Genealogy of President Woodrow Wilson

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  • ID: I00005
  • Name: Eleanor Randolph Wilson
  • Sex: F
  • Birth: 16 OCT 1889 in Middletown, Middlesex Co, Connecticut
  • Burial: Santa Barbara Cem, Santa Barbara, California
  • Death: 05 APR 1967 in Montecito, Santa Barbara Co, California
  • Note:
    OBITUARY: From the clipping files of the Jefferson County Historical Society, Steubenville, Ohio. The newspaper is unidentified, but appears to be the local Steubenville paper, and the date April 7, 1967 is written in.

    Mrs. McAdoo Succumbs in California: President Wilson's Last Daughter Dies.
    MONTECITO, Calif. (AP)--President Woodrow Wilson's daughter Eleanor suggested that he name William Gibbs McAdoo as secretary of the Treasury "because he was so attractive."
    "Father had already decided to appoint him for reasons of ability," she recalled later, after becoming Mrs. McAdoo. "But it remained a family joke that I had influenced his choice."
    Mrs. McAdoo died Wednesday at her home here. She was 77, the last survivor of Wilson's three daughters.
    Services Set Saturday.
    Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Montecito Covenant Church, with interment at Santa Barbara Cemetery.
    Mrs. McAdoo, who chronicled her father's public and private life in a number of books and short stories, had been active in California Democratic party affairs until 1965.
    She had been confined to bed for the last 18 months from the infirmities of old age.
    Her book, "The Woodrow Wilsons" was made into a movie. Her last literary work was "The Priceless Gift," a collection of letters from her father to his first wife.
    Drew World Attention.
    In 1916, her marriage to McAdoo, drew world attention. The wedding was held in the White House, where a family friend recalled "there were rooms and rooms of gifts. It was all a mad rush, but she enjoyed it immensely."
    The couple was divorced 20 years later when McAdoo was elected U.S. senator from California and Mrs. McAdoo had to remain in California for health reasons.
    One of her two daughters, Ellen, was twice married and died in 1946. The second, Mary Faith Haddad of Santa Barbara, survives.
    Mrs. McAdoo was the second of Wilson's three daughters by his first wife, the former Ellen Louis Axson, who died in the White House during Wilson's first term in 1914.
    Wilson later married the former Edith Galt, but the couple had no children. She died in Washington in 1961.
    The eldest daughter, Margaret, died in 1914. The youngest daughter, Jessie, died in 1933.

    OBITUARY: The New York Times, April 7, 1967:
    Mrs. Eleanor Wilson McAdoo, President's Daughter, 77, Dies
    Former Wife of Treasury Chief Remained Dedicated to Her Father's Ideals
    Special to The New York Times
    MONTECITO, Calif., April 6 -- Mrs. Eleanor Wilson McAdoo, a daughter of President Wilson and former wife of William Gibbs McAdoo, Mrs. Wilson's Treasury Secretary, died last night at her home here. She was 77 years old.
    Her death occurred on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I. Wed in White House
    Mrs. McAdoo, President Wilson's second daughter, was married in the White House on May 7, 1914. She divorced her husband, who later became a United States Senator, in 1934. He died in 1942.
    In recent years Mrs. McAdoo had lived in a Spanish-style cottage by the sea, cared for by a nurse. The cause of her death was not immediately disclosed.
    She was the last survivor of President Wilson's three daughters and probably the one closest to him temperamentally and ideologically. Throughout her life she remained fiercely dedicated to her father's philosphies of internationalism and liberalism. She espoused them at every opportunity, both in writings and in public appearances.
    Mrs. McAdoo was a tall, slim woman whose dark hair whitened early in her life.
    She was gracious, if somewhat fragile, often plaqued by illness, but just as often vivacious. She was frequently listed among America's best-dressed women.
    'A Sense of Awe'
    Her sensativity to her father and to what it meant to be the daughter of a President was best revealed in her book "The Woodrow WIlsons," published in 1937.
    Recalling her father's election to the Presidency in 1912, she wrote:
    "I had a sense of awe, almost of terror -- he was no longer the man with whom we had lived in warm, sweet intimacy -- he was no longer my father. These people, strangers who had chosen him to be their leader, now claimed him. I had no part in it. I felt deserted and alone."
    Mrs. McAdoo was born in Middletown, Conn., while her father was teaching at Wesleyan University there. She spent her childhood there, on the Princeton campus, where her father was president, and at the governor's mansion in Princeton, N. J.
    On March 14, 1914, the White House confirmed rumors that had been current in Washington for months, by announcing that Miss Wilson, then 24, and Mrs. McAdoo, a 50-year-old widower and a grandfather, would marry.
    A Highlight of the Year
    The Wedding that May was one of the exciting events of the year. "It was all a mad rush," a family friend recalled recently, "but she enjoyed it immensely -- the parties, the gifts, the interviews with the press."
    Mrs. McAdoo's sister, Jessie, had been married to Francis B. Sayre in the White House the previous November.
    In 1934, Mrs. McAdoo divorced her husband in Los Angeles charging mental cruelty and saying that the climate in Washington made it impossible for her to live there. She received custody of their two daughters, Ellen, who died in 1946, and Mary Faith.
    In the years that followed the divorce, Mrs. McAdoo wrote many magazine articles and two books, "The Woodrow WIlson" and "The Priceless GIft," a collection of letters from Mr. Wilson to his wife.
    In 1939 she looked back at her life and recalled to an interviewer"
    "Though I'm really terribly shy, I've managed to overcome it to a great extent now, but when father first went to the White House I thought I would die."
    She explained that she and her sisters "suddenly became goldfish in a glass bowl." "People stared at us whereever we went," she said. "Utter strangers passed judgment on us and we found ourselves plunged into a sea of etiquette and customs that we didn't understand the first thing about. There were times when I wanted to dig a hole in the floor and disappear down it."
    She maintained a constant interest in the work of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and participated in the 1956 observance of the centenary of Mr. Wilson's birth, but she made few appearances after that. One was in 1959, when she went to the White House for a "Life With Father" luncheon of the sons and daughters of Presidents.
    President Wilson died on Feb. 3, 1924. Mrs. McAdoo's mother, the former Ellen Louise Axson, who was Mr. Wilson's first wife, died on Aug. 6, 1914. Mrs. McAdoo's older sister, Margaret, died in 1944 while living in a religious colony in India. Mrs. McAdoo's younger sister, Jessie, died on Jan. 15, 1933.
    She is survived by her daughter, Mrs. Nicholas Haddad of Santa Barbara, Calif., and two grandsons, William Henshaw of Los Angeles and Richard McAdoo of Washington.
    [article includes portrait, with the caption "Mrs. Eleanor Wilson McAdoo," credited to the Associated Press]

    Father: Thomas Woodrow Wilson b: 28 DEC 1856 in Staunton, Augusta Co, Virginia
    Mother: Ellen Louise Axson b: 15 MAY 1860 in Savannah, Chatham Co, Georgia

    Marriage 1 William Gibbs McAdoo Jr. b: 31 OCT 1863 in Marietta, Cobb Co, Georgia
    • Married: 07 MAY 1914 in The White House, Washington, D.C.
    • Divorced: 25 JUL 1935 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co, California
    1. Has Children Ellen Wilson McAdoo b: 21 MAY 1915 in The White House, Washington, D.C.
    2. Has No Children Mary Faith McAdoo b: 06 APR 1920 in New York, New York
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