Bess Truman: Motherhood

Bess Truman holding infant Margaret on porch of Truman Home, 1924. Harry S. Truman Libary, #83-10.
Bess Truman holds daughter Margaret on porch of Truman Home, 1924.

Harry S. Truman Library, #83-10.

On February 17, 1924, Bess gave birth to Mary Margaret Truman at the family home. Harry and Bess had trouble having a child, so leading up to Margaret's birth, no furniture or other necessities were purchased. The new 7-pound baby girl slept on pillows in a dresser drawer for several days until the proper furniture could be purchased.

Margaret quickly became the center of her parents’ lives and although the 1920s were an unstable time for Truman’s career, the couple tried not to deny their only child any comforts. Parental roles fell into place, Harry as the doting father and Bess, often as the disciplinarian. Margaret developed close relationships with her aunts and uncles, May and George Wallace, and Natalie and Frank Wallace who lived in the two bungalows behind the Truman Home. Vietta Garr, the family's cook, quickly became a confidant of young Margaret.


Last updated: April 10, 2015

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