One has to fell a little sorry for the President of the United States whose legacies include being the most forgotten President, being the last president of his party (the Whigs), and arguably having the strangest name of any president. Our lucky number 13th President was the second of eight presidents to ascend to the office after the death of the incumbent president, in this case Zachary Taylor. He served less than three years from 1850-1853, and failed to be nominated for the next election. He did however then try to run again in the 1856 election in the “Know-Nothing” movement part, but came in third, carrying only one state.
But despite his utter blah-ness in the Presidential realm, he was an official President and thus all of the locations that I try to visit for other United States Presidents apply to him as well. So far, here is what I’ve got:
Friday, June 7, 2013 – Millard Fillmore homes and locations near and in Buffalo, New York – Besides the White House, there is only one surviving house in which President Fillmore lived. In the East Aurora village just southwest of Buffalo, New York, stands a house that Fillmore had build in 1826. He and his wife Abigail lived here for four years and it was in this house that his one and son Millard Powers Fillmore was born. The house has seen several owners, new additions, and has been relocated more than once. Unfortunately the house is only during limited times of the year, and not when we were there, so I only got a few exterior photos.
The Fillmore home in East Aurora
Hanging on the porch
Locked out… once again
Fillmore lived almost exactly 21 years after he left the Presidency, almost exclusively in Buffalo. His first wife Abigail passed away less than a month after he left office, and the next year his daughter Mary died of cholera. He later remarried in 1858 to Caroline Carmichael McIntosh, herself a widow. She was quite wealthy and the moved into a mansion in Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo in 1858, although the house no longer stands. It was converted to the Fillmore Hotel in 1881 after Caroline’s death, then the Castle Inn in 1901. It was finally razed in 1919 and the Hotel Statler (now Statler Towers) was built on the location.
Postcard of the Fillmore mansion in Niagara Square
The Statler Towers, the former location of the Fillmore mansion
Statue of Fillmore in front of Buffalo City Hall, on the opposite side of Niagara Square
Millard Fillmore was one of the founders of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and served as its first president in 1862. We visited this Buffalo History Museum which contained some cool presidential artifacts including a Grover Cleveland wedding cake box, the original revolver used to kill President McKinley, and Millard Fillmore’s original carriage.
In front of the History Museum and Library, of which Fillmore was one of the founders and first president
Fillmore’s original carriage in the museum
Friday, June 7, 2013 – Grave of Millard Fillmore -Millard Fillmore passed away on March 8, 1874, at the age of 74. He has been preceded by the First Lady Abigail Powers, who was buried in the Fillmore family plot at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. His second wife Caroline would outlive her husband by seven years and die in 1881. Upon her death she too was buried in the family plot and her name was added to Fillmore’s obelisk.
Overview of the Fillmore family plot
Millard Fillmore’s obelisk
Inscription on the side of the obelisk for Fillmore’s second wife Caroline Carmichael
Fillmore’s first wife, and the nation’s First Lady, Abigail Powers Fillmore
The actual location of the bodies of President and Mrs. Fillmore
Brad F. and Millard F.
Continue to the next President…
Return to Friday in Buffalo 2013… (under construction)