CHESTER A. ARTHUR

21st U.S. President 1881-1885
LIFETIME: 1830-1886, of Scotch-Irish and English ancestry


Chester Arthur home

PRIMARY HOME: 123 Lexington Avenue , New York City - a five-story brownstone row house. The building presently houses commercial and residential space.
No photo available

WINDOWSILL from a dormitory carved with " C.A. Arthur"
Union College , Special Collections, Schaeffer Library, Schenectady NY

BIRTHPLACE: Fairfield VT - a replica of the one-story clapboard house with two rooms downstairs and a sleeping loft above
PHOTO CREDIT: Homes and Libraries of the Presidents by William G. Clotworthy


The son of an Irish-born Baptist minister, Chester Arthur rose from a tiny cottage in rural Vermont to graduate from Union College in Schenectady, New York. Moving to New York City, he joined a law practice aligned with the powerful Republican machine of its day. Chester, his wife Ellen and their three children resided in a five-story brownstone on Lexington Avenue.

Chosen as Vice President to James Garfield to appease the New York bosses, the nation was traumatized when Garfield was assassinated and Arthur assumed the presidency. Once in office, however, Arthur defied the existing spoils system and became an incorruptible leader.

While in office, Chester Arthur discovered that he suffered from Bright's Disease, a potentially fatal inflammation of the kidneys. He died only one year after leaving the presidency.

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