Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1831-11-19
Death 1881-09-19
Americans
French, English

Biographical notes:

Ohio Republican representative to Congress, 1863-1878; 20th president of the United States.

From the description of Letter : House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., to William L. Perkins, Painesville, Ohio, 1877 Mar. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 57317608

James Garfield, twentieth President of the United States, was born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, in 1831. After embarking on an academic career, he joined the Ohio volunteer infantry regiment, and in 1863 was appointed Major General in the same regiment. He served as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1863 to 1880, when he was elected President. His inauguration took place on March 4, 1881, but his term of office was unfortunately brought to an abrupt end with his assassination by Charles Caiteau in July of that same year. After an initial recovery, his would proved fatal, and he died on September 19, 1881.

From the guide to the Garfield, James A., Memorabilia, 1871-1881, (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Epithet: US President

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001219.0x0001df

James Abram Garfield was the 20th president of the United States. He grew up in Orange, Ohio, graduated from Williams College in 1856, became president of Hiram College in Portage County, Ohio, and was a lay minister of the Disciples of Christ Church. He was elected to the Ohio Senate, and in 1858, married Lucretia Rudolph. Garfield served in the Civil War, as a lieutenant-colonel of the 42nd Ohio regiment. He was a major general when he resigned in 1863 to take a seat in the United States House of Representatives, where he served for 17 years. Nominated in 1880 as a compromise Republican presidential candidate, his campaign was conducted from Lawnfield, his Mentor, Ohio, home. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, and died September 19. David M. Wilson (1823-1882) was a prominent lawyer and Democratic politician from Youngstown, Ohio.

From the description of James A. Garfield letter to D. M. Wilson, 1871 February 27. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 773749470

James Abram Garfield was born November 19, 1831 in Orange Township, OH. After graduating from Williams College in 1856, he served as Ohio State Senator, a colonel in the Army, and congressman. Elected U.S. President in 1880, he died September 19, 1881 from a shot inflicted by Charles Guiteau.

From the description of James A. Garfield collection, 1853-1951 (inclusive), 1853-1890 (bulk). (Williams College). WorldCat record id: 25838260

James Abram Garfield was the 20th president of the United States. He grew up in Orange, Ohio, graduated from Williams College in 1856, became president of Hiram College in Portage County, Ohio, and was a lay minister of the Disciples of Christ Church. He was elected to the Ohio Senate, and in 1858, married Lucretia Rudolph. Garfield served in the Civil War, as a lieutenant-colonel of the 42nd Ohio regiment. He was a major general when he resigned in 1863 to take a seat in the United States House of Representatives, where he served for 17 years. Nominated in 1880 as a compromise Republican presidential candidate, his campaign was conducted from Lawnfield, his Mentor, Ohio, home. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, and died September 19. Eugene H. Cowles was the son of Edwin Cowles, publisher of the Cleveland Leader.

From the description of James A. Garfield letter to Eugene H. Cowles, 1880 December 2. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 758986343

Twentieth president of the U.S., elected in 1880; assassinated in 1881. Congressman from 1863-1880.

From the description of ALS, 1868 June 20 : Washington, D.C., Fortieth Congress, U.S. House of Representatives, to J.A. Cowing, New York. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 14770178

James Abram Garfield was the 20th president of the United States. He grew up in Orange, Ohio, graduated from Williams College in 1856, became president of Hiram College in Portage County, Ohio, and was a lay minister of the Disciples of Christ Church. He was elected to the Ohio Senate, and in 1858, married Lucretia Rudolph. Garfield served in the Civil War, as a lieutenant-colonel of the 42nd Ohio regiment. He was a major general when he resigned in 1863 to take a seat in the United States House of Representatives, where he served for 17 years. Nominated in 1880 as a compromise Republican presidential candidate, his campaign was conducted from Lawnfield, his Mentor, Ohio, home. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, and died September 19. He was survived by his widow, Lucretia Garfield, and by his children; Mary, who married his former secretary, Joseph Stanley-Brown, Irvin McDowell, Harry Augustus, who became president of Williams College, James Rudolph, a Cleveland attorney, Republican politician and member of Theodore Roosevelt's cabinet, and Abram, a Cleveland architect.

