Ulysses S. Grant, Jr.

man with mustache wearing a suit.
Ulysses S. Grant, Jr.

Library of Congress

Quick Facts
Second Child of Ulysses and Julia Grant
Place of Birth:
Bethel, Ohio
Date of Birth:
July 22, 1852
Place of Death:
Sandberg, California
Date of Death:
September 25, 1929
Place of Burial:
San Diego, California
Cemetery Name:
Greenwood Memorial Park

Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. was the second child of Ulysses and Julia Grant. He was a practicing lawyer and successful businessman who played an important role in the growth of San Diego, California, during the early twentieth century. 

Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. was born on July 22, 1852 in Bethel, Ohio. At the time of his birth, Julia Grant had been making her way from New York back to her childhood home in St. Louis (White Haven) after Ulysses S. Grant was ordered to move with the 4th U.S. Infantry to the west coast. While visiting her husband's family in Ohio, she gave birth to Ulysses Jr., who received the nickname "Buck" for his birth in the "Buckeye State." Julia Grant described her second child as a very thoughtful and caring spirit: "Ulysses had a protege [during his childhood], little Johnny S., who, he told me, had no mother, only a big sister, and she did not know how to take care of him. Ulysses took great pleasure in the permission given him to bring Johnny home on cold days and to give him his dinner in the kitchen. He often did such acts of kindness and protection to small boys, courteous and gallant--I could fill a volume with his pretty doings and sayings."

Of his father, Ulysses Jr. recalled that "his unfailing calmness, his ability to think out every act before making it, and his remarkable memory, are the traits that which stand out most clearly in my memory . . . He was a splendid family man. We all loved him but with that affection was a respect, almost an awe, that nobody else has even commanded from me." 

Grant received an elite education during his youth. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy after the American Civil War and then received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1874. He followed these accomplishments by obtaining a law degree from Columbia University two years later. While attending law school, Ulysses Jr. also served as a secretary to his father during the last eighteen months of his presidency. After the conclusion of his father's presidency, Ulysses Jr. established a successful Wall Street law practice in New York City. Anxious to expand his wealth and investments, he became friends with Ferdinand Ward, an investment banker. Ulysses Jr. approached his father and convinced him to join the two men in establishing a new investment banking firm, "Grant and Ward." Ulysses Jr. and his father each invested $100,000 into the new venture, but Ward's financial management and outright fraud bankrupted both men in 1884. 

Grant continued working as a lawyer in New York, but his wife Fannie's ongoing health issues prompted a decision to move to San Diego, California, in 1893. While there he became a successful businessman, real estate speculator, and respected civic leader. In 1895, Ulysses Jr. and Fannie purchased a hotel called the Horton House. Ten years later, Ulysses Jr. torn down this hotel and began construction on a new hotel that was completed in 1910. The U.S. Grant Hotel remains a popular luxury hotel and historic landmark in San Diego today. Politically, Grant Jr. followed in his father's footsteps and remained a staunch member of the Republican Party. Although he largely stayed out of politics, Grant unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1904.

Grant married Fannie Josephine Chaffee in 1880 and they had five children together. After Fannie's death in 1909, Ulysses Jr. remarried to America Rosa Workman in 1913. The marriage was opposed by much of the Grant family because Workman was 26 years younger than him. Nevertheless the two had a loving marriage until Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. died at the age of 77 after an illness. 


Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site

Last updated: June 11, 2020