AmericanBorn Frances Clara FOLSOM

Wife of the President of the United States Grover Cleveland and the 27th first lady of the United States

Born on July 21, 1864 in Buffalo, New York, USA , United States

Died on October 29, 1947 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Frances Clara Folsom was born in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Oscar Folsom, a lawyer and descendant of the earliest settlers of Exeter, New Hampshire, and Emma Harmon.

All of Frances Cleveland's ancestors were from England and settled in what would become Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, eventually migrating to western New York. She was their only child to survive infancy (a sister, Nellie Augusta, died before her first birthday). She originally had the first name Frank (named for an uncle), but later decided to adopt the feminine variant Frances. A longtime close friend of Oscar Folsom, Grover Cleveland, at age 27, met his future wife shortly after she was born. He took an avuncular interest in the child, buying her a baby carriage and otherwise doting on her as she grew up. When her father, Oscar Folsom, died in a carriage accident on July 23, 1875, without having written a will, the court appointed Cleveland administrator of his estate. This brought Cleveland into still more contact with Frances, then age 11.


She attended Central High School in Buffalo, NY and Medina High School in Medina, NY and went on to attend Wells College in Aurora, New York. Sometime while she was in college, Cleveland's feelings for her took a romantic turn. He proposed by letter in August 1885, soon after her graduation. They did not announce their engagement, however, until just five days before the wedding.

In honor of Frances Cleveland, Cleveland Hall was constructed in 1911 on Wells College Campus. Originally a library, the building currently holds foreign language classes.

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Geographical origins

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