James A. Garfield

Early Life and Family

What did his parents do for a living?

His father, Adam, worked as a farmer and for a time worked as a supervisor in the construction of canals. He died of complications from a severe cold when James Garfield was eighteen months old. Eliza also worked at farming to support her family after her husband’s death. When Garfield was a boy, his mother remarried to a man named Alfred Belden whom Garfield did not like.


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