Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential CenterHayes Presidential Center
Fremont, OH 43420
As the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes was a notable statesman, and his administration was marked by his devotion to civil rights for freed men and Native Americans, as well as education reform. The Hayes Presidential Library and Museum includes his home, Spiegel Grove, and the first presidential library commissioned in the United States.
Born in Delaware, Ohio, in 1822, Rutherford B. Hayes established his career as an attorney and statesman in the years leading up to the Civil War. He honed his oratory skills as an undergraduate at Kenyon College where he served as valedictorian for his graduating class, then went on to study law at Harvard University. After practicing law in Cincinnati, he served a term in the Ohio General Assembly until Governor William Dennison appointed him to serve as a major in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
In 1864, while still serving in the Union Army, Hayes was elected to Congress although he did not take his seat in Washington until the war was over. His time in Washington was short; in 1867 Hayes was elected Governor of Ohio. Although he retired from politics after his second term as Governor, the Republican Party chose Hayes as its candidate for the 1876 presidential election.
Notes for Travelers
The Hayes home and library is situated in a lovely sylvan setting, Spiegal Grove, that reflects the interests and values of President Hayes. The Museum complex includes the family home, a museum, and the presidential library. Visitors can tour the house and museum, or simply stroll along a mile of paved path through the Grove. The house underwent renovation in 2016. The library, which was endowed with Hayes’s personal library of 12,000 books, contains more than 90,000 volumes and documents about US history from 1850-1917, focusing on the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Spanish-American War, education, railroads, black history, and Indian affairs. It also includes the Charles Froehman collection on the Great Lakes.