Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith

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Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith.jpg
Born (1904-07-19)July 19, 1904
Riverside, Illinois
Died December 24, 1985(1985-12-24) (aged 81)
Saluda, Virginia[1]
Occupation Gentleman farmer
Spouse(s) 1) Mrs. Hazel Holland Wilson
2) Annemarie Hoffman
3) Mrs. Margaret Hogan Fristoe
Children (unknown) Timothy Lincoln Beckwith?
Parents Warren Wallace Beckwith and Jessie Harlan Lincoln

Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith (July 19, 1904 – December 24, 1985) was the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln.[1] In 1975, he became the last undisputed descendant of Lincoln when his sister, "Peggy" Beckwith, died without children.[2] A disputed descendant, Timothy Lincoln Beckwith, was born to Robert Beckwith's then wife, Annemarie Hoffman Beckwith, in 1968.

Life and career[edit]

Beckwith was born in Riverside, Illinois, to Jessie Harlan Lincoln[3] and Warren Wallace Beckwith. Jessie was the daughter of Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert. Robert Todd Lincoln and his wife, Mary, had three children; their youngest, Jessie, eloped in 1897 with Warren Beckwith, a classmate and football star at Iowa Wesleyan College. They had two children: Mary Lincoln Beckwith, who died in 1975 and Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith

As a young adult, he showed little interest in his schooling, attending a private school in Washington D.C. and New York Military Academy in New York, as well as passing two uneventful years at his grandfather Robert Todd Lincoln's previous boarding school, Phillips Exeter Academy. He did not attend college and tended to list his profession as "gentleman farmer of independent means". Financially set because of his inheritance, which included a farm, he left the farm's operation to its overseer, and aside from that ownership, there is no record of his ever having any form of employment.[4]

Beckwith enjoyed the hobby of boating and sailing and generally avoided the media and publicity. On one occasion, a newspaper published pictures of him smiling as a young man when arrested for speeding in the city of Omaha, Nebraska.

Beckwith's first marriage, which lasted 30 years, was to an older widow whose son was only ten years his junior.

Second wife and contested son[edit]

His second wife had a son, named him Timothy Lincoln Beckwith, and listed Robert Beckwith as the boy's father. Robert Beckwith, however, was in the process of divorcing her, accusing her of adultery and denying paternity of the child, since he had a vasectomy years prior. During the divorce battle, the court ordered her to have her son undergo a blood test.[5] She never complied with the order, and the divorce court ruled that Robert Beckwith was not the father.

Later life[edit]

Robert Beckwith lived most of his life in Vermont and Washington, D.C. He died at the age of 81 on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1985 at around 6:05 pm in Saluda, Virginia.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Last Surviving Descendant of Abraham Lincoln Dies". Associated Press. December 24, 1985. Retrieved 2012-09-12. "Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, the last surviving descendant of Abraham Lincoln, died on Christmas Eve at the age of 81. Beckwith, the great grandson of the 16th president, had lived in a nursing home in Saluda, according to officials of the funeral home where the body was taken. ..." 
  2. ^ Lincoln's Last Descendant Dies. Madison Wisconsin Courier, December 26, 1985, from a clipping in Louis A. Warren Lincoln Library and Museum.
  3. ^ "Photo of Jessie Lincoln and Her Children". 
  4. ^ Lachman, Charles (2008). The Last Lincolns: The Rise & Fall of a Great American Family. Sterling Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-4027-5890-4. 
  5. ^ "Time Article About Heir Dispute". April 19, 1976. Retrieved May 22, 2010.