Home About Chat Users Issues Party Candidates Polling Firms Media News Polls Calendar Key Races United States President Senate House Governors International

New User Account
"A comprehensive, collaborative elections resource." 
Email: Password:

  DeWolfe, Eugene Marshall "Pete"
NameEugene Marshall "Pete" DeWolfe
, Colorado , United States
Born September 22, 1880
DiedJanuary 01, 1915 (34 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedThomas Walker
Jan 22, 2008 01:45pm
InfoMarshall Eugene DeWolfe (September 22, 1880-January 1, 1915) was the only child of future First Lady Florence Kling and a man reputed to have been her first husband, Henry Athenton (Pete) DeWolfe. Born in Galion, Crawford County, Ohio, young DeWolfe was primarily raised by his mother; his father was a chronic alcoholic who was absent from the home for days at a time, and would die at age 35.

Those doing research on the Hardings, including John Dean and Robert Ferrell among others, have never been able to find concrete proof of Kling-DeWolfe marriage, leading to the conclusion that the future First Lady and DeWolfe likely established a common law marriage. However divorce papers on file in Marion County Ohio do grant a divorce for Florence from Henry "Pete" DeWolfe, which suggests that a formal marriage did take place at some undocumented time.

Following the divorce of his parents, young Marshall was raised by his grandparents, Amos Hall Kling and Louisa "Louise" Mabel (Bouton) Kling, while his mother lived independently and earned an income as a piano teacher in Marion, Ohio. As part of the agreement with her father, Florence would not have a role in her own son’s upbringing. Throughout his life, Marshall used either his Kling or DeWolfe surname.

Florence Kling DeWolfe married newspaper publisher Warren G. Harding in 1891, however Marshall remained under his grandfather's control and roof. While a room was set aside for him in the Harding home, Marshall never felt at home under his mother's roof, and never comfortable under his grandfather's strict control.

DeWolfe aspired to be a "newspaperman" like his step-father Warren G. Harding. By all accounts, his relationship with Harding was closer than the relationship that he had with his mother. After his graduation from Marion High School, DeWolfe was given a job at the Marion Daily Star. DeWolfe eventually purchased a struggling newspaper in Colorado, moving there with his young family. The venture was unsuccessful, as was a later farming attempt, due in part to his problem with alcoholism.

Marshall Kling DeWolfe died of the effects of alcoholism and tuberculosis in Colorado on January 1, 1915, at the age of 34. His death, the return of his body to Marion and his funeral were events that were not known in the community. He is buried in an unmarked grave in the DeWolfe family plot in Marion Cemetery. When Warren G. Harding was elected President in 1920, the fact that the new First Lady had once been a mother (and that she was a grandmother) were items not discussed in the press, nor by the White House.

Marshall Eugene DeWolfe married to Esther Naomi Neely. Their son, George Warren DeWolfe, and daughter, Eugenia DeWolfe, were the principal heirs to the estate left by their grandmother, Florence Harding, following her death on November 21, 1924.

He was born September 22, 1880. He died January 1, 1915 of advanced tuberculosis. Marshall DeWolfe was the son of a young teenage, Florence Kling, and a neighborhood boy, Henry "Petey" DeWolfe. Some say the couple eloped but no record of marriage has been found. Florence lived with DeWolfe while she was pregnant and for a time after Marshall was born, but the father was usually drunk and often absent. She was forced to give up her son by her abusive father. She did it, and apparently never looked back. Marshall followed in his father's footsteps, drinking and gambling and running up debts, many of which were paid by the future president and first lady, Warren and Florence Harding. He contracted tuberculosis and went to Colorado to a "better" climate where he married Esther Neely. They had two children. The First Lady's son, Eugene Marshall DeWolfe, died of alcoholism and tuberculosis far from his mother and the glamour of the White House.

[Link] [Link]


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 3.00000 Average

Mother Florence Kling Harding 1860-1924