Lucretia Garfield

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Lucretia Garfield
First Lady of the United States
In role
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
PresidentJames A. Garfield
Preceded byLucy Webb Hayes
Succeeded byMary McElroy
Personal details
Born(1832-04-19)April 19, 1832
Garrettsville, Ohio, U.S.
DiedMarch 13, 1918(1918-03-13) (aged 85)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Spouse(s)James Garfield
ChildrenHarry Augustus Garfield
James Rudolph Garfield
Mary Garfield Stanley Brown
Irvin McDowell Garfield
Abram Garfield
Alma materHiram College

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

Early life[change | change source]

She was born in Garrettsville, Ohio. Her father was Zeb Rudolph, a farmer and co-founder of the Eclectic Institute at Hiram, and her mother was Arabella Mason-Rudolph. Lucretia "Crete" Rudolph was a devout member of the Churches of Christ. She was of German, Welsh, English and Irish ancestry. Lucretia Garfield's paternal great-grandfather immigrated to Pennsylvania (in a part that is now Delaware) from Württemberg, Germany.

Marriage and family[change | change source]

She first met James A. Garfield while both were attending a school. They renewed their friendship in 1851 as students of the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute. They got married on November 11, 1858.

The First Lady[change | change source]

In 1881, Garfield became the President of the United States. The family moved into the White House. Even at the age of 49, she was slim and looked lovely. She was not very much interested in her role as the First Lady. But, she was a charming lady and hosted parties at the White House. In May 1881, she fell ill and was suffering from malaria. She was resting at Long Branch, New Jersey, and was yet to become fit. At that time, she heard the news that someone had shot President Garfield, her husband. She rushed to Washington by train. On its way, the train met with an accident. She did not suffer any injury. When she reached Washington, she remained by the side of her husband. He could not remain alive and died after about three months.

Personal life[change | change source]

After his death, she left for Ohio. There she lived for 36 years, and spent her time arranging and caring for the records of her husband’s career. A part of her home became a presidential library of her husband’s papers.

Death[change | change source]

She died at her home in South Pasadena, California on March 13, 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.

Other websites[change | change source]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lucy Webb Hayes
First Lady of the United States
Succeeded by
Mary McElroy