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Title Mary "Molly" Arthur McElroy
Collection First Lady Dolls
Catalog Number 2015.017.023
Description Mary "Molly" Arthur McElroy (1841-1917)
Sister of Chester Alan Arthur - Served as White House Hostess from 1883-1885

Molly was small in height, light brown hair and light blue eyes. She was 19 years old when she married John Edward McElroy. He was an insurance salesman from Albany, New York. They raised four children.
It is clear that following her sister-in-law's death in January 1880, Molly McElroy assumed responsibility for the care and education of her niece "Nellie" for two years of school. Molly McElroy was known to have encouraged her niece to pursue music as a way to honor the memory of her late mother.
Because she had her own family in Albany, McElroy lived in Washington, D.C. only during the busy winter social season. As the 1883 social season got underway, Molly stayed in Washington, D.C. to help her brother. She proved to be a popular and competent hostess. The procedures she and her brother developed for the social functions were used by future First Ladies for decades.
Molly McElroy presided over a number of events and honored former First Ladies and White House Hostesses, by asking them to help her receive guests at the White House. Molly's oldest daughter May and the President's daughter Nell often assisted. Her final reception took place on February 28, 1885, one week before the end of the Arthur Administration: 3,000 people attended and 48 daughters of officials and the social elite assisted her.
After her tenure at the White House, Molly returned to her home in Albany, New York. She remained a lifelong resident of Albany, active in its civic and cultural life.
Molly died January 8, 1917 and is buried in a rural cemetery in Albany, New York.

NOTE: Ellen Arthur, wife of President Chester A. Arthur, died just before he became Vice President to James Garfield. When President Garfield was assassinated in 1881, Arthur became president. His sister, Mary Arthur McElroy served as White House Hostess. Though Ellen Arthur did not live to serve as first lady, she has been honorably credited with the role.
After attending a concert one evening in early January 1880, Ellen Arthur waited outside in the cold and rainy evening, for a carriage. Soon after she came down with a cold. Over the next few days her cold developed into pneumonia. She died on January 12, 1880, at the age of 42, in New York City. Chester A. Arthur was devastated by his wife's death. Arthur never remarried and only allowed his sister, Mary McElroy, to help with some of the White House functions.
Event Bicentennial First Lady Doll Exhibit - Community Project
Creator Park, Phyllis Juhlin
Costume Costume by Lila Hunting Redding
Given Given by Helen H. Schaefermeyer in honor of Bessie Schaefermeyer
Source Uintah County Library