Ellen (Axson) Wilson
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Ellen Louise (Axson) Wilson (1860 - 1914)

Ellen Louise Wilson formerly Axson
Born in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married 24 Jun 1885 in Chatham, Georgia, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Washington, District of Columbia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 20 Dec 2011
This page has been accessed 2,333 times.
U.S. President Spouse
Ellen (Axson) Wilson is a spouse of a US President/Vice President
Join: US Presidents Project
Discuss: Presidents

Contents

Biography

Presidential First Lady. The daughter of a Presbyterian minister, she was the first wife of Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who became the governor of New Jersey and later the 28th US President.

Ellen Louise Axson was born 15 May 1860, Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United States, [1] to Reverend Samuel Edward Axson, a Presbyterian minister, and his wife Margaret Jane (Hoyt) Axson.

She received her primary education at The Sabbath School in Rome, Georgia and her high school education at the Rome Female College, also in Rome, graduating in 1876. She continued her education through self-study with a focus on art. In November 1881 her mother died and two years later her father suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized in a mental institution and died the following year.

In 1884 she applied and was accepted at the Art Students League in New York City, New York where she studied for a year. After meeting Woodrow Wilson at her father's church in 1883, they developed a romantic relationship and were married at her paternal grandfather's home in Savannah, Georgia on 24 June 1885. She then gave up her career ambition to become an artist and oversaw her husband's academic and political career and her children's primary education.

When her husband was elected as the US President in 1912, she assumed the management of moving from Princeton, New Jersey to Washington DC and taking occupancy of the White House. During her first full three months as First Lady, she hosted over 40 White House receptions, with an average guest list of over 500 people.

She often found escape from her social obligations by attending the theater or the new silent movies, which were beginning to be shown in public theaters, and also made visits to the local art galleries and museums. She expanded the 3rd floor of the White House by putting in five new bedrooms but probably her most enduring contribution to the Executive Mansion, though short-lived, was the creation of the Rose Garden. She created a private art studio on the 3rd floor of the White House where she continued to paint. She planned the White House wedding of her daughter Jessie in the East Room that occurred on 25 November 1913 and her daughter Nell in the Blue Room on 07 May 1914. After discovering she was afflicted with a terminal kidney disease known as Bright's Disease, she died at the age of 54, becoming the 3rd presidential wife to die in the White House up to that time. [2]

Marriage

Ellen married Woodrow Wilson on 24 June 1885, in Chatham, Georgia, United States. [3]

Children

  1. Margaret Woodrow Wilson (1886–1944) - singer, businesswoman, Hindu nun (1940–44)
  2. Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre (1887–1933) - She married Francis B. Sayre in 1913. Jessie was active in the League of Women Voters, the YWCA, and as secretary of the Massachusetts Democratic Committee.
  3. Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo (1889–1967)

Death and Burial

Ellen Louise (Axson) Wilson passed away 06 August 1914, Washington, District of Columbia, United States. [4]

She was interred in Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, Floyd County, Georgia, United States. [5]

Sources

  1. "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZTC-9SL : 17 March 2020), Ellen L Axson in entry for S J M Clark, 1860.
  2. Credit of the above biography goes to William Bjornstad, and Paula Ann edited to conform with WikiTree standards, entered 17 March 2020.
  3. "Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KXJX-DZD : 17 March 2020), Woodrow Wilson and Ellen L. Axson, 24 Jun 1885; citing Marriage, Chatham, Georgia, United States, Georgia Department of Archives and History, Morrow, FHL microfilm 183,860.
  4. "District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7BS-CQ2 : 17 March 2020), Ellen Axson Wilson, 06 Aug 1914, District of Columbia, United States; citing reference ID 218634, District Records Center, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 2,115,609.
  5. Find A Grave, database and images (accessed 17 March 2020), memorial page for Ellen Louise Axson Wilson (15 May 1860–6 Aug 1914), Find A Grave: Memorial #2459, citing Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, Floyd County, Georgia, USA; Maintained by Find A Grave.

See also:

  • "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8LY-WCQ : 17 March 2020), Ellen L Axson in household of Samuel E Axson, Rome, Floyd, Georgia, United States; citing enumeration district ED 64, sheet 158D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,146.
  • "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9FL-MPX : 17 March 2020), Ellen A Wilson in household of Woodrow Wilson, District 1 Princeton borough, Mercer, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 53, sheet 3B, family 69, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,982.
  • "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKBM-GMW : 17 March 2020), Ellen A Wilson in household of Woodrow Wilson, Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 41, sheet 11A, family 233, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 896; FHL microfilm 1,374,909.
  • Roberts, Gary Boyd, The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (2008), 296, 432, 490.
  • Roberts, Gary Boyd, comp., Ancestors of American Presidents, Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (2009), 96.


Acknowledgements

  • WikiTree profile Axson-4 created through the import of Carp-1_2011-12-15.ged on Dec 19, 2011 by Lyman Carpenter.


More Genealogy Tools



Sponsored Search




Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com

DNA
No known carriers of Ellen's DNA have taken a DNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Sponsored by Ancestry ®

Family History Search.

Simplified.

Enter a grandparent's name. Just one grandparent can lead you to many discoveries.

Comments: 2

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Please add [email address removed] to the trusted list for this profile.
posted by Robin Lee
Please add category
posted by Ed Burke

A  >  Axson  |  W  >  Wilson  >  Ellen Louise (Axson) Wilson

Categories: Spouses of US Presidents | Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, Georgia | First Ladies of the United States