Sunday, June 24, 2007

June 24, 1908:

Grover Cleveland Dies

He was fat, loved cigars and beer, and survived an exceedingly dangerous operation in the 1890s to remove a cancer in his jaw, but it wasn't until 1908 that Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States, passed away, apparently of heart disease. He had his run of three-score and ten years, plus one.

From page one of the June 25, 1908, New York Times:

PRINCETON, N.J., June 24. -- Grover Cleveland, twice President of the United States, died at 8:30 o'clock this morning at his home here, with his wife at his bedside. The only others in the sick chamber, besides the nurse were his friend of long standing, Dr. Joseph D. Bryant, and two other physicians. His children were away at the Cleveland New England home, Tamworth, N.H.

"The end came unexpectedly to the general public and to the former President's hosts of friends as well. Its announcement has thrown the Nation into mourning and created profound sorrow in the little university town where he had lived quietly with his family and his books since he withdrew from public life. All day messages attesting their keen regret have poured in here from every part of the country.

"Mr. Cleveland having been in ill-health since last Fall, the hurried arrival of the three physicians at the family home late yesterday gave rise to fears that his illness had taken a serious turn. Mrs. Cleveland set all misgivings at rest by a statement in which she declared her husband safely on the road to recovery.

"Failure of the heart's action following complications of pulminary thrombosis and oedema, is given as the immediate cause of death by Dr. Bryant, who came here from New York on Tuesday.

"For many years Mr. Cleveland had been a victim of severe gastric attacks and a sufferer from rheumatic gout, ailments which, according to his physicians, induced the attack of heart weakness to which he succumbed. With Mrs. Cleveland and Dr. Bryant in the death chamber were Dr. R.L. Lockwood of New York and Dr. J.M. Carnochan of Princeton. Mr. Cleveland's four surviving children, Esther, aged 14; Marion, 12; Richard, 10; and Francis Grover, 5, are at the Cleveland Summer home in New Hampshire with Mrs. Cleveland's mother.

"When it was found that the ex-President would be a long time convalescing from the serious illness which gave his friends so much alarm this Spring, the children were sent to the Summer home Mr. Cleveland built two years ago at Tamworth, N.H. Esther and Richard were summoned after their father's death, and are expected here to-morrow."

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