Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1832 - 1918) MP

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Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, First Lady's Geni Profile

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Nicknames: "First Lady", ""Crete""
Birthplace: Garretsville, Portage, Ohio, USA
Death: Died in South Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, USA
Managed by: Erica Isabel Howton, (c)
Last Updated:

About Lucretia Rudolph Garfield

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucretia_Garfield

Lucretia Rudolph-Garfield (April 19, 1832 – March 14, 1918), wife of James A. Garfield, was First Lady of the United States in 1881.

Born in Hiram, Ohio, the daughter of Zebulon Rudolph, a farmer and co-founder of the Eclectic Institute at Hiram, and Arabella Mason-Rudolph, Lucretia "Crete" Rudolph was a devout member of the Disciples of Christ church.

Romance and Marriage

She first met James Garfield in 1849 when they were classmates at Geauga Seminary in Chester, Ohio, and followed him to the Eclectic Institute, where they began dating. She was somewhat plain in appearance, but Garfield was attracted to her keen intellect and appetite for knowledge. While Garfield went on to Williams College, she taught school in Cleveland, Ohio and Bayou, Ohio. They had planned to marry on his graduation in 1856, but decided to postpone the wedding for a couple of years until he was earning more money.

Both James and Crete were 26-years when they married on November 11, 1858 at the home of the bride's parents in Hiram. Although both were Disciples of Christ, the nuptials were performed by Henry Hitchcock, a Presbyterian minister. The newlyweds did not take a honeymoon but instead set up housekeeping immediately in Hiram.

His service in the Union Army from 1861 to 1863 kept them apart. But after his first winter in Washington as a freshman Representative, the family remained together. With a home in the capital as well as one (Lawnfield) in Mentor, Ohio, they enjoyed a happy domestic life.

In Washington, D.C. they shared intellectual interests with congenial friends; she went with him to meetings of a locally celebrated literary society. They read together, made social calls together, dined with each other, and traveled in company until by 1880 they were as nearly inseparable as his career permitted.

Children

The Garfields had four sons and a daughter to live to maturity:

Harry Augustus Garfield (1863–1942) - lawyer, educator, public official.

James Rudolph Garfield (1865–1950) - lawyer, public official.

Mary "Mollie" Garfield Stanley-Brown (1867–1947). Educated at private schools in Cleveland and Connecticut, she in 1888 married Joseph Stanley-Brown, presidential secretary during Garfield's term, later an investment banker. She lived in New York and Pasadena, CA.

Irvin McDowell Garfield (1870–1951) - lawyer. He followed his older brothers to Williams College and Columbia Law School. He settled in Boston, where he prospered as partner in the firm of Warren & Garfield and served on the boards of directors of several corporations.

Abram Garfield (1872–1958) - architect. A graduate of Williams College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he settled in Cleveland, where he worked as an architect from offices in the James A. Garfield Building. He served as chairman of the Cleveland Planning Commission 1929-1942 and was active in the American Institute of Architects.

First Lady of the United States

Garfield's election to the presidency brought a cheerful family to the White House in 1881. Though Mrs. Garfield was not particularly interested in a First Lady's social duties, she was deeply conscientious and her genuine hospitality made her dinners and twice-weekly receptions enjoyable. At the age of 49 she was still a slender, graceful little woman with clear dark eyes, her brown hair beginning to show traces of silver.

As First Lady, Mrs. Garfield researched the history of the White House furnishings with a view to restoring it to its former glory, but she contracted malaria and was unable to pursue the project.

She was still a convalescent, at Elberon, a seaside resort in New Jersey, when her husband was shot by Charles Guiteau on July 2 at a railway station in Washington. The President was actually planning to take a train north to New Jersey that same day in order to meet his wife, before continuing on to a function at his former college in Massachusetts. The First Lady hurriedly returned to Washington by special train -- "frail, fatigued, desperate," reported an eyewitness at the White House, "but firm and quiet and full of purpose to save." As her train raced south, it was speeding so fast that the engine broke a piston in Bowie, Maryland and nearly derailed. Mrs. Garfield was thrown from her seat, but not injured. After an anxious delay, she reached the White House and immediately went to her husband's bedside.

During the three months that the President fought for his life, her grief and devotion won the respect and sympathy of the country. On the night of Garfield's death, according to the doctor, she exclaimed, "Oh, why am I made to suffer this cruel wrong?" After his death and funeral, the bereaved family went home to their farm in northern Ohio. For another 36 years she led a strictly private, but busy and comfortable life, active in preserving the records of her husband's career. She created a wing to the home that became a presidential library of his papers.

