Jessie Louise Pyrah (c.1884-1957)


Jessie Louise Pyrah was born around 1884 in Fartown, the daughter of stone and timber merchant John Pyrah[1] (a partner in the timber merchant firm of Jere Kaye and Co.) and his wife Matilda (née Faux)[2]. 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:

  • John Faux Pyrah (1885-1970)[3]
  • Eric Dunstan Pyrah (1889-1971)[4]
  • Dorothy Muriel May Pyrah (1891-1989)[5]

The family resided at several addresses in the Fartown area, including: Gordon Street (1891 Census), 44 Gladstone Terrace (1901 Census) and Woodside (1907 probate & 1911 Census).

She studied at Greenhead Park High School, receiving distinctions in Art and Natural Sciences.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

Jessie Louise Potts died in Huddersfield in 1957 aged 73.

Charles William Potts is believed to have died on 31 January 1961.[10]

The Pyrah and Potts Collection

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:

  • Christmas cards from the late 1870s onwards, mostly from Huddersfield residents
  • postcards sent to Jessie from her friends in Germany and France
  • photographs of the Pyrah and Potts families

Some of the items can be browsed online:

Photographs of Jessie Louise Pyrah

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).

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Notes and References

  1. John Pyrah was born 8 November 1853 in Flockton, the son of David Pyrah (1830-1906) and his wife Francis. He married Matilda Faux in 1880 and died on 5 June 1907 aged 53.
  2. Matilda Faux was born around 1854 in Wakefield and died in 1941 aged 87.
  3. Born 17 October 1885. Worked as a commercial traveller (1911 Census). Married 29 September 1914 to Elizabeth Welby "Kitty" Calverley and then resided at 17 Fartown Green. Their daughter Joan Pyrah married George Alexander Preston (adopted son of Percival Preston of Storthes Road, Birkby) in July 1939. He died 1970 aged 84.
  4. Born 28 August 1889. Immigrated to Canada in 1915 and worked as a hospital orderly. Died 3 May 1971 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
  5. Born 26 December 1891. Married 1 November 1930 to Thomas Brunton Westwood (1898-1978). Was living in Darlington (Durham) in 1939.
  6. "Greenhead Park High School" in Huddersfield Chronicle (28/Jul/1900).
  7. Matilda Pyrah died 25 March 1941 at Woodside and left an estate worth £7,489 7s. 8d.
  8. "Marriage of Mr. J.F. Pyrah" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (29/Sep/1914).
  9. The wedding was reported in Yorkshire Post (13/Jul/1939).
  10. There is also a probate entry for a Charles William Potts dying in Huddersfield on 22 September 1954, however the entry does not mention Jessie Louise.

Jessie Louise Pyrah (c.1884-1957)


This page was last modified on 20 November 2018 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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