Genealogy Trails

Obituaries of Presidents' Parents



Colonel John C. Coolidge

Hagerstown, Maryland, Thursday, March 18, 1926
Plymouth, Vermont, March 17

Col. John Coolidge
Col. John Coolidge

Aged Father of President Gets Weaker Hourly
Slight Assurance Given in Bulletin By His Physician
Unable To Take Any Nourishment
Heart Action, Temperature and Lungs Remain Normal

The life of Colonel John C. Coolidge tonight hung by a slender thread. In his modest farm house home near here, the President’s father, worn by months of illness, was sinking slowly. Today his physician, Dr. Albert M. Cram, of Bridgewater, gave but slight assurance to anxious neighbors and friends. Unable to take any nourishment except a few drops of coffee, Col. Coolidge grew gradually weaker, reports emanating from the sick room said. The most favorable symptom in his case, it was said, was the fact that heart action, temperature and lungs remained normal. There has been no recent recurrence of the rapid pulse which alarmed the physician last Thursday night. After spending nearly three hours with his patient, Dr. Cram issued about midday the following bulletin:

“There is nothing to be said of Col. Coolidge’s condition this morning. Heart condition is fair and temperature and respiration nearly normal. He remains very weak as he is unable to take any nourishment. He is very comfortable when not disturbed and bears what pain and discomfort are necessary with great fortitude. No new developments are anticipated during the next 24 hours.”

Dr. Cram let it be known that it was with the greatest difficulty his aged patient could take the necessary medicine. The inability of Col. Coolidge to take nourishment was responsible for the growing weakness the physician said. A further complication has been the partial paralysis of the intestinal organs. Dr. Cram added that the lungs so far showed no indication of congestion, a condition which the physician said he would regard as very grave. The condition of Colonel Coolidge change but little during the day, his physician Dr. Cram said tonight. “Colonel Coolidge is very quiet tonight.” The bulletin at 7:50 o’clock said. “He spent a comfortable afternoon but has not taken any nourishment. His condition is about the same as this morning and it appears likely that he will have a restful night as he does not suffer from attacks of hiccoughing as much as before. There seems to be no immediate cause for alarm.”
[Submitted by Nancy Piper]

John Coolidge
Col. Coolidge as he appeared one year ago


Mrs. John Coolidge
An early photograph of Col. Coolidge's wife made at the time of their marriage

Plymouth, Vt., March 18. --
Arrangements for the funeral of Col. John C. Coolidge, who died at his home here Thursday night, will not be completed until the arrival of the President Friday. This was announced by Dr. Albert M. Cram, physician in charge.
The date of the funeral services was not decided upon, the doctor said. Neighbors who professed to know something of the plans, expressed belief that they would take place on Sunday.
While the front yard of the Coolidge home was being cleared of snow Thursday, the approach of the little Union Meeting House across the road also was plowed bare of drifts. Those who have had opportunity to know the wishes of Col. Coolidge said the services would be held in the old meeting house where he was a life-long worshipper.
When the colonel arranged his affairs early last winter he requested Selectman Azro Johnson, who is also sexton of the church, to prepare his grave in the village cemetery, where many members of the family lie. There Calvin, the President's son, was interred in 1924, and there is a place reserved for Calvin's grandfather.
Two years ago when Col. Coolidge ordered a monument for the family plot, he had his name cut in the stone.
[San Antonio Express, Friday, March 19, 1926 - Submitted by K. Torp]

