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Rutherford B. Hayes

19th President of the United States

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Rutherford B. Hayes was born on October 4, 1822, in Delaware. His father died before he was born. He prepared for college at schools in Norwalk and Middletown. In 1838, he entered Kenyon College in Gambier and graduated in 1842 at the head of his class. He began practicing law in Lower Sandusky (later Fremont), Ohio, and later opened an office in Cincinnati. He married his wife Lucy in 1852. She was later the first wife of a U.S. President to have a college degree.

Hayes fought in the Civil War and was wounded four times, resigning with the rank of brevet major general. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1864 but did not take office until the fighting had ended. In 1867, he won the first of three terms as governor of Ohio. In 1876, Hayes was a compromise between the two factions of the Republican Party. His narrow election by the Electoral College was confirmed by the Electoral Commission. During his administration, he ended Reconstruction. He died in 1896.