Nathaniel Fillmore

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Nathaniel Fillmore
Born Nathaniel Fillmore Jr.
(1771-04-19)April 19, 1771
Bennington, Vermont
Died March 28, 1863(1863-03-28) (aged 91)
East Aurora, New York
Occupation Farmer
Spouse(s) Phoebe Millard
(m. 1796; her death 1831)

Eunice Love
(m. 1834; his death 1863)
Children Millard Fillmore, 8 others

Nathaniel Fillmore Jr. (April 19, 1771 – March 28, 1863) was an American farmer, and the father of Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States.


Nathaniel Fillmore Jr. was born on April 19, 1771 in Bennington, Bennington County, Vermont, to Nathaniel Fillmore Sr., and Hepzibah Wood.[1]


After his marriage, Fillmore began farming in Vermont.[2] Shortly thereafter, Nathaniel and his brother Calvin Fillmore were approached by land agents offering tracts in New York state.[3] Unhappy with trying to make the stony ground of their Vermont land productive, they quickly grabbed the opportunity and moved to western New York, sight unseen.[4]

According to biographers of Millard Fillmore, "The Fillmore brothers moved their two families to their new homeland nestled deep within a timber-laden forest. Location was not their greatest problem. Nor was the dense clay they unearthed once the land was cleared. Their greatest setback came with the realization that faulty surveying coupled with corrupt local government officials had left them with virtually nothing.[3] Duped, tired, and poor, Nathaniel eventually became a tenant farmer while occasionally teaching school, working the soil for landlords and taking their charity when necessary to survive.[4]

Over time, Nathaniel Fillmore's fortunes changed; he became prominent enough while living in Niles, New York that he served as a justice of the peace for eleven years.[5] He eventually purchased a farm in East Aurora, New York which he developed into a productive enterprise.[6] He died in East Aurora, New York in 1863, and was buried at East Aurora Cemetery.[7][8]

Historians have credited his wife, Phoebe, for convincing her husband to secure a clerk’s position for Millard in the office of their landlord, Judge Walter Wood.[4] Though Fillmore did not complete the clerkship, it did set him on the eventual path to a successful legal and political career that carried him to the presidency.[9]

Personal life[edit]

In 1796, the 25 year-old Fillmore married sixteen year-old Phoebe Millard, daughter of a prominent physician, in Bennington. Together, they had nine children:[10]

  • Olive Fillmore (1797-1883)
  • Millard Fillmore (1800-1874)
  • Cyrus Fillmore (1801-1889)
  • Almon Fillmore (1806-1830)
  • Calvin Fillmore (1810-1879)
  • Julia Fillmore (1812-1891)
  • Darius Fillmore (1814-1837)
  • Charles Fillmore (1817-1854)
  • Phoebe Fillmore (1819-1843)

After Phoebe died in 1831, he remarried to Eunice Love in 1834.[11]


He was the first of only four fathers (the other three being George Tryon Harding, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., and George H. W. Bush) to live through the entire presidency of a son.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Irelan, John Robert (1888). The Republic; Or, A History of the United States of America. XIII. Chicago, IL: Fairbanks and Palmer. p. 14. 
  2. ^ Nowlan, Robert A. The American Presidents From Polk to Hayes: What They Did, What They Said & What Was Said About Them. Denver, CO: Outskirts Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-4787-6572-1. 
  3. ^ a b The American Presidents From Polk to Hayes.
  4. ^ a b c "Biographies". Presidents' Parents. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Scarry, Robert J. (2001). Millard Fillmore. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-7864-4340-6. 
  6. ^ Dayer, Donald H.; Utts, Harold L.; Utts, Janet R. (2000). Town of Aurora: 1818-1930. Charleston, SC: Acadia Publishing. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-7385-0445-2. 
  7. ^ Kane, Joseph Nathan (1998). Presidential Fact Book. New York, NY: Random, NY. p. 78. 
  8. ^ Nathaniel Fillmore at Find a Grave
  9. ^ Finkelman, Paul (2011). Millard Fillmore: The American Presidents Series: The 13th President, 1850-1853. New York, NY: Times Books: Henry Holt and Company. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8050-8715-4. 
  10. ^ Jewell, Elizabeth (2007). U.S. Presidents Factbook. New York, NY: Random House. p. 1847. ISBN 978-0-375-72073-4. 
  11. ^ Presidential Fact Book, p. 311.
  12. ^ Wead, Doug. "Presidents' Parents: Fathers who lived to see their sons Inaugurated President". Mothers and Fathers of our Nation's Leaders. Haymarket, VA: Retrieved February 17, 2017. 

External links[edit]