From the description of James A. Garfield family papers, 1855-1938. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 43145864

From the description of James A. Garfield family papers, series II, 1871-1937. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 43145888

From the description of James A. Garfield family papers, series III, 1859-1990. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 50854436

Twentieth president of the United States. From 1856 to 1861 Garfield was a teacher and principal of the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute in Hiram, Ohio (later Hiram College). In 1861 he raised a regiment, the 42nd (later 29th) Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which contained many of his Hiram students.

From the description of ALS, 1861 Oct. 4, Camp Chase, Ohio, to J.H. Jones. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86165764

President of the United States who was assassinated in 1881.

From the description of Papers, 1857-1936. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 18447668

President of the U.S.

From the description of Letter, 1880 June 29. (Filson Historical Society, The). WorldCat record id: 49223935

Twentieth president of the United States. Garfield was first elected to Congress from Warren, Ohio, in 1863, while serving as a major-general in the Union Army, and retained his seat until he was elected president in 1880.

From the description of ALS, 1866 May 28, Washington, D.C., to J.T. Callin. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122316876

James A. Garfield II was the son of James Rudolph and Helen Newell Garfield, and grandson of President James A. Garfield. He was raised with his brothers at Hollycroft, the family home in Mentor, Ohio, next to Lawnfield, residence of Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, the president's widow. He graduated from Williams College in 1916 and served in World War I. He married Edwina Forbes Glenn in 1917. They lived in Cleveland and Mentor, Ohio, while James pursued various business ventures. Edwina moved to Florida with her daughters, Helen Louise and Elizabeth, after the couple divorced in the 1930s.

From the description of James A. Garfield II family papers, 1873-1930. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 43145994

James A. Garfield (1831-1881) was an American politician and the 20th President of the United States.

From the guide to the James A. Garfield Letters, 1880, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Garfield, twentieth president of the U.S., served in the House from 1863-1880.

From the description of DS, 1877 November 12. : Washington, Sergeant-at-Arms U.S. House of Representatives. Counter Check. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 14770218

The 20th President of the United States, James Garfield officially served only 5 months of his term beginning march 1881 before being rendered incapacitated by an assassin's bullet. Garfield was a colonel in the Civil War representing the 42nd Ohio Voluntary Infantry. He was elected to the U.S. House of Represenatives in 1862 and held that post until 1880 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. A founding member of the Republican party, Garfield supported a high tariff and a firm policy of reconstruction in the South.

From the description of Papers 1856-1881. (Historical Society of W Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 30678504

U.S. president.

From the description of Letter, 1879 Mar. 22. (Historical Society of Washington, Dc). WorldCat record id: 70949729

Ohio congressman, 1863-1880; U.S. president, 1880-1881.

From the description of Letter: Mentor, Ohio, to D.C. Pavey, Milwaukee, Wis., 1880 Aug. 24. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 31023728

From the description of Certificates, 1882. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 31023711

James Abram Garfield was the 20th president of the United States. He grew up in Orange, Ohio, graduated from Williams College in 1856, became president of Hiram College in Portage County, Ohio, and was a lay minister of the Disciples of Christ Church. He was elected to the Ohio Senate, and in 1858, married Lucretia Rudolph. Garfield served in the Civil War, as a lieutenant-colonel of the 42nd Ohio regiment. He was a major general when he resigned in 1863 to take a seat in the United States House of Representatives, where he served for 17 years. Nominated in 1880 as a compromise Republican presidential candidate, his campaign was conducted from Lawnfield, his Mentor, Ohio, home. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, and died September 19.

