Rutherford Birchard Hayes
Burial Location Visited President Grave #
Fremont, Ohio
June 20, 2005 21st Visited

President Rutherford B. Hayes, who
presided over the end of federally-run
southern reconstruction, is buried on the
grounds of the Hayes Presidential Center in
Fremont, Ohio. He and First Lady Lucy
Webb Hayes were originally interred in the
city's Oakwood Cemetery. Their remains
were returned to the grounds of their
home - Spiegel Grove - in April 1915.

The plot of land where Rutherford and Lucy
now rest was a burying ground for family
pets, such as horses "Old Whitey" and "Old
Ned." It was the president's favorite location
at the estate - he and Mrs. Hayes relaxed
there and reflected about current events.

Fast Facts *

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

- Political Party: Republican Party

- Term: 1877-1881
- Vice President: William Almon Wheeler

- Born: October 4, 1822

- Died: January 17, 1893

- Age:

- Cause of Death: Heart Attack

- Last Words: "I know I am going where Lucy is."

Cemetery: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Fremont, Ohio
- GPS Coordinates: 41°20'24.2"N 83°07'48.3"W

* * * Background on Rutherford B. Hayes * * *

* Rutherford B. Hayes was one of several U.S. presidents who served in the army during the Civil War, and one of two assigned to the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry - him as a major, William McKinley as a private. Yet Hayes' Civil War service was unique in that he was the lone future president wounded in the line of duty - not once, but five times. On three occasions his horse was shot out from under him. The most significant injury came at the Battle of South Mountain in Frederick County, Maryland, on September 14, 1862, when a musket ball struck Hayes in the left arm just above his elbow. There was initial concern that the limb would have to be amputated, but such a procedure proved to be unnecessary. "The arm is of course useless and will be so for some weeks," he wrote his mother-in-law the following day. Hayes recovered and continued to serve in the 23rd, which participated in over fifty battles in the Eastern Theater. The Ohioan was well-respected by his underlings and his superiors and rose to the rank of brevet major general before the war's end. He was elected as the U.S. representative for his state's 2nd district in 1864 and worked in Congress for one term. Hayes returned to his home state to serve as its governor from 1868 to 1872, and from 1876 to 1877.

* When Ulysses S. Grant declined to run for a third presidential term in 1876, the Republican Party was forced to select a new nominee at its June convention. Congressman James G. Blaine, the leading candidate, was unable to gain enough traction, as were his leading competitors. No consensus was reached among convention delegates until the seventh ballot, when the majority cast their votes for Rutherford B. Hayes, who was viewed as a palatable compromise choice. The progressive Ohio governor was pitted against fellow reformer Samuel Tilden, the Democratic governor of New York, in the general election. The initial results indicated Tilden, who led by 264,000 popular votes, had also won enough electoral votes to earn the presidency. Yet the Republicans declared that the returns in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina - states where large numbers of black male voters were violently repressed - were fraudulent. The state boards disqualified enough Democratic ballots to submit results that favored Hayes to Congress. Democrats submitted separate returns to the government and maintained Tilden was victorious. Due to the closeness of the tallies, whichever candidate received the disputed electoral votes would become president. Amid threats of violence, President Grant ordered troops to protect the capital. A joint session of Congress could not resolve the election and created a commission to reach a decision. Republicans held a majority on the commission and awarded the disputed votes to Hayes, leaving him with 185 electoral votes to Tilden's 184. For only the second time in U.S. history, the presidency did not go to the candidate who won the popular vote. To ward off Democratic filibustering, Republicans agreed to remove the last remaining federal troops from the South - a measure that was already likely to occur due to waning northern support for Reconstruction and limited funds. Hayes was sworn in as the nineteenth president in March 1877, but some individuals did not accept his election as legitimate and pilloried him as "His Fraudulency" and "Rutherfraud B. Hayes."

* Early into his tenure as commander-in-chief, Hayes ordered federal troops to withdraw from Louisiana and South Carolina – the last two Southern states under occupation, which swiftly fell back under Democratic control. The president received assurances from southern officials that the rights of black Americans under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments would not be infringed upon. In reality, the vacuum left by the federal government was filled by white supremacist social structure that over time led to significant regressions in civil rights. Hayes’ hope that his actions would convert large numbers of southern whites into Republicans failed as well. After Democrats took control of the Senate in the 1878 midterm elections, they made multiple attempts to repeal civil rights legislation called the Enforcement Acts that were passed during the Grant administration. Hayes vetoed each of their bills. Apart from attempting to prevent the erosion of African Americans’ rights, President Hayes focused on restoration of the economy and civil service reform. He issued an order in June 1877 that barred civil servants from participating in political campaigns, and he established a system for custom houses that awarded jobs based on merit as opposed to patronage. That same year, a series of railroad strikes spurred on by dramatic wage cuts negatively impacted commerce while the nation was still in the process of recovering from the Panic of 1873. The president used the military to minimize labor violence and protect federal property in cities like Baltimore and Pittsburgh, although he did not order troops to end the work stoppage.

Sources Consulted                                                                                                                                                     

Cash, James B. Unsung Heroes: Ohioans in the White House: A Modern Appraisal. Wilmington, OH: Orange Frazer Press, 1998. Reprinted. Wilmington, OH: Orange Frazer Press, 2000.

Hayes, Rutherford B. Rutherford B. Hayes to Maria Webb. September 15, 1862. In Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Nineteenth President of the United States II, 1861-1865. Edited by Charles Richard Williams. 353-54. Columbus, OH: F. J. Heer Printing Company, 1922.

Lamb, Brian, and the C-SPAN Staff. Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites. New York: PublicAffairs, 2000. Reprinted. New York: PublicAffairs, 2003.

"Life Portrait of Rutherford B. Hayes." C-SPAN video, 2:28:12. July 19, 1999. 150637-1/life-portrait-rutherford-b-hayes.

The Presidents. "Andrew Johnson to Arthur (1865-1885)." History Channel, 2005.

Rabinowitz, Howard N. The First New South, 1865-1920. Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 1992.

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
. Part 1. Directed by Rob Rapley and Cyndee Readdean. New York: McGee Media, 2019.

The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents. "Executive Retreat 1865-1901." History Channel, 2013.

Vorenberg, Michael. "Rutherford B. Hayes." In The Reader's Companion to the American Presidency, edited by Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer, 228-37. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.

"Wormley Conference." Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed June 30, 2019.

Website Builder