Sunday, November 19, 2017

Monday Mural

I'm linking up at Monday Mural hosted by Oakland Daily Photo.

November 2017 - Wytheville VA

Click here for more of Wytheville.

This mural shows scenes from Edith Bolling Wilson's life from Wytheville to the first lady of the White House.

The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace historic site, or The Bolling Building, is the childhood home of Edith Bolling (Galt) Wilson, First Lady to President Woodrow Wilson from 1915–1921. The Bolling Building is the earliest remaining brick commercial building in downtown Wytheville.

Edith Bolling was born October 15, 1872 in Wytheville, Virginia to circuit court judge William Holcombe Bolling and his wife Sarah "Sallie" Spears (née White).Edith was a descendant of settlers who came to Virginia early in the British colonization of the Americas.Through her father, she was a direct descendant of Pocahontas, the daughter of the chief of the Powhatan tribe of Native Americans and her husband John Rolfe, one of the earliest English settlers of Virginia and the first man to cultivate tobacco as an export crop.Rolfe's granddaughter, Jane, married Robert Bolling, a wealthy planter and merchant. Edith's great-grandmother was a sister to Thomas Jefferson and she was also related to Martha Washington and Robert E. Lee.

While visiting her married sister in Washington, D.C., Edith met Norman Galt (1864-1908), a prominent jeweler; they married on April 30, 1896 and lived in the capital for the next 12 years. In 1903 she bore a son who only lived for a few days, and the difficult birth left her unable to have more. In January 1908 her husband died unexpectedly at the age of 43. Edith hired a manager to run the business and lived sparsely until she managed to pay off its debts.

Edith was one of the first women to drive a car.

In March 1915, the widow Galt was introduced to widower U.S. President Woodrow Wilson at the White House by Helen Woodrow Bones (1874-1951), the president's first cousin and official White House hostess since the death of Ellen Wilson, the president's first wife. Wilson took an instant liking to Galt and his admiration grew swiftly into love.

Complicating matters were rumors that Wilson had been cheating on his first wife, or that he and Galt had actually murdered the First Lady. Distressed at the effect all this might be having on his fiancée, Wilson offered Mrs. Galt the opportunity to back out of their engagement. She replied that she would stand by him not for duty, pity or honor, but for love. Edith also insisted on postponing the wedding until the end of the official year of mourning for Mrs. Wilson.

Wilson married Galt on December 18, 1915 at her home in Washington, D.C.


  1. An interesting way to present history. I like!

  2. An impressive mural. That last detail is my favourite.

  3. A lovely historical mural, makes it easy to learn history.

  4. Her life has an incredible arc. Clearly her hometown is proud of her to offer its oldest building to be the canvas for her story. Thanks for contributing to this week's Monday Mural.


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