Mrs. Sara Roosevelt, 86, Mother of President, Dies at Hyde Park, NY
Chief Executive’s Mother Would Have been 87 in Two Weeks
Talk Expected to Deal With US-German Tension to Be Given Thursday
Hyde Park, NY, Sept. 7 (AP) – Mrs. Sara Delano Roosevelt, who survived to see her only son become President of the United States, died today at the ancestral Roosevelt home overlooking the Hudson River. Death came at 11:15 of an acute circulatory collapse resulting principally from her advanced age. The first information of her declining health was Friday when President Roosevelt left Washington for Hyde Park to visit his mother whom he said he wished to undergo a physical checkup. Mrs. Roosevelt died while her son – the 32nd President of the United States – was preparing an address of major importance ________ scheduled to be broadcast from the White House in Washington tomorrow night. It was announced officially that the address, expected to ease ______ the new tension in German-American relations, would be postponed until 9 p.m. EST Thursday. It will be carried from the White House by major American networks and rebroadcast to the world in 14 languages. Dr. Scott L. Smith, the family physician, announced that Mrs. Roosevelt had been unconscious for 12 hours preceding her death and that her condition had not been alarming until Saturday evening. Even at her advanced age she was extremely active, attending many charitable functions and state occasions. She had spent the summer at her cottage on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, leaving Aug. 31 for Hyde Park. Both the President and his wife were with his mother when she died. They had spent last night at her bedside…Mrs. Roosevelt had been a widow since December 8, 1900…Burial will be in the cemetery behind historic St. James Church, an ivy covered gray stone building more than two miles up the Aloany post road from the Roosevelt Estate. Mrs. Roosevelt not only lived to see her only son become president of the United States – 1st, 2nd – but also lived to see him shatter all precedent by being elected to a third term in the highest office in the land. She was born Sept. 21, 1854, the daughter of a long line of merchants in the Far East trade. Her father was Warren Delano, who engaged in banking and commerce. Her marriage to James Roosevelt Oct. 7, 1880 joined her to a line equally aristocratic. Only 20 miles separated her Hyde Park estate on the Hudson river from her girlhood home “Algonac” near Newburgh, NY. Mrs. Roosevelt’s death came only two weeks from what would have been her 87th birthday anniversary, which by family tradition was observed at the Hyde Park estate. Her last previous reported illness was April 29, 1940, when she suffered an upset stomach while motoring in New York City and was treated in a drug store near the New York world’s fair. She returned to her car and was driven home. Mrs. Roosevelt’s only living sister, Mrs. Price Collier of Tuxedo Park, NY, visited her Saturday afternoon. Her brother, Frederic A. Delano, who is chairman of the national resources planning board in Washington came to Hyde Park this morning. Four of the grandchildren were notified during the night of the serious turn in her condition, Elliott and John Roosevelt started for Hyde Park, Mrs. John Boettinger in Seattle was informed but officials did not know whether she would come East. The only other grandchild, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., a naval officer, is on sea duty. The President had a good visit with his mother in her room just after he arrived here from Washington yesterday morning and had spent some time with her again yesterday afternoon. In announcing that the funeral would be held Tuesday, the temporary White House made a special request that no flowers be sent. This official statement was issued. “Mrs. Sarah Roosevelt, mother of the President, died at her home in Hyde Park at 12:15 p.m. o’clock today (e.d.s.t).” Dr. Scott L. smith, the family physician, made the following statement. “For the 12 hours preceding her death, Mrs. Roosevelt had been unconscious following an acute circulatory collapse due principally to her advanced age. The first information of this occurred during Friday night but did not become alarming until Saturday evening.” Two years ago – at the age of 84 – Mrs. Roosevelt was hostess to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on their first visit to the United States and thus became the first woman in history to entertain British rulers in a private home (Hyde Park) in this country. Throughout her mature life she was mistress of the stately stone and stucco home here and it was for this reason that she was hostess to royalty instead of her famous daughter-in-law, on that occasion. She married James Roosevelt October 7, 1880 and in January, 1882, her son, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was born. The father was a lawyer with financial and railroad interests and his father, Isaac Roosevelt – the president’s grandfather – was a distant cousin of Theodore Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt’s early education came from governesses in her girlhood home and later she studied four years in France and Germany. With her mother she took a four months trip to China when she was only eight aboard the clipper ship “Surprise.” In Hong Kong she joined her father and returned to this country by way of Europe. In addition to the Hyde Park estate, she maintained a town house in East 65th street, Manhattan. The Rev. Frank R. Wilson is rector of the Episcopal church in the churchyard of which Mrs. Roosevelt will be buried. The parish dates back to 1811. The president’s father is buried there and so are his grandmother, Mrs. Rebecca H. Roosevelt, who died in 1876, and his first son, who died in infancy in 1909 and also was named Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
[Spartanburg [SC] Herald Journal, September 8, 1941, Page 1, transcribed by Andrew Staton]

Nancy Allison McKinley
Every business house, the schools, the courthouse and all city offices in Canton, O., were closed on the 14th in tribute of respect for Mrs. Nancy Allison McKinley, mother of the president, the last services for whom were performed in the First Methodist church. Many notable persons were present from Washington and other places to pay their last respects. After the funeral services the Washington guests were entertained at dinner by Mrs. George D. Harter, and at eight o'clock left on the special train for Washington, the president's car being attached.
[Barton County democrat.(Great Bend, Kan.), December 23, 1897 - KT, Sub by FoFG]



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