First Lady, Florence King, as a teenager had a son with a friend Henry DeWolfe. They may have eloped, but there is no record of any formal marriage. The heavy-drinking father eventually abandoned Florence and the baby. Florence was forced to go back to her unforgiving father. He offered to support the boy known as Marshall, but only if she gave him up. She did. [Wead] Marshall appears to have been born just in time to be affected by the Little Lord Fauntleroy craze, or at least a modest version of that fashion (figure 1). As a boy Marshall occassiionally visited with his father's family, but had nothing to do with his father. [Sferrazza, p. 68.] A biographer believes that after Florence married Harding and established a secure household, that her father would have turned Marshall over to her. Florence never attempted to regain ger parental rights. Harding is unlikely to have posed an objection. The two apparently got on well, Rather Florencee devoted her attention to theirr dog Hub which Marshall had presented to Harding. [Sferrazza, p. 67.] Harding was a dog lover. His future dog Laddie Boy was to be one of the mkost famous of the presidential pooches. Marshall lived with grandfather, but was a frequent visitor at his mother's home. Marshall came to be a hard drinker and gambler. Harding wouild paid many of his debts. Marshall developed tuberculosis and went to live in Colorado where the muntain air was considered healthful. He married Esther Neely and had two children. He died before Harding became president.
Anthony, Carl Sferrazza. Florence Harding: The First Lady, the Jazz Age, and the Death of America's Most Scandalous President (William Morrow & Co: New York, 199), 645p.
Wead, Doug. All the President's Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families (Atria: New York, 2003), 456p.
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