Benjamin Harrison
Cause of Death Age Burial Location President Grave #
Influenza; Pneumonia 67 Indianapolis, Indiana 15th in my collection


We arrived in Indianapolis too                                                                          The twenty-third president is interred
late in the day to visit Benjamin                                                                       between his two wives, Caroline Scott and
Harrison's grave in Crown Hill                                                                            Mary Dimmick Harrison.
Cemetery, but were able to do so                                                                  
the following morning on what
would have been his 171st birthday.


Each year, a wreath-laying ceremony is held                                             President Harrison's small headstone.
at a president's grave in order to commemorate
his birth. Though we visited Harrison's burial
site on his birthday, the celebration was
being held the following day so we missed it.

*** Interesting Facts ***

* Benjamin Harrison's family has had a very important role in our nation's history. His great-grandfather and namesake, Benjamin Harrison, had been a member of both the First and Second Continental Congress, and had signed the Declaration of Independence. Also, for three years, he was the governor of his native Virginia. His grandfather was William Harrison, the war hero who is known for having the shortest presidency on record. Additionally, John Scott Harrison, his father, had served in the House of Representatives for four years, from 1853 to 1857.

* Born in 1833 on his grandfather's Ohio estate, Benjamin Harrison spent the early years of his life on the family farm. Originally enrolling in Farmer's College near Cincinnati, Harrison graduated from Miami University (located in Ohio, not Florida) in 1852. Although he subsequently began to study law, his studies were cut short by his marriage to Caroline Lavina Scott. In 1854, the couple relocated to Indianapolis, where Harrison was admitted to the bar. He then joined forces with a man named William Wallace and opened a law office, which Wallace left in 1860. Harrison formed another partnership, this time with William Fishback, and created the law firm Fishback and Harrison. In 1862, Harrison joined the Union Army as a second lieutenant. He fought in several small battles in Kentucky before fighting in the battles of Atlanta and Peachtree Creek. Eventually rising to the rank of brigadier general, he remained in the army through the duration of the Civil War.

* Even in the 1800's it was not uncustomary to see four-legged creatures roaming the grounds of the White House, or even inside the building itself. The Harrison family brought to Washington a goat named Old Whiskers, who was usually found hitched to a cart and giving rides to the president's grandchildren. One day, without warning, Old Whiskers left the White House grounds and bolted down Pennsylvania Avenue with the Harrison grandchildren in tow. The president then ran down the street after the goat, creating quite a sight for spectators, not to mention an exhausting workout for the commander-in-chief.

* It was during Harrison's tenure as president (in 1891 specifically) that the Executive Mansion was equipped with electricity. Now the building no longer needed to be filled with candles, as light bulbs provided it with necessary light. However, the president and first lady feared that if they touched the switches they would be electrocuted, and instead left the lights on, even as they slept.

* Known as the "Human Iceberg", Harrison was definitely not one of the most friendly presidents. Those who met with him often described him as uptight, distant, and very formal. One of the more famous instances of his coldness came to light after his passing in 1901. Harrison's first wife, Caroline, had succumbed to tuberculosis in October of 1892, and had left the president a widower. Four years later, in 1896, he married Mary Lord Dimmick, who, on top of being Caroline's niece, was twenty-five years younger than he was. His children, Russel Harrison and Mary Harrison McKee, became enraged with their father, and he responded by leaving them out of his will, giving his possessions instead to his second wife and their young daughter.

First Lady: Caroline Scott Harrison (1889-1892)

                  Mary Harrison McKee (1892-1893)

  - Spouse: Caroline Scott Harrison (m. 1853-1892)

                  Mary Dimmick Harrison (m. 1896-1901)

Political Party:
Republican Party

Vice President: Levi Parsons Morton

Last Words: "Are the doctors here? Doctor... my lungs."

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