From the description of James A. Garfield letter, 1863 December 14. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 758985778

From the description of James A. Garfield letters to Oliver G. Cope, 1879-1880. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 758985784

From the description of James A. Garfield letter to David J. Beadsley, 1866 May 5. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 758985780

From the description of James A. Garfield letter to David Tod, 1864 September 13. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 758985783

From the description of James A. Garfield correspondence with citizens of Freedom, 1865 March 17-April 7 (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 758985782

From the description of James A. Garfield letter to Daniel H. Morrison, 1880 August 21. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 758985791

From the description of James A. Garfield letter to Lt. Willey Patrick, 1862 March 12. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 758985790

From the description of James A. Garfield letter to J. H. Hoffman, 1868 July 22. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 773751619

From the description of James A. Garfield letters to Lucretia R. Garfield, 1881 June 28-30. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 773751625

From the description of James A. Garfield letters to C. B. Lockwood, 1880 May 14-October 18. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 773751624

Lawyer, Army officer, U.S. representative and senator, and 20th president of the U.S.; assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau, a disappointed office-seeker in 1881; of Mentor, Ohio.

From the description of James A. Garfield family collection, [18--]-[19--]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70922529

Teacher at Hiram College and Williams College, Ohio state senator, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and President of the United States.

From the description of James A. Garfield papers, 1853-1913. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 43754799

President of United States.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Horace Greeley, 1868 July 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269587197

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Mentor, Ohio, to Mr. Swain, 1880 Dec. 31. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269590640

U.S. President.

From the description of James A. Garfield ALS, 1881. (Maine Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 70977588

President of the United States.

From the description of Letter signed : Executive Mansion, Washington, to Sir Moses Montefiore, 1881 Apr. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269597309

Garfield took office as the twentieth president of the U.S. on 4 March 1881. On 2 July he was shot by Charles Guiteau in Washington, and was tended at the White House until 6 September, when he was moved to his family's summer home at the New Jersey shore. He died there on the 19th.

From the description of Medical bulletin : ms. : Elberon, N.J., [1881] Sept. 7. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122645491

James A. Garfield was born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, in 1831. He was graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1856. He was the 20th President of the U.S. and served from March 4, 1881 until his death on September 19, 1881.

John Purcel Haire was a classmate of Garfield's at Williams College in Massachusetts in the class of 1855.

From the description of Letters to John Purcel Haire, 1877-1880. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 55480342

20th President of the United States.

Cataloged from Guide and accession records.

From the description of Papers, 1880-1906. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 43738319

Biographical Note

  • 1831, Nov. 19: Born, Orange, Ohio
  • 1849: Entered Geauga Seminary, Chester, Ohio Taught in district schools in Ohio
  • 1851 - 1853 : Attended Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, Hiram, Ohio, teaching in district schools between terms
  • 1854 - 1856 : Attended Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., receiving M.A. degree
  • 1857 - 1861 : President, Eclectic Institute of Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio; taught Latin, Greek, mathematics, history, philosophy, English literature, and rhetoric
  • 1858: Married Lucretia Rudolph
  • 1859: Member, Ohio state senate Law student, office of attorney Albert Gallatin Riddle, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1861: Admitted to the Ohio state bar Commissioned lieutenant colonel, Forty-second Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry
  • 1862: Promoted to brigadier general of volunteers
  • 1863: Appointed chief of staff under General William S. Rosecrans
  • 1864 - 1880 : Member, United States House of Representatives
  • 1877: Member, Electoral Commission charged to decide disputed presidential election of 1876
  • 1880: President of the United States Elected to the United States Senate from Ohio but declined office upon election to the presidency
  • 1881, July 2: Shot by Charles J. Guiteau, Washington, D.C.
  • 1881, Sept. 19: Died, Elberon, N.J.

From the guide to the James A. Garfield Papers, 1775-1889, (bulk 1850-1881), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

James Abram Garfield was the 20th President of the United States.

James Abram Garfield 19 November 1831 in Orange Township, Ohio. Garfield served as a major general in the United States Army and in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected the 20th President of the United States. He was the 2nd president to be assassinated in office, dying 19 September 1881 in Long Branch, New Jersey, of complications surrounding a gun shot wound.

From the guide to the James A. Garfield presidential land grant and military letter, 1881-1882, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for James A. Garfield

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for the Garfield Memorial at Lakeview Cemetery

James A. Garfield was born on November 19, 1831 in Orange Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, to Abram and Eliza Ballou Garfield. He studied at Geauga Academy from 1849-1850, and at Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (Hiram College) from 1850-1854. While studying at Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, Garfield taught at some local Hiram, Ohio, schools. He studied at Williams College, Massachusetts from 1854-1856, becoming a popular and successful student. He returned to the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute as a teacher and principal from 1856-1859, and married Lucretia Randolph, of Hiram, Ohio, in 1858.

