A Very Presidential House: The Garfield

Okay boys and girls: What was the remarkable fact of James A. Garfield’s presidency?

Here’s some nice music to get you in the mood for answering questions.

Give up?


James Abram Garfield became our 20th president on March 4, 1881 and was shot by an assassin on July 2, 1881. He died from his wounds on September 19, 1881. Only one president (William Henry Harrison) had a shorter term as president.

Garfield’s assassin, Charles Guiteau, was a special kind of crazy.

Guiteau’s murder weapon was a .442 Webly caliber British Bulldog revolver, purchased with $15 he’d borrowed from an acquaintance. The large caliber gun was offered with wooden or ivory grips. Giteau chose ivory, because he thought that would look nicer on display in a glass case in a museum.

At Guiteau’s trial, an expert, Dr. Spitzka, testified that Giteau was quite insane.

“Guiteau is not only now insane, but he was never anything else,” Spitzka testified.

He also said that Guiteau was a “moral monstrosity,” and “a morbid egotist, who misinterpreted and overly personalized the real events of life.”

Guiteau was enraged by this “crazy talk.” He believed that he’d ascend to the presidency after Garfield’s death.

Repeatedly ignoring his lawyers’ pleas to keep his mouth shut, Guiteau argued to the judge that it was the “the doctors that killed Garfield. I just shot him.”

There was a wisp of truth in that statement. In all the probing and poking for one of the bullets that had lodged in Garfield’s abdomen, the doctors introduced all manner of germs which in turn caused infections.

President Garfield died two months shy of his 50th birthday. The only other American president to die so young in office was President Kennedy.

To learn more about Giteau, click here.

To see pretty pictures of the Sears Garfield, scroll down.


The Garfield was a two-family house (1928 catalog).


Garfield also

Pretty distinctive looking with that wide porch and those sturdy columns. Note the unusual window arrangement down the side.



"A pleasing exterior and modern interior..."



The Garfield was an upstairs/downstairs duplex.



The hallways on the far right led to the second floor apartment.



This is the only Garfield I've ever seen, and it's in Janesville, WI.



Another view of the Garfield in Janesville.



Side by side, they're a sweet match!


To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

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1 Comment

  1. misty

    I was looking for more info on The Garfield. I have one that my husband and I are restoring.

    It is a perfect match to the design beside a couple little things such as a few door openings in the second level.

    I was thinking maybe it wasn’t made for two familys to begin with.

    Is their anyone else that has one?