Cleveland entered the White House as a bachelor and left a married man and father of two. His new wife was a beautiful young woman 27 years his junior named Frances Folsom. Frances was the daughter of a former law partner and Cleveland’s legal ward; Cleveland had literally known her since she was born. When she was 11, Frances’ father died and Cleveland became her legal guardian, remaining close friends with her mother. His pet name for Frances was Frank. Observers thought Cleveland would marry his friend’s widow and were completely surprised when, instead, he married Frances as soon as she turned 21.
In another White House first, Frances and Cleveland’s second daughter Esther became the first child born to a president in a White House bedroom.