Jessie Louise Pyrah was born around 1884 in Fartown, the daughter of stone and timber merchant John Pyrah (a partner in the timber merchant firm of Jere Kaye and Co.) and his wife Matilda (née Faux). Her grandfather, David Pyrah, had been the manager of the Co-operative Stores in Flockton and was also a local Methodist preacher.
Jessie Louise's siblings were:
She studied at Greenhead Park High School, receiving distinctions in Art and Natural Sciences.
Her father died on 5 June 1907 away from home at 50 Weymouth Street in Middlesex, leaving an estate worth £10,970 12s. 10d. to Matilda. Their son John Faux Pyrah then took over from his father and was named as a partner of "the well-known Huddersfield firm of Messrs. Jere Kaye and Co., Ltd., timber merchants" when the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reported on his marriage to Miss Kitty Calverley in 1914.
She married assurance company cashier Charles William Potts of Dewsbury on 2 October 1912 at Hillhouse Congregational Chapel. The Yorkshire Post (03/Oct/1912) carried the following report:
A large congregation at Hillhouse Congregational Church, Huddersfield, yesterday witnessed the wedding of Mr. Charles William Potts, son of the late Mr. S. C. Potts, the Borough Treasurer of Huddersfield, and Miss Jessie Louise Pyrah, elder daughter of the late Mr. John Pyrah, of Woodside, Fartown. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. D. C. Tincker, the pastor of the church, assisted by the Rev. Dr. Thackray, pastor of the Unitarian Church. The bride, who was given away by her brother, Mr. Faux Pyrah, wore a dress of ivory satin, with pearl trimming and Limerick lace, and the Court train was trimmed with pearl and chiffon. Her veil, of Brussels net lace, was lent by her mother. The bridesmaids were Miss Dorothy Pyrah, sister of the bride, Miss Sheila Thorpe, and Miss Margaret Crawshaw, of Dewsbury. Mr. Herbert Glendinning was the best man. A reception was held afterwards at the Masonic Hall, Fitzwilliam Street.
The couple had one daughter, Elaine A. Potts (born 1920), who was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousin, Joan Pyrah (daughter of John Faux Pyrah), to George Alexander Preston in July 1939.
Jessie Louise Potts died in Huddersfield in 1957 aged 73.
Charles William Potts is believed to have died on 31 January 1961.
Following the death of Jessie's daughter Elaine, a sizeable collection of items saved by Jessie and Elaine were acquired by Huddersfield Exposed. The collection includes:
Some of the items can be browsed online:
Amongst the collection are several carte de visites photographs taken by John Thomas Pentney of 6 South Parade which bear her name on the reverse. Although marked as being of Jessie Louise, a couple of the photographs are more probably her sister, Dorothy Muriel May Pyrah (1891-1989).