Gibson, Nancy: Rutherford Birchard Hayes - 19th President of the United States



by Nancy Gibson

Rutherford & Lucy Hayes

President Rutherford Hayes

Rutherford Hayes was born on October 4, 1822 in Delaware, Ohio. His parents were Rutherford Hayes and Sophia Birchard, from Vermont.

Rutherford Hayes Jr. was educated at Kenyon College and Harvard Law School. He graduated in 1845 and started his law practice in Lower Sandusky. He then moved to Cincinnati and resumed the practice of law.

On December 30,1852 he married Lucy Ware Webb.

He fought for the Union Army in the American Civil War. During this time he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives 1865-1867. He served three terms as Governor of Ohio and then received the Republican nomination for the presidential race in 1876. His opponent, Democrat Samuel Tilden received a plurality of the popular vote but the electoral votes from four States were in dispute. A special Congressional Commission gave the election to Hayes, just three days before the inauguration in March of 1877. He did not seek reelection after his first term as president 1877 - 1881.

First Lady Lucy Ware Webb Hayes was known as “Lemonade Lucy” because of a strict policy against alcohol in the White House. Rutherford Hayes served on the Board of Trustees of Ohio State University from the end of his presidency until his death. He died of a heart attack in Fremont Ohio, on January 17, 1893. His home was gifted to the State of Ohio and became the Spiegel Grove State Park. Rutherford and Lucy were re-interred there in 1915 from Oakwood Cemetery.

Rutherford and Lucy had eight children .

Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the sixth cousin of my great grandmother, Amy Gleason McDonald, thus making him my sixth cousin three times removed. Our common ancestor was my eighth great grandfather and his fifth great grandfather, Thomas Gleason of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Thomas emigrated from Sulgrave, Northampton Co., England, about 1640.