3 Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens


Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens

The Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska marks the location of the house at 3202 Woolworth Avenue where U.S. President Gerald R. Ford lived for a couple of weeks after his birth in July 1913. It was the home of his paternal grandparents, Charles Henry and Martha King.

History

The King house at 3202 Woolworth Avenue was located on the border of the Hanscom Park and Field Club neighborhoods of Midtown Omaha. It was a three-story, fourteen-room Victorian mansion. It was razed after a 1971 fire caused substantial damage.

Omaha businessman James M. Paxson, who lived in the neighborhood, purchased the vacant lot for $17,250 after Ford became President in 1974. He planned for it to be used for a memorial. Although Paxson donated the site to the city, officials said they couldn't afford to build a memorial. Paxson then set up the Paxson Foundation to fund the memorial and associated gardens. It includes a portico evoking the north side of the White House and a pagoda that resembles a portion of the original home. ["Omaha Businessman Foots Bill for Ford Birthplace Memorial" - "Nebraska Journal" - May 7, 1976]

Memorial and Ford Conservation Center

The memorial was dedicated in 1977. Ford partnered with Paxson on some fundraising. Ford returned in 1980 for the dedication of a rose garden in honor of Betty Ford. [ [http://www.nebraskahistory.org/conserve/brthsite.htm Nebraskahistory.org description] ]

Adjoining the site is the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, a regional center of the Nebraska State Historical Society founded in 1995. It provides conservation services for historical relics. The Center also contains a small exhibit of Ford memorabilia.

The two sites are just to the northwest of Hanscom Park, one of the oldest public parks in Omaha. The house site is four blocks west of the Gerald R. Ford Expressway.

Family

The house was owned by the future president's paternal grandparents, Charles Henry King, a prominent banker, and his wife, the former Martha Alicia Porter. After their son Leslie Lynch King married Dorothy Ayer Gardner on September 7, 1912, the young couple moved into the house with his parents, as was typical of the times. Their first son, named Leslie Lynch King, Jr. was born in July 1913.

Because she had found that King was abusive and had a drinking problem, Dorothy separated from him shortly after the birth, when Leslie, Jr. was only 16 days old. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Ford-Nebraska.html "Nebraska-born, Ford Left State As Infant"] , Associated Press, December 27, 2006, The New York "Times"] After staying briefly with a sister in Illinois, Dorothy took her son with her to her parents and moved in with them in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That is where the future president grew up. [ [http://www.ford.utexas.edu/grf/genealog.htm "Gerald R. Ford Genealogical Information"] , University of Texas] ] By the end of 1913 Dorothy's divorce from Leslie King was final. A few years later in 1916, Dorothy married Gerald Rudolff Ford. They renamed Leslie, Jr. after him, as Gerald Rudolff Ford, Jr. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Ford-Nebraska.html "Nebraska-born, Ford Left State As Infant"] , Associated Press, December 27, 2006, The New York "Times"]

References

External links

* [http://www.nebraskahistory.org/conserve/exhibit.htm Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center official site]
* [http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/parks/Weddings/fordwedding.htm Omaha Parks Official Website]
* [http://www.ford.utexas.edu/avproj/hseries/homes.htm Photos of 3202 Woolworth Avenue, first home of Gerald R. Ford] , University of Texas]
* [http://www.presidentsusa.net/fordbirthsite.html Contemporary photos of 3202 Woolworth Avenue, first home of Gerald R. Ford] , Presidents USA


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gerald Ford — This article is about the U.S. President. For other uses, see Gerald Ford (disambiguation). Gerald Ford 38th President of the United States …   Wikipedia

  • Death and state funeral of Gerald Ford — Former First Lady Betty Ford kneels in prayer at the casket of her late husband, Gerald Ford, as he lies in state. The Ford children, left to right, are Jack, Susan, Michael, and Steven. Part …   Wikipedia

  • Inauguration of Gerald Ford — Presidential Inauguration of Gerald Ford The swearing in of President Gerald Ford by Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger Participants Gerald Ford Location …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Henry King — Born March 12, 1853(1853 03 12) Perry Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Died February 27, 1930(1930 02 27) (aged 76) Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Resting place …   Wikipedia

  • Omaha Landmarks — The interior foyer of Downtown Omaha s Union Station, located at 801 South 10th Street in the Omaha Rail and Commerce Historic District. This article covers Landmarks in Omaha, Nebraska designated by the City of Omaha Landmark Heritage… …   Wikipedia

  • James M. Paxson — (died 1995) is an Omaha, Nebraska businessman who donated the land and raised funds to create the Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens at the 1913 birth site of President Gerald Ford.Paxson was president of Standard Chemical Company in Omaha, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Tourism in Omaha — Tourism in Omaha, Nebraska, United States offers visitors history, sports, nature and cultural experiences. Its principal tourist attractions are the Henry Doorly Zoo and the College World Series (CWS). A 2003 study by a Creighton University… …   Wikipedia

  • Hanscom Park — is a historic neighborhood in Midtown Omaha, Nebraska. Its namesake public park is one of the oldest parks in Omaha, donated to the City in 1872. [Washburn, T. (2004) [http://www.ketv.com/150thbirthday/3529435/detail.html What Kind Of History… …   Wikipedia

  • Midtown Omaha — looking west from the Park East neighborhood of Downtown Omaha. Midtown is a geographic area of Omaha, Nebraska that is a culturally, socially and economically important area of the city.[1] It is home to major research centers, national… …   Wikipedia

  • Interstate 480 (Iowa-Nebraska) — Infobox road route=480 type=I length mi=4.90 length round=2 length ref= [ [http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/routefinder/table2.htm Route Log Auxiliary Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways Table 2] ] year… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.