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March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
||August 28, 1831
Chillicothe, Ohio United
||June 25, 1889 (aged 57)
Fremont, Ohio, United
Rutherford B. Hayes
- Birchard Austin Hayes,
- James Webb Cook Hayes,
- Rutherford Platt Hayes,
- Joseph Thompson Hayes,
- George Crook Hayes,
- Frances Hayes,
- Scott Russell Hayes,
- Manning Force Hayes.
First Lady of the United States
Lucy Ware Webb Hayes (August
28, 1831–June 25, 1889) was a First
Lady of the United States and
the wife of President Rutherford
B. Hayes. While First Lady, she was given the moniker "Lemonade Lucy".
Born in Chillicothe,
Ohio, the daughter of James Webb, a physician, and Maria Cook-Webb, Lucy
was descended from seven veterans of theAmerican
Revolution. Her father died when she was an infant. With her mother, she
moved to Delaware,
Ohio, where in 1847 she met Rutherford B. Hayes. Later that year, she
enrolled at Wesleyan Women’s College (now Ohio
Wesleyan University) in Delaware (class of 1850); she was the first First
Lady to have graduated from college. Hayes was by this time practicing law in
Cincinnati, and the two began dating seriously. He proposed in June 1851.
Rutherford Hayes, aged 30, married Lucy Webb, aged 21, on December 30, 1852,
at the home of the bride’s mother in Cincinnati,
Ohio. After the wedding, performed by Dr. L.D. McCabe of Delaware, the
couple honeymooned at the home of the groom’s sister and brother-in-law inColumbus,
The Hayes had four sons and a daughter to live to maturity:
- Sardis “Birchard Austin” Birchard Hayes
(1853-1926) - lawyer. Born in Cincinnati, he graduated from Cornell
University (1874) and Harvard
Law School (1877). He settled
Ohio, where he prospered as a real estate and tax attorney.
- James “Webb Cook” Webb Hayes (1856-1934)
- businessman, soldier. Born in Cincinnati, he followed his brother to
Cornell and on graduation became presidential secretary to his father. He
later helped found a small business that eventually grew into Union
Carbide. During the Spanish-American
War, he was commissioned a major and served in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and
- Rutherford Platt Hayes (1858-1931) -
library official. Born in Cincinnati, he attended the University
of Michigan, graduated from Cornell University (1880), and did
post-graduate work at Boston
Institute of Technology. He worked as a bank clerk in Fremont,
Ohio, for a time but devoted his life to promoting libraries. He also
helped develop Asheville,
North Carolina, into a health and tourist resort.
- Joseph Thompson Hayes (1861-1863).
- George Crook Hayes (1864-1866).
- Frances “Fanny” Hayes-Smith (1867-1950).
Born in Cincinnati, she was educated at a private girls’ school in Farmington,
Connecticut. In 1897, she married Ensign Harry Eaton Smith of Fremont,
Ohio, later an instructor at the U.S.
- Scott Russell Hayes (1871-1923) -
businessman. Born in Cincinnati, he was still a youngster during his
father’s presidency. At six he and his sister played host to other
Washington area children in the first Easter egg roll conducted on the White
House lawn. He was an executive with railroad service companies in New
- Manning Force Hayes (1873-1874).
A vigorous opponent of slavery, Hayes contributed to her husband’s decision to
abandon the Whigs for the antislavery Republican
Party. During the American
Civil War, she visited Hayes often in the field. While her husband was
governor of Ohio, she helped establish the state Home for Soldiers’ Orphans at
As First Lady, Hayes brought her zeal for temperance to
the White House. She banned all alcoholic beverages at state functions,
excepting only the reception for Grand
Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia in
1877, at which wine was served. Detractors dubbed her “Lemonade Lucy” ; the Women's
Christian Temperance Union hailed
her policy and in gratitude commissioned a full-length portrait of her, which
now hangs in the White House. She also instituted the custom of conducting an
Easter egg roll on the White House lawn. A devoutMethodist,
she joined the president in saying prayers after breakfast and conducting
group hymn sings with the cabinet and congressmen on Sunday evenings.
The social highlight of the Hayes years was their twenty-fifth wedding
anniversary celebration, at which the president and First Lady repeated their
vows at a White House ceremony before many of the same guests who had attended
the original nuptials in Cincinnati.
In 1881 she retired with the president to Spiegel
Grove in Fremont,
Ohio. She died of a stroke on June 25, 1889, and was buried at Spiegel
Grove. Upon her death, flags across the United States were lowered to
half-staff in honor of the “most idolized woman in America.”
Pennsylvania Avenue, the First Lady sings the “Duet for One,” in which
she transforms from Mrs. Grant into Lucy Webb Hayes.
In the Lucky
Luke comic book Sarah
Bernhardt, which is set in the late 19th-century Wild West, President
Rutherford B. Hayes’ wife is portrayed as being one of many who strongly
disapproves of the titular
actress' tour of the United
States, given her reputation for loose morality. Disguised as a man called
“George,” the First Lady infiltrates Sarah’s entourage and sabotages their
tour throughout the US, though she does come to accept Sarah when the French
actress’ charms and singing talent moves a tribe of hostile Indians. ‘The
president’s wife’ is not mentioned by name in the book, and thus might be
regarded as fictional, although she and her husband do resemble Rutherford and
Lucy Hayes in many ways. Hayes himself is portrayed as a man who is very taken
aback by his wife's hostility towards Sarah, and keeps making the same speech
over and over again, even when there is no one there to listen to him.