Everything about Frances Folsom Cleveland | The US Presidents

Frances Folsom Cleveland

Frances Folsom Cleveland

Born: July 21, 1864 at Buffalo, New York
Died: October 29, 1947 (aged 83) at Baltimore, Maryland
Spouse: Grover Cleveland (m. 1886-1908), Thomas Preston (m. 1913-1947)
Children: Ruth Cleveland, Esther Cleveland, Marion Cleveland, Richard Folsom Cleveland, Francis Grover Cleveland

Offices held:
First Lady of the United States (1893 – 1897 and 1886 – 1889)

Facts about Frances Folsom Cleveland

She was the first presidential widow to remarry. Also, Frances Cleveland was the 1st First Lady to marry a serving president at the White House and the first first lady to give birth in the White House. Grover Cleveland, who would eventually become her husband, was an associate of her fathers who doted on the baby as she grew up.

Her father died in 1875 when she was only 11 years old. He did not leave any will and the court appointed his friend and associate Grover Cleveland as the administrator of his estate which brought him in close contact with the widow Folsom and Frances.

Frances was unconventional. When the Women’s Christian Temperance Union scolded her decollete gowns, she ignored them. The First Lady, Frances Cleveland, was known as “”Frankie”” an affectionate and familiar nickname given to her by the media. Frances disliked her nickname, in fact her actual first name was Frank, after an uncle!

She found herself in high demand as marketers sought her for endorsing their products and many companies used her image in their advertisements without even taking her permission. The popularity of the name Frances soared and numerous baby girls were named after her. Baby Ruth candy bar is supposedly named after the Cleveland’s first child.

Frances Folsom Cleveland Childhood

Frances Cleveland was born Frances Clara Folsom on July 21, 1864, in Buffalo, New York. Her father, an attorney named Oscar, died in a carriage accident two days after Frances’ ninth birthday. Her mother, Emma Harmon, would eventually remarry. Frances had one sibling, a sister named Nellie.

Frances received her early education at Miss Bissell’s School for Young Ladies, followed by the Medina Academy for Boys and Girls. She left Central School in Buffalo in her senior year, but completed the necessary coursework to earn her diploma. In 1882 she enrolled at Wells College in Aurora, New York. After graduating in 1885, Frances and her mother spent nine months traveling throughout Europe.

Where is Frances Folsom Cleveland buried?

She was buried in Princeton, New Jersey next to President Cleveland, her first husband.

How did Frances Folsom Cleveland die?

She died at the age of 83 on October 29, 1947, in Baltimore.