Everything about First Lady Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur | The US Presidents

Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur

Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur

Born: August 30, 1837 at Culpepper CourtHouse, Virginia
Died: January 12, 1880 (aged 42) at New York, New York
Spouse: Chester A. Arthur (m. 1859 – her death 1880)
Children: William Lewis Herndon Arthur, Chester Alan Arthur II, Ellen Hansbrough Herndon Arthur

Facts about Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur

A talented soprano, Mrs. Arthur sang with the Mendelssohn Glee Club and performed at benefits around New York. Ellen’s fatal illness was the result of waiting in the cold for a carriage after a New York City benefit concert. Arthur deeply mourned the death of his wife. After taking office as president, Arthur, who could see St. John’s Episcopal Church from his office, commissioned a stained glass window dedicated to his wife at the church.

He had it installed where he could view it at night, as the lights were kept on within the church. In addition, he ordered fresh flowers placed daily before her portrait in the White House. Arthur never remarried and only allowed his sister, Mary McElroy, to help out with some of his White House functions.

Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur Childhood

Ellen Lewis Herndon, called “”Nell,”” was born in Culpeper Court House, Virginia, the daughter of William Lewis Herndon and Frances Elizabeth Hansborough. Her father was a naval officer who gained national renown in 1857 when he went down with his ship, the mail steamer SS Central America, along with more than 400 passengers and crew. It was the largest loss of life in a commercial shipping disaster, up until that time.

Herndon had safely evacuated 152 women and children to another vessel during the severe hurricane off Cape Hatteras, but his ship could not be saved. Nell was 20 when her father died. One of her father’s cousins was Matthew Fontaine Maury, another notable naval officer and explorer.

Where is Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur buried?

She was buried in the Arthur family plot in Albany, New York.

How did Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur die?

In January 1880, Nell Arthur came down with a cold. She quickly developed pneumonia and died two days later on January 12, 1880 at age 42.