Garfield was elected as a Republican representative to the Ohio Senate in 1859, and in 1861 joined the Union Army as a lieutenant colonel. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and served as Chief of Staff during the American Civil War. He retired from the army in 1863 due to his election to the United States Congress, a seat he would hold for the next 17 years. In 1880 he was elected to the United States Senate, and that same year was nominated unexpectedly as the Republican Presidential candidate. He was elected by a large majority, and his inauguration as 20th president of the United States was held on March 4, 1881. On July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau, and he died on September 19, 1881, at Elberon, New Jersey.

From the guide to the James A. Garfield Papers, 1857-1936, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

James A. Garfield II (b. 1894) was the son of James Rudolph Garfield (1865-1951) and Helen Newell Garfield (1866-1930), and grandson of United States President James A. Garfield (1831-1881). He was raised with his brothers John Newell, Rudolph Hills, and Newell, at Hollycroft, the family home in Mentor, Ohio, next to Lawnfield, residence of Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, the widow of the President. He graduated from Williams College in 1916 and served with the 322nd Field Artillery, 1916-1918. He married Edwina Forbes Glenn (b. 1895), daughter of General Edwin and Louise Smythe Glenn, in 1917. They lived in Cleveland and Mentor, while James pursued various business ventures which required frequent travel. Edwina moved to Florida with her daughters, Helen Louise (born 1918) and Elizabeth (born 1921) after the couple divorced in the 1930s.

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for President James A. Garfield

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for James Rudolph Garfield

From the guide to the James A. Garfield II Family Papers, 1869-1965, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Biographical Note

  • 1865, Oct. 17: Born, Hiram, Ohio
  • 1879 - 1880 : Student at St. Paul's School, Concord, N.H.
  • 1881, July 2: In presidential party when his father was assassinated
  • 1885: Graduated, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.
  • 1886 - 1888 : Studied law, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.
  • 1888: Established law firm of Garfield and Garfield with other brother, Harry A. Garfield, in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1890: Married Helen Newell (died 1930)
  • 1896 - 1899 : Member of Ohio state senate
  • 1902 - 1903 : Commissioner, United States Civil Service Commission
  • 1902 - 1909 : Member, President Theodore Roosevelt's “Tennis Cabinet”
  • 1903 - 1907 : Commissioner of Corporations, United States Department of Commerce and Labor
  • 1904 - 1907 : Investigated meat packing industry, petroleum industry, steel industry and railroads
  • 1907 - 1909 : Secretary of the Interior
  • 1909: Returned to law practice and business ventures
  • 1914: Unsuccessful Progressive Party candidate for lieutenant governor of Ohio
  • 1932: Active in drafting platform for Republican national convention
  • 1950, Mar. 24: Died, Clevelend, Ohio

From the guide to the James Rudolph Garfield Papers, 1879-1950, (bulk 1890-1932), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Members of the James A. Garfield family lived for several generations at the family homestead known as Lawnfield, located in Mentor, Ohio. Garfield's presidential campaign in 1880 was often conducted from the front porch of his home at Lawnfield, a name given the property by members of the press covering the presidential campaign. Over the span of 50 years (1876-1936), family members left private and public papers and family memorabilia that documented events in their lives.

James A. Garfield

James Abram Garfield, twentieth president of the United States, was born in Orange Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on November 19, 1831, the youngest son of Abram and Elizabeth Ballou Garfield. The death of Abram Garfield when James was four years old resulted in a life of hardship for the Garfield family. Despite their reduced circumstances, young James was able to attend Geauga Seminary in Chester, Ohio, and Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, now Hiram College, from 1851-1854, before attending Williams College in Williams, Massachusetts. After graduating from Williams College in 1856, Garfield returned to the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute as an instructor in Greek and Latin. He went on to serve as president of the Institute from 1857-1861. Garfield was also a lay minister in the Disciples of Christ Church, a practicing attorney after he was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1859, and a member of the Ohio Senate from 1859-1861.

