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Ellen Wilson Edit Profile

First Lady of the United States , president's wife

Ellen Wilson was the first wife of the 28th U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, and First Lady of the United States in 1913-1914. Following her death Congress enacted legislation in her honor for funding to improve living conditions among the economically disadvantaged of Washington.

Background

Ellen Louise Axson was born in Rome, Georgia, on May 15, 1860. Like Woodrow Wilson’s, her father was a Presbyterian minister. Shortly after Ellen was born, the two ministers had a meeting. Joseph Wilson took along his son, Woodrow, who was four, and it was the first time that Woodrow and Ellen met.

Career

Ellen was not outwardly politically active. Her influence on the president, then, was more subtle and behind-the-scenes.

After Wilson became president of Princeton in 1902, she redesigned the presidential grounds, and she was also active in helping to improve student living conditions, including the modernization of the colleges infirmary. In 1914, Ellen Wilson was slowed by Bright’s disease - the most common form of nephritis, an inflammatory kidney disease. Following her death in August 1914, Congress enacted legislation in her honor for funding to improve living conditions among the economically disadvantaged of Washington.

Works

  • paiintings

    • Landscapes

Views

Shortly after her husband’s election, she became active in promoting better living conditions for federal employees and for residents in the nation’s capital. Astonished at the slums and alleyways of Washington, she led a delegation of congressmen on a tour of those areas, hoping to convince them that they should enact legislation to clean up the federal city.

Quotations: “I am naturally the most unambitious of women and life in the White House has no attractions for me. ”

Personality

Ellen Wilson was a modest and artistic woman who preferred, small dinners at the White House over large scale parties and lavish balls. She had a studio room with a skylight built in the White House living quarters where she could practice her painting.

Connections

She is married and has three daughters.

Husband:
Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson - Husband of Ellen Wilson

28th President of the United States

Like Woodrow Wilson's, her father was a Presbyterian minister. Shorty after Ellen was born, the two ministers had a meeting. Joseph Wilson took along his son, Woodrow, who was four, and it was the first time that Woodrow and Ellen met. The next time was over twenty years later, in 1883, and they soon fell in love. Woodrow courted Ellen during the summer of 1883, and asked her to marry him.

daughter:
Margaret Woodrow - American

daughter:
Jessie Woodrow - American

daughter:
Eleanor Randolph - American