ve only read one.

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie – 1920
  • Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton – 1920
  • A Passage to India – E.M. Forster – 1924
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald – 1925
  • Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf – 1925
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: The Intimate Diary of a Professional Lady – Anita Loos – 1925
  • The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway – 1926
  • All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque – 1929
  • Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett – 1929

Art Deco

Chrysler Building – New York

Art Noveau was fading. Art Deco was on the rise. Art Deco was known for its geometric forms. It was sleek, streamlined, and symmetrical. Originating in Europe, Art Deco found its way to America in the early 1920s.

Examples of Art Deco could be found in fine art, architecture, and consumer products.

The Chrysler Building in New York City is a classic example of Art Deco. It was completed in 1930, and for a time was the tallest building in the world, at over 1,000 feet tall.

Lobby – Fox Theater – St. Louis, Missouri – built 1929
Portrait of Marquis d’Afflito – Tamara de Lempicka – 1925

American Regionalism

Not all artists liked the Art Deco style. Some turned to nostalgic views of the American past and heartland, like Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and John Stuart Curry.

Boomtown – Thomas Hart Benton – 1928


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