Kurt's Historic Sites

Hayes tomb

Rutherford B. Hayes

Interment Location Visited Sequence in Graves I Have Visited
Fremont, OH June 20, 2005 21st President visited

Photographed June 20, 2005.

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library was established in 1916 and predates the 1955 legislation that was enacted to preserve presidential papers in federally-operated facilities. The triangular property contains the burial site and longtime home of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes, exhibit space, and extensive archives. The center also boasts iron gates, seen here, which once guarded the White House grounds in Washington, D.C. They were donated to the Hayes Library in 1928.

Of the five U.S. presidents interred in the state of Ohio, Hayes is the only one who did not die in office. Likewise, he is alone among them in not having an elaborate tomb. The Hayes monument is still sizeable though, and personal to the former president: Hayes designed it himself, and its granite was quarried from his family’s ancestral land in Vermont.

Photographed June 20, 2005.
Photographed June 20, 2005.

After recently-passed legislation restricted usage of the U.S. Capitol premises, President Hayes opened the grounds of the Executive Mansion to allow children to roll Easter eggs at “the People’s House” instead. The White House Easter Egg Roll tradition was inaugurated on Monday, April 22, 1878. Hayes claims some additional presidential firsts: he was the first chief executive to hold a telephone conversation and the first to use the iconic Resolute desk, which Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom gifted him in 1880.

Fast Facts

Born: October 4, 1822 in Delaware, Ohio

Spouse: Lucy Ware Webb Hayes (m. 1852-1889)

Highest Military Rank: Brevet Major General — U.S. Army

Political Affiliation: Republican Party

Gubernatorial Tenure: 1868-1872, 1876-1877

Presidential Tenure: 1877-1881

Vice President: William A. Wheeler

Died: January 17, 1893 in Fremont, Ohio

Cause of Death: Heart Attack

Age: 70

Last Words: “I know that I am going where Lucy is.”

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

"The President of the United States of necessity owes his election to office to the suffrage and zealous labors of a political party, the members of which cherish with ardor and regard as of essential importance the principles of their party organization; but he should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves the country best."
- Rutherford B. Hayes

March 5, 1877 in his inaugural address

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Hayes, Rutherford B. “Inaugural Address,” March 5, 1877. From Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums. https://www.rbhayes.org/hayes/rutherford-b.-hayes-s-inaugural-address/.

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. “Easter Egg Roll Significant Dates.” Accessed January 11, 2022. https://www.whitehousehistory.org/press-room/press-timelines/easter-egg-roll-significant-dates.

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