“When I went to the White House, I was absolutely unfamiliar with the customs and formalities.”
First Ladies of the US Mary McElroy Full Image

Mary McElroy

Mary Arthur McElroy
Years of service: 1881-1885
Born: 1841

First Ladies of the US Mary McElroy Full Image

Mary served as White House Hostess when she moved into the White House for the winter social seasons during the administration of her brother, Chester Arthur. Mary was well educated at the Emma Willard Seminary in Troy, New York. She married John McElroy and settled in Albany, New York, to raise a family. Mary actively participated in the civic life of Albany; however, she believed women should not have the right to vote. She took a leading role in the Albany branch of the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. Mary was close to her niece, Nell, the daughter of the widowed president. She became Nell’s guardian after Chester Arthur died of kidney disease in 1886.


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Leaders in Literacy

4/30/2024 through 4/30/2025

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First Ladies as Teachers, Educators, and Librarians.

The right to an education is a foundational principle of America’s history, and many First Ladies have taken up this cause. We celebrate National First Ladies Day by kicking off this featured exhibit, presented by Huntington Bank.