Henderson County, Kentucky Personalities

Mary Towles Sasseen


Claim Henderson Woman Was Founder of Mother's Day Observance

Special to The Courier-Journal

Henderson, Ky., May 9. The Henderson County Historical Society will unveil a marker Sunday at the grave of Mary Towles SASSEEN, whom the society recognizes as the founder of Mother's Day.

According to data compiled by the Henderson group, Miss SASSEEN, in 1888, while a teacher in the Henderson schools, conducted Mother's Day programmes, and in 1893 published a Mother's Day booklet.

Other evidence collected by the society purports to show that a plan of recognizing Mother's Day was presented to the Kentucky Education Association, and adopted by that group. Miss SASSEEN suggested that April 20, her mother's birthday or the Sunday nearest that date, be observed as Mother's Day.

The idea is believed to have spread beyond Kentucky rapidly, the city of Springfield, Ohio, taking it up. Efforts of Henderson groups to have the Mother's Day International Association, Incorporated, with headquarters in Philadelphia, recognize Miss SASSEEN as the found of the day's observance have been unsuccessful. That organization recognizes Miss Anna JARVIS, its president, as founder of Mother's Day.

Miss SASSEEN married Judge Marshall WILSON, moved to Florida in 1904, and died in 1906.

The Courier-Journal, Evansville, Indiana, May 9, 1921


Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2005, HCH&GS