Thursday, June 2, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1968


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) On June 2, 1886, a century plus 30 years ago today, President Grover Cleveland* and Frances Folsom** were married in the Blue Room at the White House here in the Nation's Capital.

Invited guests included relatives and close friends as well as the President's cabinet and their wives.   Grover Cleveland was 49 years old while the bride, the daughter of his late law partner, was 21.  Mrs. Cleveland became the youngest First Lady.

The event also marked the first time a sitting President was married in the Executive Mansion.  John Tyler was the first President to marry while in office but the ceremony was not conducted at the White House.

The Clevelands' service was conducted by the Rev. Byron Sutherland with the assistance of the groom's brother, Rev. William Cleveland.  For the ceremony, the traditional words 'honor, love and obey' were substituted by 'love, honor and keep.'  Music was provided by John Philip Sousa and the United States Marine Band.

Although the day was a regular working day for the President, he and the First Lady departed for a five day honeymoon at Deer Park in the Cumberland 
Mountains of western Maryland.

*Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) the only President to serve non consecutive terms is both the 22nd (1885-1889) and 24th (1893-1897) Presidents.  He was born in Caldwell, NJ and admitted to the bar in 1859.  He later became Mayor of Buffalo, NY and Governor of NY.

**Frances Clara Folsom Cleveland (1864-1947) was born in Buffalo, NY.  Her father, Oscar Folsom, died in 1875 and Grover Cleveland became administrator of his estate.

Frances graduated from Wells College in Aurora, NY.  After Cleveland's death, she married Thomas J. Preston Jr.  She died in Baltimore and is buried in Princeton, N.J. beside her 1st husband.

Wedding Ceremony in the Blue Room
June 2, 1886
The White House

Frances Folsom Cleveland
Library of Congress Photo