Facts and Events
Florence ran off with Henry DeWolfe at the age of 19, pregnant. No legal evidence of their marriage has been found, but they met the requirements for common law marriage at the time, and legally divorced in 1886 after he abandoned her and their son Marshall. Marshall went to live with his grandparents while Florence supported herself giving piano lessons.
Florence married newspaper publisher Warren Harding when she was 30. While he was ill, she became the business manager of the Marion Star from 1894 to 1906. As a political wife and First Lady, she was a strong advocate for suffrage and women's rights, social justice, and animal rights. She offered her political opinions to a degree previously unusual among First Ladies. She also believed in astrology and had considerable faith in homeopath Charles Sawyer, in whose care her husband died while still in office in 1924.
Her son Marshall died at age 34 in 1915, leaving two grandchildren.