FRANCES CLEVELAND Biography - Socialites, celebrities and People in the fashion industry


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Name: Frances Folsom Cleveland                                                     
Born: 21 July 1864                                                                 
Died: 29 October 1947                                                               
Frances Cornelia Folsom Cleveland-Preston (July 21, 1864 – October 29, 1947),     
wife of the President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, and First Lady of     
the United States from 1886 to 1889, and again from 1893 to 1897.                   
She was born as Frances Cornelia Folsom in Buffalo, New York. She was the only     
child of Emma C. Harmon and Oscar Folsom who survived infancy (a younger sister,   
Nellie Augusta, died before her first birthday). Oscar was later a law partner     
of Grover Cleveland. As a devoted family friend Cleveland bought "Frank" her       
first baby carriage. As administrator of the Folsom estate after his partner's     
death, though never her legal guardian, he guided her education. When she           
entered Wells College, he asked Mrs. Folsom's permission to correspond with her,   
and he kept her room bright with flowers. Though Frank and her mother missed his   
inauguration in 1885, due to Wells' refusal to let the student miss any classes,   
they visited him at the White House that spring. Their affection turned into       
romance—despite 27 years' difference in age—and there the wedding took place on 
June 2, 1886, making them the first and only first couple to be wed in the         
executive mansion.                                                                 
Frances Folsom married President Grover Cleveland on June 2, 1886, becoming the     
First Lady of the United States.                                                   
When Frances Folsom became Mrs. Cleveland, she took over the duties of being       
White House hostess, and her charm won her popularity. She held two receptions a   
week—one on Saturday afternoons, when women with jobs were free to come.         
Cleveland's sister Rose Cleveland had been her bachelor brother's hostess in the   
first 15 months of his first term of office. After her brother's marriage, Rose     
gladly gave up the duties of hostess for her own career in education.               
Upon leaving the White House at the end of Cleveland's first term, Frances is       
reported to have told the staff to take care of the building since the             
Clevelands would be returning in four years.                                       
After losing the U.S. presidential election, 1888, the Clevelands lived in New     
York City, where baby Ruth was born. With his re-election, the First Lady           
returned to the White House as if she had been gone but a day. People took keen     
interest in the birth of Esther at the mansion in 1893, and of Marion in 1895.     
When the family left the White House, Mrs. Cleveland had become one of the most     
popular women ever to serve as hostess for the nation.                             
She bore two sons while the Clevelands lived in Princeton, New Jersey, and was     
at her husband's side when he died at their home, "Westland," in 1908. Her         
granddaughter was the British philosopher Philippa Foot.                           
On February 10, 1913 she married Thomas J. Preston, Jr., a professor of             
archeology, and remained a figure of note in the Princeton community until she     
died. She had reached her 84th year, nearly the age at which the venerable Mrs.     
Polk had welcomed her and her husband on a Presidential visit to the South, and     
chatted of changes in White House life from bygone days. She was buried in         
Princeton Cemetery.