Mamie was strongly devoted to her family. Her father, John S. Doud, whom she adored, made millions in the meat packing business. He moved the family to their permanent home in Denver when Mamie was six.
There were four daughters. The two youngest were nicknamed Mike and Buster, undoubtedly a reflection of her father’s disappointment in not having a son. Eleanor, the oldest, died of heart failure in 1912 at the age of 17. Buster died of a kidney infection at 18 years of age two days before the end of WWI.
A year after marrying Ike in 1916, Mamie gave birth to their first son, Doud Dwight. Nicknamed Icky, he was a favorite among Ike’s fellow young officers at Camp Meade. He died in his father’s arms of scarlet fever at three. John was born the following year.
By the time Ike began served his first term as President, John was married with four children, David, Barbara Ann, Susan, and Mary Jean. They lived down the road from the farm. The First Lady delighted in having her grandchildren so close. After her father died in 1951, Mamie’s mother paid extended visits. She soon became a fixture around the White House and at the farm.