100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Woodrow Wilson’s Grandson Born In The White House


In 1883 Woodrow Wilson went to Rome, Georgia to assist in the settlement of his uncle’s estate. While there he met and fell in love with Ellen Louise Axson, the daughter of a minister from Savannah, Georgia; he proposed to her and they became engaged in Asheville. Ellen was an artist and had received a medal for one of her works from the Paris International Exposition. In 1885 she and Wilson married. They had three children : Margaret, Jesse and Eleanor.

Jesse Wilson Sayre

Jesse Wilson Sayre

Their second daughter Jesse was educated at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. After her graduation from Goucher, she worked at a settlement home in Philadelphia for three years. In July 1913, four months after her father assumed the presidency, the Wilsons announced Jessie’s engagement to Francis Bowes Sayre, Sr. Their November 1913 wedding was the thirteenth White House wedding, and the first since Alice Roosevelt and Nicholas Longworth were wed in 1906.

On January 17, 1915, Jesse Wilson Sayre gave birth in the White House to a son, Francis B. Sayre, Jr. in the White House. The proud grandfather was there to greet his new grandson.


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