Jarvis was a student of East Liberty Academy in Pittsburgh and at a young age a talented sprinter. 1895, two weeks after his 17th birthday, he took as a member of the Pittsburgh Athletic Club in the championships of the Amateur Athletic Union ( AAU), which corresponded to the national championships of the United States, in the course of more than 100 yards in part. He came to the finals, finished there, but only the fifth and last place.
In 1898 he started for the Chicago Athletics Association and was a student at Princeton University. As such, he took part in the championships of the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America ( IC4A ), which corresponded to the students in the U.S. Championships, and won surprisingly the title over 440 yards. In the same year he was over 100 yards last, after three failed attempts, also national champion of the AAU. 1899 Jarvis also ranked in the list of sprinters who had the world record for the 100 yards, set in 1890 by John Owen equalized.
Jarvis was part of the team of the U.S. athletes who traveled to the Olympic Games in 1900 to Paris. During a stopover in England, he took only a few days before the start of the athletics competitions in Paris, at the championships of the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA ) in part what the British Championships corresponded. In the course of over 100 yards, he had to his compatriot Arthur Duffey beaten and was thereafter no longer for the 100 - meter race in Paris the favorite.
In the 100 - meter race of the Olympic Games in Paris Jarvis leveled in his lead the world record of 10.8 seconds set in 1891 by Luther Cary. His compatriot Walter Tewksbury reached the same time in its intermediate run. For the finale, with four runners up also qualified yet Duffey and the Australian Stan Rowley. Here lay up to half of the race all four almost on par until the lying in leadership Arthur Duffey pulled, fell and gave up a muscle. The other three runners won the race among themselves and Jarvis won ahead of Tewksbury and Rowley.
Jarvis was reported in Paris for the competition in the triple jump and triple jump in the state. It is not certain whether he actually started, or if no width was measured for him. One result is in any case not be held.
The rankings at the Olympic Games for Frank Washington Jarvis:
- II Summer Olympic Games in 1900, Paris 100 m - gold with 11.0 s (Argent at Walter Tewksbury from the USA with 11.1 s; Bronze Stan Rowley from Australia with 11.2 s )
- Triple Jump - reported but not furnished or excreted without width
- State triple jump - reported but not furnished or excreted without width
Note: With the exception of the periods of the respective winner, transit times are estimated, as there was no time measurement for the runners. For them, the residue was held on the winner or pre-placed with a length specification.
Jarvis took back in the U.S. in the same year to the students of the IC4A Championships and won the title over 220 yards.
Jarvis left in 1900, the Princeton University with a Bachelor of Science degree and moved to the University of Pittsburgh, where he began to study law, which he completed in 1903. Jarvis ran until his death in a law firm in Allegheny County. In 1906 he married Ruth Wilson. He had two children, Frank W. Jarvis Jr. and Dorothy Jarvis.