At the start of the Civil War Garfield volunteered for duty in the Union Army and was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Forty-Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served with distinction in the Western campaigns, particularly during the battles at Shiloh and Chickamaugua. When Garfield was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1863, he resigned his commission as major general. As a Republican he represented Ohio for seventeen years, sitting as a member on the Military Affairs, Ways and Means, Appropriations, and Banking and Finance Committees.

Although he was elected to the United States Senate in 1880, Garfield never took his seat. Instead, at the Republican National Convention, held in Chicago, Illinois, in June of 1880, Garfield became a compromise candidate for the presidency, with Chester A. Arthur of New York as the vice-presidential nominee. The Garfield-Arthur slate was elected by a narrow margin. Garfield's new administration was besieged by patronage disputes, despite his pledge to reform the Civil Service. On July 2, 1881, while waiting to board a train at Washington's Baltimore and Potomac Station, Garfield was shot by Charles Julius Guiteau. He lay gravely wounded for more than two months. At his request he was moved to the seaside town of Elberon, New Jersey, where he died of his wounds on September 19, 1881. Garfield was buried in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 26, 1881. His remains were later interred in the Garfield monument erected on the grounds of Lake View, dedicated in May 1890. James A. Garfield was married to Lucretia Rudolph in 1858. They had seven children; Eliza Arabella, 1860-1863; Harry Augustus, 1863-1942; Mary (Mollie), 1867-1947; Irwin McDowell, 1870-1951; Abram, 1871-1958; James Rudolph, 1865-1950; and Edward (Ned), 1874-1876.

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, wife of James A. Garfield and daughter of Zebulon Rudolph and Arabella Green Mason, was born April 19, 1832, in Hiram, Ohio, or possibly Garrettsville, Ohio. She attended Geauga Academy in Chester, Ohio, at the same time as her future husband, and pursued her education at Western Reserve Eclectic Institute where Garfield was an instructor in Latin and Greek. Her father was a trustee of the Institute and a leading elder in the Disciples of Christ Church in Hiram.

Lucretia Rudolph and James A. Garfield were married on November 11, 1858, in a ceremony at her father's home in Hiram. The family home remained in Hiram until Garfield was elected to Congress. He then built a home in Washington, D. C., for his family. After Garfield's death in 1881, Mrs. Garfield remained at Lawnfield, but spent her winters in warmer climates, finally building a home in Pasadena, California, in 1903. Lucretia Rudolph Garfield died in Pasadena, California, March 13, 1918. She was buried next to her husband in Lake View Cemetery.

Lawnfield

Originally know as the Dickey farm in Mentor, Ohio, the property which the Garfield family purchased in 1876 became know as Lawnfield during James A. Garfield's presidential campaign in 1880. By that time renovations and improvements had been made to the original property, including a story and a half addition to the main house. After Garfield's death in 1881, the main house was again enlarged with the addition of a memorial library and vault in 1885-1886. Lawnfield hosted many family affairs, including the double marriage ceremony of Mollie Garfield to Joseph Stanley-Brown, her father's personal secretary, and of Harry Augustus Garfield to Belle Hartford Mason on June 18, 1888. The property remained in the Garfield family until 1936 when portions of it were deeded to the Western Reserve Historical Society and it became a museum under the stewardship of Ivan and Veda Sutliff. Additional acreage was deeded to the society in 1944. In 1964 Lawnfield was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark, and in 1966 went on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1975 the remainder of the property held by the Garfield family was sold to the Lake County Historical Society. In December 1980 the United States Congress authorized the Lawnfield property as the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System. The act included a cooperative agreement between the Park Service and the Western Reserve Historical Society that gave the Society authority for the day-to-day operations, interpretation, and site maintenance. Between 1984 and 1988 the National Park Service acquired the portion of land still owned by the Lake County Historical Society, and the remainder of land held by the Western Reserve Historical Society was donated to the Park Service. After an extensive restoration of the property by the National Park Service, Lawnfield was reopened to the public in June 1998.

