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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Medina in Orleans County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Grover Cleveland & Frances Folsom

Area 6

 
 
Grover Cleveland & Frances Folsom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 1, 2015
1. Grover Cleveland & Frances Folsom Marker
Inscription. Grover Cleveland and Oscar Folsom were both Buffalo lawyers and law partners. Upon the untimely death of Oscar Folsom in July, 1875, his young daughter Frances departed the Queen City to live in Medina with her grandmother, Mrs. Ruth Harmon.

Frances lived at 300 North Main Street in the village, attending the Medina Academy for a period of time. And it was also there that Cleveland often visited Frances, or Frankie as she was known, during her stay in Medina. Cleveland was her legal guardian. According to localhistories [sic], there was a friendship between Cleveland, the Folsoms and the Bent family of Medina.

On one occasion that he visited to call upon Frankie, the Bents offered their carriage to Cleveland so that he might ride to the depot and catch a train back to Buffalo. As the story goes, the carriage and driver were observed by Constable Edmund Fuller, who recognized the carriage as belonging to Bent, but most certainly did not recognize the driver. Cleveland had an impossible time attempting to convince the good constable of his innocence. He eventually prevailed when he convinced Fuller to take him to the railroad station where the ticket agent assured him that Cleveland was indeed who he said he was, and the entire episode was a terrible mistake.

Grover Cleveland did eventually make the train to Buffalo
Wedding Gala Picture image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 1, 2015
2. Wedding Gala Picture
The President's wedding , drawn by T. de Thulstrup. Appeared in Harper's Weekly, 1886 June 12, pp. 376-377.
and continued to call upon Miss Folsom. The story of his incarceration is one of Medina's most enduring local legends.

Frances Folsom: Medina's First Lady.
Frances eventually returned to Buffalo where she continued her education, later entering Wells College. Cleveland later married Frances Folsom in 1886 when he became President of the United States in a White House gala - the only President to marry while serving in office. Local histories of historian Ceil White record that Frances Folsom Cleveland corresponded with Mrs. Algernon Shattuck of Medina in 1906, saying that she would regrettably be unable to return to Medina for Old Home Week that summer. She and Grover were moving to their summer hime in Tamworth, NH with the children. Frances commented on the many changes that had likely occurred since she departed Medina, and that she desired very much to return. Whether she did or not is unknown.

Perhaps Grover had grown somewhat less fond of the old village than she...

Frances "Frankie" Folsom attended the Medina Academy for a time.
The Cleveland family, Tamworth, NH, 1907. Frances lived at 300 North Main Street in Medina with her grandmother Ruth Harmon.


This sign generously sponsored by Rita Zambito - Zambito Realty.
Interpretive prints and mounting courtesy of The Print Shop • Medina, NY 585-590-9035 • Designed by Chris Busch,
Frances Folsom Portrait & Family Picture image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 1, 2015
3. Frances Folsom Portrait & Family Picture
ORG.
 
Erected by Rita Zambito - Zambito Realty, The Print Shop, Medina, NY.
 
Location. 43° 13.313′ N, 78° 23.213′ W. Marker is in Medina, New York, in Orleans County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street (New York State Route 63) and Mill Street, on the right when traveling north on North Main Street. Click for map. Mill Street is marked as Manilla Place on Google. "Queen City" is a name for Buffalo, NY. Marker is at or near this postal address: 343 North Main Street, Medina NY 14103, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. On This Site Circa 1919 Alonzo L. Waters (within shouting distance of this marker); The Last Blacksmith Shop in Orleans County (within shouting distance of this marker); Frederick Douglass (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Medina Sandstone (about 300 feet away); Bent's Opera House - 1864 (about 500 feet away); Vietnam (about 600 feet away); Frances Folsom (about 700 feet away); Earliest Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Medina.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Frances Folsom residences and their honeymoon cottage.
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Left Text image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 1, 2015
4. Left Text
Right Text image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 1, 2015
5. Right Text
Westward image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 1, 2015
6. Westward
Towards Pearl Street.
Southward image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 1, 2015
7. Southward
Grover Cleveland image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 9, 2015
8. Grover Cleveland
This 1899 portrait of Grover Cleveland by Anders Zorn hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

“After his defeat in 1888, Grover Cleveland's presidential career was by no means over. Four years later, the electorate returned him to the White House. But Cleveland might have been better off remaining in retirement. By early 1893 the country was entering a deep economic depression, and whatever he did to meet various phases of that crisis seemed only to alienate his supporters. During the final year of his presidency, Cleveland suffered the ultimate humiliation of being an outcast within the party he had once led.

The painter of this portrait, Swedish artist Anders Zorn, drew his loose brushwork and preference for natural lighting from French impressionism. Cleveland was quite pleased with Zorn's likeness, declaring to a correspondent, ‘As for my ugly mug, I think the artist has “struck it off” in great shape.’” — National Portrait Gallery
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 243 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.   8. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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