Catherine Lee Tobin

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Catherine Lee Tobin

Also Known As: "Kitty"
Birthdate: (87)
Birthplace: Nebraska, USA
Death: March 24, 1959 (87)
Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Samuel Clark Tobin and Flora Tobin
Ex-wife of Benjamin Eldridge Page
Partner of Frank Lloyd Wright
Mother of Lloyd Wright, Jr.; John Lloyd Wright; Catherine Dorothy Baxter; David Samuel Wright; Frances Lloyd Caroe and 1 other
Sister of Charles Tobin; Robert Tobin and Arthur Tobin

Managed by: Gene Daniell
Last Updated:

About Catherine Lee Tobin

Catherine "Kitty" Tobin was the first wife of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Tobin was a socialite and social worker. The two met in 1889 at a social held at his Uncle Jenkin's church. They married on June 1, 1889 on a rainy day in Chicago, Illinois. She was 17 years old. They honeymooned in Wisconsin. Wright gave Tobin the Oak Park Home as a wedding present.

In 1903, Wright designed a house for Edwin Cheney, a neighbor in Oak Park, and immediately took a liking to Cheney's wife, Mamah Borthwick. The two fell in love and wanted to marry. Initially, Tobin believed that Wright was a victim and that he would return to her and his children. Tobin and Cheney refused to give their spouses a divorce so Wright and Borthwick eloped to Europe in 1909.

During 1909-1910, Tobin hoped that all would end happily. Later, when she realized that he would not return, Catherine was angry, resentful, and saw herself as being a helpless pawn in a game.

They returned to the U.S. in 1911 and lived in the home that Wright had designed called Taliesin. By then Cheney had granted Borthwick her divorce but Tobin was still married to Wright.

Tragedy struck in 1914 while Wright was in Chicago working. A distraught male servant set fire to the living quarters of Taliesin and murdered seven people with an axe as the fire burned. Borthwick and her two children, John and Martha, were amongst the deaths.

According to Sauk County, Wisconsin records, Tobin didn't give Wright a divorce until November 13, 1922. Their divorce required Wright to pay Tobin alimony.

She later married Benjamin Eldridge Page, a widowed, retired, Chicago businesman who was the treasurer of the corporation handling Frank's finances. They divorced in 1937.

Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 about Frank Lloyd Wright Name: Frank Lloyd Wright Age: 21 Gender: Male Birth Year: abt 1868 Marriage Type: Marriage Marriage Date: 1 Jun 1889 Spouse Name: Catharina S. C. Tobin Spouse Age: 18 Spouse Gender: Female FHL Film Number: 1030182

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Catherine Lee Tobin's Timeline

March 25, 1871
Nebraska, USA
March 31, 1890
Age 19
Oak Park, Cook, Illinois, USA
December 12, 1892
Age 21
Oak Park, IL, United States
January 12, 1894
Age 22
Oak Park, IL, United States
September 26, 1895
Age 24
Oak Park, IL, United States
September 3, 1898
Age 27
Oak Park, IL, United States
November 5, 1903
Age 32
Oak Park, Cook, Illinois, USA
March 24, 1959
Age 87
Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, United States