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Buffalo in Erie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

From Buffalo...To the White House

Frances Folsom Birthplace and Home 168 Edward Street

 

—Buffalo Neighborhood Landmark —

 
From Buffalo...To the White House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 14, 2014
1. From Buffalo...To the White House Marker
Inscription. Here at 169 Edward Street, in this modest Italianate brick home built by her father in 1863, Frances Clara Folsom was born on July 21, 1864 to Buffalo attorney Oscar Folsom and his wife Emma. When Oscar Folsom's carriage struck a wagon, killing him, a young lawyer and partner in Folsom's law firm, Grover Cleveland, was named administrator of the estate and looked after Emma and daughter Frances' education and the family finances. After graduating from Buffalo's Central High School, Frances Folsom enrolled at Wells College in Aurora, one of the finest liberal arts colleges for women at that time. While attending Wells college, Frances Folsom and Grover Cleveland began corresponding. Cleveland courted the young Frances Folsom and their relationship blossomed.

On June 2, 1886, during his first term as president, the 21-year old Frances Folsom and 49-year old Grover Cleveland married, becoming the only presidential couple to be married in the White House. As First Lady, Frances was poised, confident and charming. Washington society, the public and the press were struck by her beauty, grace, friendliness and intelligence. Women across the country copied her clothing choices, her hairstyles and even the way she posed in formal photographs. This rare combination of youth, beauty and personal qualities and chemistry contributed to their

Westward View From Buffalo...To the White House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 14, 2014
2. Westward View From Buffalo...To the White House Marker
persistent and enduring popularity. The assortment of items featuring the image of Frances Folsom Cleveland that were sold and distributed during her time as First Lady is unprecedented in presidential history. One could purchase paperweights, brooches, souvenir teaspoons, calendars, dishes and a staggering variety of other items featuring her image. Hundreds of thousands of Americans has her portrait framed and displayed in their homes. She regularly adorned the cover of many popular magazines. No First Lady, before or since, has been represented on so many items of popular culture. Mrs. Cleveland was one of the most popular First Ladies in our nation's history.

Between Grover Cleveland's two terms as President, Ruth, their firs child, was born in 1891. The press immediately dubbed her "Baby Ruth" and, years later, the popular candy bar was named in her honor. In 1893, Esther, the couple's second child, became the first and only presidential child to be born in the White House. The Cleveland's would have another daughter, Marion, and two sons, Richard and Francis Grover. After leaving the White House, the Cleveland's settled in Princeton, NJ. Grover Cleveland died in 1908. In 1913, Frances became the first former first lady to re-marry. She remained active in community organizations and projects until her death of natural causes on October 29, 1947 at the age of 83.

Frances

Westward Street View From Buffalo...To the White House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 14, 2014
3. Westward Street View From Buffalo...To the White House Marker
Due to the hedges, you may pass by the marker without noticing.
Folsom Cleveland, Buffalo's own First Lady, lived a remarkable and full life. In an age before radio, television, movies and the internet, her popularity was almost viral in its sweep of the nation's affections. She remains our youngest First Lady, the only Fist Lady to marry in the White House, the only First Lady to give birth to a child in the White House, the first former First Lady to re-marry and she live the longest (51 years) of any First Lady after leaving the White House.

1• Hand-tinted photograph of Mrs. Cleveland
2• An advertising trade card for sewing machines, portraying the President and First Lady
3• A child's alphabet plate, portraying Mrs. Cleveland, with raised letters around outer edge.
4• Mother-of-pearl shuttle and bodkin used for sewing
5• Souvenir spoon with a portrait of Mrs. Cleveland and cutout letters "White House" on handle.
6• Frances Folsom and President Grover Cleveland's White House wedding.
7• Frances and "Baby Ruth." Baby Ruth candy bar wrapper, circa 1920's, named after the Cleveland's first daughter.
8• Die-cut lithographed images of the President and First Lady, likely used as classroom decorations.

On April 27, 2010, the Common Council of the City of Buffalo unanimously adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Michael P. Kears, Curtis Haynes, Jr., and David A. Franczyk calling for a permanent

Eastward View From Buffalo...To the White House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 14, 2014
4. Eastward View From Buffalo...To the White House Marker
marker in honor of Buffalo's own First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland.
 
Erected by Buffalo Common Council Members, owner Norman Glenister, and others as shown.
 
Location. 42° 53.775′ N, 78° 52.666′ W. Marker is in Buffalo, New York, in Erie County. Marker is on Edward Street 0.1 miles west of South Elmwood Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 168 Edward Street, Buffalo NY 14201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Coit House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Dorsheimer House (about 700 feet away); The Mansion on Delaware Avenue (about 700 feet away); The Buffalo Club (about 800 feet away); Trinity Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sisters of Charity Hospital (approx. 0.3 miles away); Second Home of the Medical School (approx. 0.3 miles away); First Religious Body in Buffalo (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Buffalo.
 
Regarding From Buffalo...To the White House. The gentleman in the pictures is the owner Norman Glenister, a native of Samoa, who happened to be performing some work out front in preparation for a group visit the next week for the 150th anniversary
Eastward Street View From Buffalo...To the White House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 14, 2014
5. Eastward Street View From Buffalo...To the White House Marker
of the birth of Frances Clara Folsom on July 21, 1864. He volunteered the following information.

The house was a shell when he purchased it. Pigeons were residing in the attic. He updated plumbing, electricity, and walls, and replaced the roof which had many, many old layers.

Delegations from Hawaii sometimes visit the home and visit the statue of Grover Cleveland near City Hall to honor the former president because President Grover Cleveland, an anti-imperialist, refused to annex Hawaii. Curiously, the present Governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, was born in Buffalo, and graduated from Williamsville South High School, in a suburb of Buffalo.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. 1870's residence of Frances Folsom and honeymoon cottage.
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
From Buffalo...To the White House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 14, 2014
6. From Buffalo...To the White House Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 1, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 267 times since then and 32 times this year. Last updated on December 16, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 1, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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