Buffalo’s First Lady

One of the most popular first ladies in our nation’s history would have turned 150 years old this week. Frances Folsom grew up on Edward Street in Buffalo. Her father was a close friend and law partner of Grover Cleveland. When he passed away, Cleveland was the executor of his will and saw over the family’s finances. Cleveland began courting Frances when he was serving as the Governor of New York and she was a student at Wells College. He asked her for her hand in marriage shortly after he was elected to the White House. Frances was twenty-one years old when she married the sitting President of the United States in 1886, in front of only thirty people, and hidden away from the press. They were the only first couple to marry inside the White House in our nation’s history. Mark Evans of the Buffalo Presidential Center has been studying the life of Frances Cleveland and collecting her memorabilia for years, which is now on display in the pavilion of the Robert H. Jackson Federal Courthouse in Niagara Square. Winging It‘s Lauren Hall spoke with him about Buffalo’s first lady and her legacy at the unveiling of the exhibit.

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