Log In

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield Edit Profile

first lady

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield was a wife of the 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, First Lady of the United States in 1881.

Background

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 Churches of Christ.

Education

Student of Hiram College.

Career

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.

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.

In Washington, D.C. Lucretia and James Garfield 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.

Religion

a devout member of the Churches of Christ

Connections

Married on November 11, 1858.

father:
Zebulon Rudolph - United States - farmer

mother:
Arabella Mason-Rudolph - United States

Husband:
James Garfield
James Garfield - Husband of Lucretia Garfield

20th President of the United States

son:
Harry Augustus Garfield - United States - educator , Lawyer , public official

son:
James Rudolph Garfield - United States - Lawyer , public official

daughter:
Mary - United States

son:
Irvin McDowell Garfield - United States - Lawyer , partner in the firm of Warren & Garfield , served on the boards of directors of several corporations

son:
Abram Garfield - United States - Architect , chairman