Kurt's Historic Sites

Hobart

Garret Hobart

Interment LocationVisitedSequence in Graves I Have Visited
Paterson, NJApril 23, 201024th Vice President visited

Photographed April 23, 2010.

The office of U.S. vice president was historically of little importance in the Executive Branch. It was not really until Walter Mondale served with Jimmy Carter in the 1970s that the VP role was modernized. Seven decades before Mondale took office, though, there was a vice president who played a substantive role in a presidential administration. Garret Augustus Hobart was a valued advisor to William McKinley and actively ushered legislation through the Senate. Hobart’s impact did not last an entire term, however, as he died of heart issues during his third year in office and was laid to rest at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson, New Jersey.

While Hobart is a little-known politician today, his fatal heart ailment had profound implications in American history. In 1900, Governor Theodore Roosevelt of New York was chosen to take the late Hobart’s spot as President McKinley’s running mate in his re-election bid. The tandem won, but McKinley was assassinated six months into his second term. Roosevelt proceeded to transform the presidency with his aggressive tactics and progressive platform. Meanwhile, Hobart — the man who otherwise would have been president upon McKinley’s death — was laying in this imposing mausoleum.

Photographed April 23, 2010.
Photographed April 23, 2010.

In May 1901 — a year and a half after the vice president’s passing — the Journal newspaper in Matawan, New Jersey, reported the pending construction of his mausoleum. The blurb reads as follows: “A mausoleum over the body of the late Vice President Garret A. Hobart, which lies in Cedar Lawn Cemetery, at Paterson, is to be erected. Mrs. Hobart recently purchased eleven lots adjoining the present family plot to accommodate the large marble structure which she intends to put up. The entrance is to be of massive marble columns, inside of which will be heavy windows. Directly under the high dome the body of Mr. Hobart will rest in a marble sarcophagus. Room will be made for another sarcophagus in which the body of Mrs. Hobart will rest after death. Around the tomb there will be niches for other members of the family. The mausoleum will cost upward of $80,000.

Through the doors I was able to photograph the marble sarcophagi in which the remains of Garret and Jennie Hobart are enclosed. The stained glass window at the mausoleum’s rear is a splendid feature.

Photographed April 23, 2010.

Fast Facts

Born: June 3, 1844 in Long Branch, New Jersey

Spouse: Jennie Tuttle Hobart (m. 1869-1899)

Political Affiliation: Republican Party

Vice Presidential Term: 1897-1899 under William McKinley

Died: November 21, 1899 in Paterson, New Jersey

Cause of Death: Heart Disease

Age: 55

Interment: Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, New Jersey

"I find that I am as good and as capable as any of them. If they know a whole lot of things I don't know, I also know a whole lot of things they don't know. And there is a common humanity running through them all that makes us all as one, after all."
- Garret Hobart

referring to the U.S. senators whom he was presiding over as vice president

Sources Consulted

Connolly, Michael J. “‘I Make Politics My Recreation’: Vice President Garret A. Hobart and Nineteenth-Century Republican Business Politics.” New Jersey History 125, no. 1 (2010). https://njh.libraries.rutgers.edu/index.php/njh/article/view/1019/2412.

Matawan Journal. “The Hobart Mausoleum.” May 16, 1901. http://www.digifind-it.com/matawan/data/journal/1901/1901-05-16.pdf.

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