Lucretia Rudolph was born on April 19, 1832, in Garrettsville, Ohio. She first met future President "Jim" Garfield when they both attended a nearby school. They renewed their friendship in 1851 as students at the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute. In 1858, they married.
During the 1880 presidential campaign, James Garfield campaigned from the front porch of Lawnfield, the couple's summer home in Ohio. Voters came from throughout the country to hear him speak, and Mrs. Garfield was a perfect hostess.
In one corner of the property, there was a campaign office equipped with telegraph facilities to receive election returns. Lucretia was among the first presidential candidates' wives to appear on a campaign poster.
The Garfield family arrived at the White House in March 1881. Just two months later, the new First Lady became seriously ill with malaria. She was recovering at a New Jersey coastal resort on July 2 when President Garfield was shot. During the President's illness before his death in September, Mrs. Garfield's dignity and strength were greatly admired.
After the President’s death, the rest of the family returned to its Ohio farm, where Lucretia Garfield lived for another 36 years. During that time, she worked to help preserve her husband's records.
Design on Reverse
In 1869, while James Garfield was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Lucretia and James built a large home in Washington. She set aside one room in the house for herself so she could paint and draw in private.
The design on the reverse represents Lucretia Garfield's interest in art. She is shown painting on a canvas holding a brush and palette.