By Tiffany Amber Stockton
Last month, the story of how my great-grandfather came to be sending clams and oysters to the White House during President Wilson's presidency received featured recognition here.
If you missed last month's post, you can view it here: https://www.hhhistory.com/2021/07/presidential-seafood-clams-and-oysters.html.
This month, I'll be delving further into my great-grandfather's 1st cousin by marriage, Edith Bolling Galt, the woman responsible for my White House connections. *grins*
EDITH BOLLING GALT WILSON -- 1st Lady and Washington Elite Society member
|Edith Bolling Galt Wilson|
It wasn't until recently, with the research associated with the series I'm pitching that's set on Chincoteague Island, that I realized just how fascinating my family history is on my mother's side of the family. My father's might be fascinating as well but with so many deaths during World War I and the Influenza Epidemic, specifics and details are quite difficult to find. I won't give up, though. For now, it's the family history I can research a bit more easily.
|Galt & Bro. Jewelers|
Edith and Norman married in 1896 and she lived happily for 12 years. In 1908, Norman died unexpectedly, but Edith Galt chose a fantastic manager who operated the family's jewelry firm with financial success, giving her a good dose of added business sense which would serve her well for what was to come. Her shrewd decision is what helped that business continue serving the elite members of Washington society and politicians for 200 years, leading it to be Washington's oldest established business in the District.
|President Woodrow Wilson &|
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson
|Edith & Woodrow Wilson|
Remember, I mentioned above how Edith was descended from Virginia aristocracy? Well, that family legacy, upbringing, and culture prepared her quite well for the role of hostess as the new First Lady. Unfortunately, the war in Europe overshadowed just about everything else. Edith jumped right in and became a true helpmate to the President, working hard to keep him fit under tremendous strain.
|President Woodrow Wilson|
|Edith Galt Wilson walking confidently|
with her husband and security detail
In 1921, the Wilsons retired to a comfortable home in Washington, where he died three years later. A highly respected figure in the society of the capital, Mrs. Wilson lived on to ride in President Kennedy's inaugural parade. She died later in 1961: on December 28, the anniversary of her famous husband's birth.
|front face of $10 gold coin|
|rear face of $10 gold coin|
There was a $10 gold coin struck in the U.S. Mint at West Point commemorating Edith Wilson's time as First Lady. It was released in 2013, but uncirculated. The front is a replica of a sculpting done of Edith, and the back symbolizes Edith's support of President Wilson following his stroke. Her hand is resting atop his as he holds his cane.
I just love the symbolism of that image depicted. It would be an amazing keepsake to add to my heirloom and legacy collection, wouldn't you agree? With my 40th birthday coming in just 3 weeks, I'm going to try hard to find it for a birthday present. Will update you in next month's post.
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN:
* Do you have anything that has been passed down to you along the family line from generation to generation? What is it, and why is it so special?
* What would YOU have done in Edith's shoes as First Lady with the President partly paralyzed following a stroke?
* Select one unique fact from the post above that stood out to you and share why it appealed to you.
Leave answers to these questions or any comments on the post below. Next month, I'll be returning to the stories and history on Chincoteague Island. Come back on the 9th of September to find out more.
award-winning, best-selling author and speaker who is also an advocate for literacy as an educational consultant with Usborne Books. She loves to share life-changing products and ideas with others to help better their lives.
She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, along with their two children, two dogs, and two cats in Colorado. She has sold twenty-four (24) books so far and is represented by Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. You can find her on Facebook and GoodReads.