Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
|Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith|
July 19, 1904|
|Died||December 24, 1985
|Spouse(s)||1) Mrs. Hazel Holland Wilson
2) Annemarie Hoffman
3) Mrs. Margaret Hogan Fristoe
|Children||(unknown) Timothy Lincoln Beckwith?|
|Parent(s)||Warren Wallace Beckwith and Jessie Harlan Lincoln|
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith (July 19, 1904 – December 24, 1985) was the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln. In 1975, he became the last undisputed descendant of Lincoln when his sister, Mary Lincoln "Peggy" Beckwith, died without children. Though Timothy Lincoln Beckwith was born to second wife Annemarie Hoffman Beckwith in the midst of divorce proceedings in 1968, Robert Beckwith contended—and the court agreed—that his paternity was highly unlikely, as he had undergone a vasectomy in the early 1960s.
Life and career
Beckwith was born in Riverside, Illinois, to Jessie Harlan Lincoln 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.
Beckwith attended a private school in Washington D.C. and New York Military Academy in New York, as well as spending two years at his grandfather Robert Todd Lincoln's previous boarding school, Phillips Exeter Academy. In later life he gave his profession as "gentleman farmer of independent means", his inheritance having included a working farm.
Beckwith enjoyed the hobby of boating and sailing and generally avoided the media and publicity. On one occasion, a newspaper published pictures of him 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 with a son ten years his junior.
Second wife and contested son
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. She never complied with the order, and the divorce court ruled that Robert Beckwith was not the father.
- "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. ...
- Lincoln's Last Descendant Dies. Madison Wisconsin Courier, December 26, 1985, from a clipping in Louis A. Warren Lincoln Library and Museum.
- "Photo of Jessie Lincoln and Her Children".
- Lachman, Charles (2008). The Last Lincolns: The Rise & Fall of a Great American Family. Sterling Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-4027-5890-4.
- "Time Article About Heir Dispute". April 19, 1976. Retrieved May 22, 2010.