Lucretia Garfield (née Rudolph; April 19, 1832 – March 13, 1918) was the First Lady of the United States from March to September 1881, as the wife of James A.
Garfield, the 20th President of the United States.
Born in Garrettsville, Ohio, Garfield first met her husband in 1849 at Geauga Seminary.
After a long courtship, they married in 1858.
They would eventually have seven children together, five of whom lived to adulthood.
Highly educated and intellectually curious, Garfield was well attuned to the internal machinations of the Republican Party, which proved to be of great aid to her husband's political career.
She was well regarded during her brief period in the White House, but after only a few months contracted malaria and went to Long Branch, New Jersey, to recuperate.
In July 1881, James Garfield was shot and mortally wounded by Charles Guiteau.
He lingered for two and half months before dying, during which his wife stayed at his bedside and received much public sympathy.
Lucretia Garfield returned to her former residence in Ohio after being widowed, living in what is now the James A.
Garfield National Historic Site.
She spent much of the rest of her life preserving her husband's papers and other materials, establishing what was effectively the first presidential library.