NCR Military History: Quarters One
February 17, 2011
Quarters One, the home to the chief of staff of the Army, was originally completed in May 1899 as the home for the Fort Myer garrison commander.
Its cost was $18,471 (pre-taxation, pre-inflation and still on the gold standard which is today $1,400 per ounce). Quartermaster Corps Plan 95 was used as the blueprint to build the then 40 x 54 foot building.
Prior to its becoming the home to the chief of staff of the Army in 1908 it was home to five garrison commanders of Fort Myer from 1899 - 1903: Capt. George Morgan, Capt. Daniel Boughton, Maj. Henry Kingsburg, Col. Francis Moore and Col. Eli Huggins.
From 1903 to 1908 it was home to the quartermaster general of the Army, Maj. Gen Charles Humphrey. Then in 1908, Gen. J. Franklin Bell and his wife moved into Quarters One.
They had been living in a rented apartment in downtown Washington from 1906 to 1908 when Quarters One was established as the official home of the chief of staff of the United States Army.
It is interesting to note that the position of chief of staff of the Army had only been created in 1903.
The next chief of staff to live in the quarters was Gen. Leonard Wood, one of only two Medal of Honor recipients to live there. He was followed by Gen. Hugh Scott and Gen. Peyton March.
From 1921 - 23 the two deputy chiefs of staff of the Army, Gen. James Harbord and Gen. John Hines, lived here while Gen. of the Armies of the United States, 'Blackjack' Pershing lived in downtown Washington.
Hines then became chief of staff of the Army to be succeeded by Gen. Charles P. Summerall (who commanded Fort Myer in 1913 as a major). He, in turn, was followed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who, being single, had his aged mother living there, which is why there is a one person elevator installed in Quarters One. He would later become general of the Army during World War II and would also receive the Medal of Honor.
From 1935 to 1939 Gen. and Mrs. Malin Craig lived at Fort Myer. She spent some of her time shooting rats from the veranda of Quarters One.
The Craigs in turn were succeeded by General of the Army and Mrs. George C. Marshall from 1939 - 45. This being in the midst of World War II, the strain was incredible.
Mrs. Marshall has left a remembrance titled, ''Together," about their time at Quarters One, which is highly recommended. Returning from victory in Europe, General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mamie, lived at Quarters One from 1945 - '48. Ike retired to become president of Columbia University in New York City.
It was while he was chief of staff that Ike took up painting based upon its relaxation effects as practiced by Winston Churchill during World War II.
Next came Gen. and Mrs. Omar Bradley who lived here from 1948-49 as chief of staff of the Army. Then in 1949 he was named to be the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and continued to lived in Quarters One throughout his tenure in that position until his retirement in 1953.
For the rest of the 1950s Gen. Matthew Ridgway, Gen. Maxwell Taylor and Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer lived at Quarters One.
Gens. George Decker, Earle Wheeler, Harold Johnson and Gen. William Westmoreland lived in Quarters One during the 1960s.
Following Westmoreland in 1972 was Gen. Creighton Abrams. It was during his tenure that Quarters One was designated a registered national historic landmark in 1973.
Gens. Frederick Weyand, Bernard Rogers and Edward Meyer, lived in the quarters through 1983.
Returning from senior command in Korea in 1983, Gen. John Wickham became chief of staff of the Army in 1983. It was during Wickham's tour from 1983-87 that the famous entertainer Bob Hope stayed in the second floor bedroom that now bears his name.While there he suggested some actions to enhance the view, which were acted upon. He also took seriously ill at this time from peanut poisoning.
Following Wickham was Gens. Carl Vuono, Gordon Sullivan, Dennis Reimer, Eric Shinseki and Peter Schoomaker. They have now been followed by Gen. and Mrs. George Casey who will be followed by Gen. and Mrs. Martin Dempsey this summer.