Rutherford B. and Lucy Webb Hayes at Spiegel Grove Photograph


Ohio History Connection

Ohio History Connection
Columbus, United States

This 8" x 5" (20.32 x 12.7 cm) photograph of President Rutherford B. and Lucy Webb Hayes was taken after Hayes retired to Spiegel Grove at the close of his term as president. The thirty-three room mansion was built by Sardis Birchard, Hayes' uncle and guardian, between 1859 and 1865. Rutherford B. Hayes especially loved the veranda of the home. In an 1873 diary entry he wrote: "The best part of the present house is the veranda. But I would enlarge it. I want a veranda with a house attached!" This photograph is part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Collection at the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont. The extensive collection consists of photographs, documents, books, and ephemera. Rutherford B. Hayes was the fifth child of Rutherford and Sophia Birchard Hayes, who came to Ohio in 1817 from Vermont. He was born October 4, 1822, at Delaware, Ohio, two months after the death of his father. Young Rutherford and sister Fanny Arabella were raised by their mother and her younger bachelor brother Sardis Birchard. Hayes graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1842 and from Harvard Law School in 1845. He began his law practice in Lower Sandusky, but moved in 1849 to Cincinnati, where he became a successful lawyer, a Republican, and an opponent of slavery. Hayes was elected to Congress during the Civil War despite his refusal to campaign. He was reelected in 1866. The following year Ohio voters elected him governor. He retired to Fremont after completing his second gubernatorial term in 1872, but was elected for a third term in 1875. That same year, the Republican Party chose Hayes as its presidential candidate. He won the 1876 election only after the creation of a special commission to decide disputed electoral votes. Honoring his commitment not to accept a second term, Hayes retired to his beautiful home, Spiegel Grove, where he died on January 17, 1893. Lucy Webb Hayes was born Lucy Ware Webb on August 28, 1831 in Chillicothe, Ohio. Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes were married in 1852 and had eight children, five of whom survived to adulthood. She is noteworthy as the first wife of a president to be called "First Lady" and the first to have graduated from college. As First Lady, she banned the serving of alcohol in the White House, giving her the nickname "Lemonade Lucy." A strong anti-slavery supporter, Lucy worked for many social causes, including scholarships for Native Americans and donations for the poor. When Congress banned children from rolling out their Easter eggs on the grounds of the Capitol, Lucy invited the children to the White House. The tradition continues today. Lucy suffered a fatal stroke and died on June 25, 1889.


  • Title: Rutherford B. and Lucy Webb Hayes at Spiegel Grove Photograph
  • Date: 1887
  • Location: Fremont (Ohio)
  • Subject Keywords: Presidents and Politics, Ohio Government, Verandas
  • Contributor: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
  • Rights: Online access is provided for research purposes only. For rights and reproduction requests or more information, go to http://www.ohiohistory.org/images/information
  • External Link: http://www.ohiomemory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p267401coll36/id/19522

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