Ida Marie Honoré
Ida Marie Honoré Grant (June 4, 1854–September 5, 1930) was an American socialite, philanthropist, and ambassador's wife.
Born Ida Marie Honoré in Louisville, Kentucky, her father was businessman Henry Hamilton Honoré. Ida attended St. Xavier School and Dearborn Seminary in Chicago, and graduated from the Convent of the Visitation in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., in 1874. She achieved a reputation as a skilled musician on harp and piano. It was during her time in Washington, D.C. that she met and began to be courted by Frederick Dent Grant, oldest son of US President Ulysses Simpson Grant.
Ida married Grant in her parent's home on October 20, 1874, with the President and First Lady in attendance. She was twenty years of age. In the biography written about her sister Bertha Palmer entitled "Silhouette in Diamonds," the wedding feast was provided by Bertha's husband Potter Palmer and included stewed terrapin, escalloped oysters, sweetbread patties, turkey, snipe, chicken or lobster salad, boned quail in jelly, ices, charlotte russe, fresh fruits and frappéed champagne, port, and sherry. Following a brief honeymoon, Ida left to live with her mother and father-in-law at the White House while her husband Fred continued in military service with General Custer in the Black Hills expedition of 1875.
The birth of each of the children carried an unusual element. Julia's birth saved her father's life; Fred Grant received leave to travel to Washington, D.C. in honor of her arrival. Had he remained with Custer's unit, he would have been in the Battle of the Little Bighorn (June 25–26, 1876) in which Custer's entire 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army was killed. The birth of Ulysses III resulted in his mother's invalidism for an extended period of time and caused lifelong health issues.
Husband's career and family travels
Frederick Dent Grant resigned from the army in 1881, and assisted his father in preparing the latter's memoirs. During this time, he was in business in New York City.
In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison appointed him Minister to Austria-Hungary, during which time the entire family moved with him to Vienna. After Grover Cleveland became president, Grant was allowed to continue in his post. Grant resigned in 1893.
When the Spanish-American War started in 1898, Grant was colonel of the 14th New York Volunteers and was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers. He served in Puerto Rico. In 1899, Grant was sent to the Philippines for service in the Philippine-American War, where he remained until 1902. In 1901, he was made a brigadier general in the Regular Army. Mrs. Grant (Ida) traveled with him during these assignments, as her children were by then adults.
When he returned to the United States, he held various commands and was promoted to major general in 1906. At the time of his death, he was the commander for the Eastern Division which included the Department of the East and the Department of the Gulf. He died of cancer, at Fort Jay on Governors Island in New York City on April 12, 1912, and was buried in West Point Cemetery.
Late Life and Death
Ida Marie Grant moved to The Acacias, Sarasota, Florida, joining her sister Bertha Palmer who was in the process of developing Sarasota into a destination residence community. After her sister's death, Ida became the beneficiary of her estate and inherited both land and cash, which enabled her to live an independent and comfortable life. She briefly moved to upstate New York to live with her son Ulysses III, who was teaching at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Later, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she died on 5 September 1930. She was buried with her husband in West Point Cemetery, New York.