Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith.jpg
Born (1904-07-19)July 19, 1904
Riverside, Illinois, U.S.
Died December 24, 1985(1985-12-24) (aged 81)
Saluda, Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Gentleman farmer
Hazel Holland Wilson (m. 1927)

Annemarie Hoffman (m. 1967)

Margaret Hogan Fristoe (m. 1979)
Parent(s) Warren Wallace Beckwith
Jessie Harlan Lincoln
Relatives Abraham Lincoln (maternal great-grandfather)

Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith (July 19, 1904 – December 24, 1985) was an American gentleman farmer known as a great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln.[1] In 1975, he became the last undisputed descendant of Lincoln when his sister, Mary Lincoln Beckwith, died without children.[2] 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.


Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith was born in Riverside, Illinois, to Jessie Harlan Lincoln[3] and Warren Wallace Beckwith. Jessie's parents were Robert Todd Lincoln—a son of Abraham Lincoln—and Mary Eunice Harlan. 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 City, in addition to spending two years at his grandfather Robert Todd Lincoln's previous boarding school, Phillips Exeter Academy. Beckwith completed an illustrated report on "The Bear" on January 15, 1913. He subsequently received a law degree from what is now Georgetown University.[1] In later life, he gave his profession as "gentleman farmer of independent means", his inheritance having included a working farm.[4]

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 Omaha, Nebraska. Beckwith's first marriage, which lasted 30 years, was to an older widow with a son ten years his junior.

His second wife had a son in October 1968, 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.[5] She never complied with the order, and the divorce court ruled that Robert Beckwith was not the father.

Beckwith and his third wife, Margaret Elizabeth Hogan Fristoe (1921–2009), married in 1979; she was described in her Washington Post obituary as an Air Force wife and volunteer.[6]

Beckwith lived most of his life in Vermont and Washington, D.C. He died on December 24, 1985 in Saluda, Virginia.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Last Surviving Descendant of Abraham Lincoln Dies". Associated Press. December 24, 1985. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  2. ^ Lincoln's Last Descendant Dies. Madison Wisconsin Courier, December 26, 1985, from a clipping in Louis A. Warren Lincoln Library and Museum.
  3. ^ "Photo of Jessie Lincoln and Her Children". 
  4. ^ Lachman, Charles (2008). The Last Lincolns: The Rise & Fall of a Great American Family. Sterling Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-4027-5890-4. 
  5. ^ "Time Article About Heir Dispute". April 19, 1976. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  6. ^ Holley, Joe (March 17, 2009). "Obiturary: Margaret Fristoe Beckwith Air Force Wife, Volunteer". The Washington Post.