Garfield and Garfield Attorneys Three of James A. Garfield's sons became lawyers. In 1888 James Rudolph and his brother Harry Augustus established the firm of Garfield and Garfield in Cleveland. Harry Augustus eventually left the practice, but James Rudolph remained a senior partner in the succeeding firm, Garfield, Baldwin, Jameson, Hope and Ulrich for more than sixty years. The law firm specialized in corporate law, and property and investment management.

Click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for James A. Garfield

From the guide to the James A. Garfield Family Photographs, 1840-1990, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Members of the James A. Garfield family lived for several generations at the family homestead known as Lawnfield, located in Mentor, Ohio. Garfield's presidential campaign in 1880 was often conducted from the front porch of his home at Lawnfield, a name given the property by members of the press covering the presidential campaign. Over the span of 50 years (1876-1936), family members left private and public papers and family memorabilia that documented events in their lives.

James A. Garfield

James Abram Garfield, twentieth president of the United States, was born in Orange Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on November 19, 1831, the youngest son of Abram and Elizabeth Ballou Garfield. The death of Abram Garfield when James was four years old resulted in a life of hardship for the Garfield family. Despite their reduced circumstances, young James was able to attend Geauga Seminary in Chester, Ohio, and Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, now Hiram College, from 1851-1854, before attending Williams College in Williams, Massachusetts. After graduating from Williams College in 1856, Garfield returned to the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute as an instructor in Greek and Latin. He went on to serve as president of the Institute from 1857-1861. Garfield was also a lay minister in the Disciples of Christ Church, a practicing attorney after he was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1859, and a member of the Ohio Senate from 1859-1861.

At the start of the Civil War Garfield volunteered for duty in the Union Army and was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Forty-Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served with distinction in the Western campaigns, particularly during the battles at Shiloh and Chickamaugua. When Garfield was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1863, he resigned his commission as major general. As a Republican he represented Ohio for seventeen years, sitting as a member on the Military Affairs, Ways and Means, Appropriations, and Banking and Finance Committees.

Although he was elected to the United States Senate in 1880, Garfield never took his seat. Instead, at the Republican National Convention, held in Chicago, Illinois, in June of 1880, Garfield became a compromise candidate for the presidency, with Chester A. Arthur of New York as the vice-presidential nominee. The Garfield-Arthur slate was elected by a narrow margin. Garfield's new administration was besieged by patronage disputes, despite his pledge to reform the Civil Service. On July 2, 1881, while waiting to board a train at Washington's Baltimore and Potomac Station, Garfield was shot by Charles Julius Guiteau. He lay gravely wounded for more than two months. At his request he was moved to the seaside town of Elberon, New Jersey, where he died of his wounds on September 19, 1881. Garfield was buried in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 26, 1881. His remains were later interred in the Garfield monument erected on the grounds of Lake View, dedicated in May 1890. James A. Garfield was married to Lucretia Rudolph in 1858. They had seven children; Eliza Arabella, 1860-1863; Harry Augustus, 1863-1942; Mary (Mollie), 1867-1947; Irwin McDowell, 1870-1951; Abram, 1871-1958; James Rudolph, 1865-1950; and Edward (Ned), 1874-1876.

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield

Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, wife of James A. Garfield and daughter of Zebulon Rudolph and Arabella Green Mason, was born April 19, 1832, in Hiram, Ohio, or possibly Garrettsville, Ohio. She attended Geauga Academy in Chester, Ohio, at the same time as her future husband, and pursued her education at Western Reserve Eclectic Institute where Garfield was an instructor in Latin and Greek. Her father was a trustee of the Institute and a leading elder in the Disciples of Christ Church in Hiram.

Lucretia Rudolph and James A. Garfield were married on November 11, 1858, in a ceremony at her father's home in Hiram. The family home remained in Hiram until Garfield was elected to Congress. He then built a home in Washington, D. C., for his family. After Garfield's death in 1881, Mrs. Garfield remained at Lawnfield, but spent her winters in warmer climates, finally building a home in Pasadena, California, in 1903. Lucretia Rudolph Garfield died in Pasadena, California, March 13, 1918. She was buried next to her husband in Lake View Cemetery.