Later Life and Death

She lived comfortably on a $350,000 trust fund raised for her and the Garfield children by financier Cyrus W. Field. She spent winters in South Pasadena, where she built a home designed by the celebrated architects Greene and Greene to whom she was distantly related. She died at her home in South Pasadena, California on March 14, 1918. Her casket was placed above ground beside the coffin of her husband in the lower level crypt of the presidential tomb at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.

The home of President and Mrs. Garfield was moved to Hiram, Ohio in 1958. After it was moved, lights in the dining room flickered whenever Garfield's name was mentioned. Footsteps were heard in the parlor. The unaccountable odor of cigar smoke could be detected. It is thought the house is haunted by the ghosts of President and Mrs. Garfield because he believes he was betrayed by close friends who planned his assassination. http://books.google.com/books?id=kAK1p91zJEwC&pg=PA336&lpg=PA336&dq=Dr.+Nelson+Wilcox,+Hinckley,+OH&source=bl&ots=u1Zm8NE4Ag&sig=-ptsG318pZ4b_fDQGLtoUDZbhyY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=V-a0UobmN4OTyQGPooDADg&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Dr.%20Nelson%20Wilcox%2C%20Hinckley%2C%20OH&f=false

First Lady

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, wife of President James A. Garfield, wasn't interested in the social duties of the First Lady, but her genuine hospitality made her gatherings very enjoyable.

First Lady Lucretia Rudolph Garfield was William Philo Hibbard's 6th Cousin

In the fond eyes of her husband, President James A. Garfield, Lucretia "grows up to every new emergency with fine tact and faultless taste." She proved this in the eyes of the nation, though she was always a reserved, self-contained woman. She flatly refused to pose for a campaign photograph, and much preferred a literary circle or informal party to a state reception.

Her love of learning she acquired from her father, Zeb Rudolph, a leading citizen of Hiram, Ohio, and devout member of the Disciples of Christ. She first met "Jim" Garfield when both attended a nearby school, and they renewed their friendship in 1851 as students at the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, founded by the Disciples.

But "Crete" did not attract his special attention until December 1853, when he began a rather cautious courtship, and they did not marry until November 1858, when he was well launched on his career as a teacher. His service in the Union Army from 1861 to 1863 kept them apart; their first child, a daughter, died in 1863. But after his first lonely winter in Washington as a freshman Representative, the family remained together. With a home in the capital as well as one in Ohio they enjoyed a happy domestic life. A two-year-old son died in 1876, but five children grew up healthy and promising; with the passage of time, Lucretia became more and more her husband's companion.

In Washington they shared intellectual interests with congenial friends; she went with him to meetings of a locally celebrated literary society. They read together, made social calls together, dined with each other and traveled in company until by 1880 they were as nearly inseparable as his career permitted.

Garfield's election to the Presidency brought a cheerful family to the White House in 1881. Though Mrs. Garfield was not particularly interested in a First Lady's social duties, she was deeply conscientious and her genuine hospitality made her dinners and twice-weekly receptions enjoyable. At the age of 49 she was still a slender, graceful little woman with clear dark eyes, her brown hair beginning to show traces of silver.

In May she fell gravely ill, apparently from malaria and nervous exhaustion, to her husband's profound distress. "When you are sick," he had written her seven years earlier, "I am like the inhabitants of countries visited by earthquakes." She was still a convalescent, at a seaside resort in New Jersey, when he was shot by a demented assassin on July 2. She returned to Washington by special train--"frail, fatigued, desperate," reported an eyewitness at the White House, "but firm and quiet and full of purpose to save."

During the three months her husband fought for his life, her grief, devotion, and fortitude won the respect and sympathy of the country. In September, after his death, the bereaved family went home to their farm in Ohio. For another 36 years she led a strictly private but busy and comfortable life, active in preserving the records of her husband's career. She died on March 14, 1918.

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Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, First Lady's Timeline

1832
April 19, 1832
Garretsville, Portage, Ohio, USA
1858
November 11, 1858
Age 26
Hiram, Portage, Ohio, USA
1860
July 3, 1860
Age 28
Hiram, Portage, Ohio, USA
1863
October 11, 1863
Age 31
Hiram, Portage Co., OH
1865
October 17, 1865
Age 33
Hiram, Portage, Ohio, United States
1867
January 16, 1867
Age 34
District of Columbia
1870
August 3, 1870
Age 38
Hiram, Portage, Ohio, USA
1872
November 21, 1872
Age 40
Hiram, Portage, Ohio, USA
1874
December 25, 1874
Age 42
Hiram, Portage, Ohio, USA
1918
March 14, 1918
Age 85
South Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, USA