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Sunday 26 October 2014
More in the life and times of Mrs. W.C. McBride. Published today in The Newnan Times-Herald:
This item was published in The Herald and Advertiser, predecessor of The Newnan Times-Herald, on Aug. 14, 1914:
"Among the numerous floral offerings displayed at Mrs. Woodrow Wilson's funeral at Rome on Tuesday last, and one of the few carried into the church with the casket, was a beautiful wreath formed of magnolia leaves contributed by Sarah Dickinson Chapter, D.A.R. of this city. The wreath was designed and put together by Mrs. W. C. McBride, who [sic] artistic taste was never more prettily displayed, and we understand it was much admired."
This belated celebration of the centennial of Mrs. Wilson's death didn't come out of the blue. It was published to illustrate Newnan's ties to the former first lady, a Georgia native whose paintings are currently on display in Rome.
The city of Rome must have been very important to Ellen Axson Wilson and her husband, the future 28th President. As the supporting article emphasizes, "They met in Rome, where they met and where she gave birth to two of her daughters." That two of the daughters were born in Rome is mentioned again later in the article. It also goes on to add that she attended Rome Female College, and Mr. Wilson became "immediately attracted" to her after seeing her in church. They sound like a happy couple. I wonder where they met?
(I should also be absolutely clear on this point: Ellen Axson was the first Mrs. Wilson. Ellen was the third first lady to die while her husband was in office, and perhaps not so coincidentally, Woodrow was the third President to be married while in office. The Mrs. Wilson history recognizes as managing the nation's affairs while President Wilson convalesced from a 1919 stroke was his second wife, Edith Bolling, who so far as I know had no ties to Rome. The article gives no mention of the second, probably more famous Mrs. Wilson.)
The first Mrs. Wilson's paintings are now on display at the Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum in Rome, GA. That museum is no relation to the Oak Hill Cemetery where the aforementioned Mrs. McBride rests.
So that's your Jennie Hardaway McBride update for 2014. For a woman who died 90 years ago, she still gets around!