Lawnfield

Originally know as the Dickey farm in Mentor, Ohio, the property which the Garfield family purchased in 1876 became know as Lawnfield during James A. Garfield's presidential campaign in 1880. By that time renovations and improvements had been made to the original property, including a story and a half addition to the main house. After Garfield's death in 1881, the main house was again enlarged with the addition of a memorial library and vault in 1885-1886. Lawnfield hosted many family affairs, including the double marriage ceremony of Mollie Garfield to Joseph Stanley-Brown, her father's personal secretary, and of Harry Augustus Garfield to Belle Hartford Mason on June 18, 1888. The property remained in the Garfield family until 1936 when portions of it were deeded to the Western Reserve Historical Society and it became a museum under the stewardship of Ivan and Veda Sutliff. Additional acreage was deeded to the society in 1944. In 1964 Lawnfield was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark, and in 1966 went on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1975 the remainder of the property held by the Garfield family was sold to the Lake County Historical Society. In December 1980 the United States Congress authorized the Lawnfield property as the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System. The act included a cooperative agreement between the Park Service and the Western Reserve Historical Society that gave the Society authority for the day-to-day operations, interpretation, and site maintenance. Between 1984 and 1988 the National Park Service acquired the portion of land still owned by the Lake County Historical Society, and the remainder of land held by the Western Reserve Historical Society was donated to the Park Service. After an extensive restoration of the property by the National Park Service, Lawnfield was reopened to the public in June 1998.

Garfield and Garfield Attorneys Three of James A. Garfield's sons became lawyers. In 1888 James Rudolph and his brother Harry Augustus established the firm of Garfield and Garfield in Cleveland. Harry Augustus eventually left the practice, but James Rudolph remained a senior partner in the succeeding firm, Garfield, Baldwin, Jameson, Hope and Ulrich for more than sixty years. The law firm specialized in corporate law, and property and investment management.

Click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for James A. Garfield

From the guide to the James A. Garfield Family Papers, Series III, 1859-1990, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

The James A. Garfield Family lived at Lawnfield, a farm in Mentor, Ohio, purchased in 1876. James Abram Garfield (1831-1881) was the twentieth president of the United States. He grew up in Orange, Ohio, graduated from Williams College in 1856, became president of Hiram College in Portage County, and was a lay minister of the Disciples of Christ Church. He was elected to the Ohio Senate, and in 1858 married Lucretia Rudolph (1831-1918). He volunteered when the Civil War broke out, was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 42nd Ohio regiment, and served with distinction in the western campaigns. He was a major general when he resigned in 1863 to take his seat in the House of Representatives where he served for 17 years. Nominated in 1880 as a compromise candidate to heal the divisions within the Republican Party, he ran his successful presidential campaign from the front porch of the Lawnfield home. His brief term was spent initiating civil service reforms and reconciling party factions. He was shot on July 2, 1881, while preparing to leave for a trip to Williams College, died on September 19, and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. His children who survived him were Mary, who married the president's former secretary, Joseph Stanley-Brown, Irvin McDowell, Harry Augustus, who became president of Williams College, James Rudolph, a Cleveland attorney, Republican politician and member of Theodore Roosevelt's cabinet, and Abram, a Cleveland architect.

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for President James A. Garfield

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for James Rudolph Garfield

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for the Garfield Monument at Lakeview Cemetery

From the guide to the James A. Garfield Family Papers, 1849-1938, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

The James A. Garfield Family lived at Lawnfield, a farm in Mentor, Ohio, purchased in 1876. James Abram Garfield (1831-1881) was the twentieth president of the United States. He grew up in Orange, Ohio, graduated from Williams College in 1856, became president of Hiram College in Portage County, and was a lay minister of the Disciples of Christ Church. He was elected to the Ohio Senate, and in 1858 married Lucretia Rudolph (1831-1918). He volunteered when the Civil War broke out, was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 42nd Ohio regiment, and served with distinction in the western campaigns. He was a major general when he resigned in 1863 to take his seat in the House of Representatives where he served for 17 years. Nominated in 1880 as a compromise candidate to heal the divisions within the Republican Party, he ran his successful presidential campaign from the front porch of the Lawnfield home. His brief term was spent initiating civil service reforms and reconciling party factions. He was shot on July 2, 1881, while preparing to leave for a trip to Williams College, died on September 19, and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. His children who survived him were Mary, who married the president's former secretary, Joseph Stanley-Brown, Irvin McDowell, Harry Augustus, who became president of Williams College, James Rudolph, a Cleveland attorney, Republican politician and member of Theodore Roosevelt's cabinet, and Abram, a Cleveland architect.

