Kurt's Historic Sites

Rutherford and Lucy Hayes

Lucy Hayes

Interment LocationVisited 
Fremont, OHJune 20, 2005 

Photographed June 20, 2005.

Lucy Hayes was a popular, teetotaler first lady best remembered today by the moniker “Lemonade Lucy” — though there is no evidence to indicate that nickname was employed until after her White House years. By then she and her husband, the 19th president, had returned to their home in Fremont, Ohio — Spiegel Grove. Mrs. Hayes lived there until her death in June 1889 and was buried at Fremont’s Oakwood Cemetery. When death claimed Rutherford B. Hayes nearly four years later, his last words were about reuniting with his beloved wife: “I know that I am going where Lucy is.” I cannot use primary sources to cite facts about the potential afterlives of President and Mrs. Hayes, but I can confirm in earthly terms that Rutherford was buried beside his spouse in January 1893. Two decades later the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library opened next to Spiegel Grove, by which point the first couple had been exhumed from Oakwood Cemetery and laid to rest at their old home.

The granite monument that marked Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’ graves was also moved from Oakwood Cemetery to the grounds of Spiegel Grove. The cumbersome memorial was transported via a specially-constructed railcar. A similar gravestone was then placed at the Hayes plot in Oakwood, where dozens of other family members remain.

Photographed June 19, 2005.

Fast Facts

Born: August 28, 1831 in Chillicothe, Ohio

Spouse: Rutherford B. Hayes (m. 1852-1889)

First Lady Tenure: 1877-1881

Died: June 25, 1889 in Fremont, Ohio

Cause of Death: Stroke

Age: 57

Interment: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Fremont, Ohio

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Lamb, Brian and the staff of C-SPAN. Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb? A Tour of Presidential Gravesites. Rev. ed. New York: PublicAffairs, 2003.

Picone, Louis L. The President is Dead! The Extraordinary Stories of the Presidential Deaths, Final Days, Burials, and Beyond. Rev. ed. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2020.

White House Historical Association. “Lucy Hayes.” Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.whitehousehistory.org/bios/lucy-hayes.

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