Mary Elizabeth Bliss

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Mary Elizabeth Bliss (Taylor)

Also Known As: "Betty Dandridge"
Birthplace: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States
Death: Died in Winchester, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester City, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Zachary S. Taylor, 12th President of the USA and Margaret Mackall Taylor
Wife of Capt. William W. S. Bliss and Philip Pendleton Dandridge
Sister of Ann Margaret Mackall Wood; Sarah Knox Davis; Octavia Pannill Taylor; Margaret Smith Taylor and LtGen Richard Strother Taylor, CSA

Occupation: Performed duties of First Lady in the Zachary Taylor White House 1848-1850
Managed by: Noel Clark Bush
Last Updated:

About Mary Elizabeth Bliss

Mary Elizabeth Taylor Bliss, also known as Betty Dandridge, was born 10 Apr 1824 in Kentucky and died 25 July 1909 in Winchester, Franklin County, Virginia. She is buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester City, Virginia.

Parents: Daughter of General Zachary Taylor "Old Rough and Ready", President of the United States and Margaret Mackall Smith.


  1. On December 8, 1848, Mary married William Wallace Smith Bliss, the future president's secretary. Bliss died in 1853.
  2. On February 11, 1858, she married Philip Pendelton Dandridge.


"Betty" assumed the role of official hostess for her father due to her mother being a semi-invalid. She received high praise for the manner in which she preformed the required duties. She was only 25 at the time.

She became widely acquainted with noted men and women during her brief but brilliant regime in the White House and she was known far and wide as a young woman of rare fascination and beautiful character. It was regarded as a high honor to be asked to one of her entertainments.

A southern sympathizer during the civil war she saw fit to save a young scout, John E. Boyd who was captured by Federal officials and sentenced to death. He lived and served as one of the pallbearers that carried Betty to her final rest place.

served as White House hostess for her father

Mary Elizabeth Taylor is listed in R. Whitney Tucker's "The Descendants of the Presidents"' Delmar Printing Company, Charlotte, N.C., Chapter XII. Zachary Taylor, page 103, Second generation, Descendant XII-5 (Mary Elizabeth Taylor ("Betty"), born in Jefferson Co.,(Ky.) April 20, 1824; died in Winchester, Va., July 25, 1909. Married first, December 5, 1848, Col. William Wallace Bliss (born August 17, 1815; died August 4, 1853), son of Capt. John Bliss, USA., and Olive Hall (Simmonds) Bliss; He graduated from West Point (USMA), 1833; served in the Mexican War. She married second, February 11,1858, her cousin Philip Pendleton Dandridge, of Winchester.)


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Mary Elizabeth Bliss's Timeline

April 20, 1824
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States
December 5, 1848
Age 24
Baton Rouge, , Louisiana
February 11, 1858
Age 33
July 25, 1909
Age 85
Winchester, Virginia, United States
Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester City, Virginia, United States