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for President James A. Garfield

From the guide to the James A. Garfield Family Papers, Series II, 1871-1937, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

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Subjects:

  • Presidents--United States--Election--1876
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
  • Garfield, James Rudolph, 1865-1950
  • Salish Indians
  • Exchanges Of Publications
  • Presidents--Correspondence
  • Religion
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Finance, Public--United States--History--1875-1901
  • Château--Thierry, Battle of, Château--Thierry, France, 1918
  • Coasts--Surveys
  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  • Presidents--United States--Health
  • Money
  • Women
  • Applications for positions
  • Politics, government and public administration
  • Freemasonry
  • Presidents--Assassination
  • Congress
  • Veterans
  • Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881
  • Bounties, military--History--19th century
  • Women--Ohio--Cleveland
  • Taxation
  • Greek letter societies
  • Tariff--United States
  • Patronage, Political
  • City planning
  • Presidents--Election
  • Libraries--Societies, etc
  • Henry, Joseph, Personality, Etc
  • Women--Archives
  • Smithsonian Building
  • President's spouses
  • Scientific publications
  • Elections
  • Smithsonian Board Of Regents
  • Geology
  • Legislators--Correspondence
  • Presidents--Family
  • Colt revolver
  • Chemistry
  • Politics, Government, and Law
  • Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881--Assassination
  • Draft--History--19th century
  • Parks
  • Amnesty
  • Smithsonian Publications
  • Garfield, Helen Newell, 1866-1930
  • Patents--19th century
  • Agriculture
  • Presidents--United States--Assassination
  • Inventors
  • Deaf--Means of communication
  • presidents
  • Presidents--Election--1880
  • Garfield family
  • Finance, Public
  • Army
  • Disciples of Christ
  • Economics (Economic Conditions)
  • Standardization
  • Protectionism--19th century
  • Smithsonian Exchange
  • Internal improvements
  • World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, American
  • Light House Board
  • Lectures, Popular
  • Silver question
  • Ethnology Archaeology Anthropology
  • Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center
  • Surveys And Explorations, General
  • Teachers
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Campaign songs--19th century
  • Garfield, Edwina Glenn, 1895-
  • Coal trade
  • Political conventions--1880
  • Princeton (College Of New Jersey)
  • Acoustics
  • Presidents--United States
  • Mourning customs
  • Garfield, James A. (James Abram), II, 1894-
  • Hearing impaired--Ohio--Cleveland
  • Smithsonian Endowment
  • Telegraph
  • Fine Arts
  • Dwellings
  • Scientific organizations
  • Elections--19th century
  • Henry Family
  • Hearing impaired
  • Presidential candidates--19th century
  • Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881--Photograph collections
  • Law firms
  • Wool industry--19th century
  • Smithsonian Library
  • Political campaigns--19th century
  • Education, higher
  • Recommendations For Positions
  • Architecture
  • Hearing impaired--United States
  • Natural history
  • Presidents--United States--Family
  • Education
  • Orphans
  • Soldiers--Diaries
  • World War, 1914-1918--Music and the war
  • National Museum
  • Universities and colleges--Ohio
  • Meteorology
  • Physical geography
  • Military
  • Chinese Americans--History--19th century
  • Political Campaigns
  • Treasury Department
  • Currency question
  • Patent Office
  • Mothers of presidents--Correspondence
  • Presidents--United States--Correspondence

Occupations:

  • Lawyers
  • Physicians
  • Army officers
  • Politicians
  • Presidents
  • Cabinet officers
  • Presidents' spouses--United States
  • Legislators--United States
  • Presidents--United States
  • Soldiers--United States
  • Conservationists

Places:

  • Elberon, NJ, US
  • Orange, OH, US