Samuel was born August 20, 1887 in Jacksonville, Florida to Charles and Fannie Queen Jarvis.
He had an older brother Frank and a younger sister Florence.
The Jarvis family migrated north, specifically to New Jersey around 1900. According to US Census records and street directories, the family lived in several towns before 1920, sometimes together and sometimes separated.
In annual directories, Charles Jarvis’ occupation is listed as hotel porter and his sons, Frank and Samuel, are listed as waiters. Charles Jarvis died at the age of 61.
In his 1919 WW1 draft registration, Samuel, now 29, reported that he is married – his wife’s name is Clara, they have a child, and a home address in Jersey City, but Samuel lists his employment as a waiter at the Breakers Hotel in Atlantic City. Samuel served six months in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Dix.
In 1921, Fannie, mother to Frank, Samuel, and Florence, purchased 1118 Fanwood Avenue, located on the northeast corner of Fanwood and Netherwood Avenues in Westfield. The home would remain in the Jarvis family for the next 55 years, as home to Fannie and, at various times, to her three adult children and her grandchildren.
In the 1920’s, Florence married, moved to nearby Sims Place in Scotch Plains, and had five children.
Frank died in 1953, Fannie died in 1958, having conveyed the home by deed to Samuel in 1954.
On the left is a photograph taken in 1964 by the Courier News of Samuel Jarvis sitting on the front steps of his home at 1118 Fanwood Avenue. He tells the reporter that he doesn’t want to leave his home and has nowhere that he can afford to go. Facing the threat of condemnation, Samuel sold his home to the Town in 1968 for $4,000, but with the right to remain in occupance for the rest of his life.
He died in 1976 at the age of 89. His sister Florence, died in 1980, survived by four children, eleven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and nineteen great-great grandchildren.
The image below is of those same steps as they appear today in the Park.
Brightwood Park is on the North end of Prospect Street. Go past Franklin School and look for the entrance on the left.