Kurt's Historic Sites

Benjamin Harrison's Grave

Benjamin Harrison

Interment Location Visited Sequence in Graves I Have Visited
Indianapolis, IN August 20, 2004 15th President visited

Photographed August 20, 2004.

Indianapolis’ Crown Hill Cemetery is the third-largest non-government cemetery in the United States, and I traveled there with my father in summer 2004 to visit the 23rd U.S. president, Benjamin Harrison. Crown Hill is home to several famous persons, and, in fact, President Harrison and First Lady Caroline Harrison have a notable neighbor in an adjoining plot. In this picture — to the left, in back of the Harrison monument — stands the mausoleum of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Booth Tarkington, who was honored for his works The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams. Others interred at Crown Hill include criminal John Dillinger, sports team owner Bob Irsay, and three U.S. vice presidents.

It is also worth noting who is not buried near Benjamin Harrison: his famous ancestors. His great-grandfather, Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Harrison V, is interred in Charles City, Virginia. The Harrison Tomb State Memorial in North Bend, Ohio, shelters the remains of his grandparents, President William Henry Harrison and First Lady Anna Symmes Harrison, as well as his father, Congressman John Scott Harrison.

Photographed August 20, 2004.
Benjamin Harrison's Grave
Photographed August 20, 2004.

Benjamin Harrison’s four years in office, sandwiched between Grover Cleveland’s non-consecutive terms, saw the induction of six states into the Union and the passage of the monopoly-tackling Sherman Anti-Trust Act. It also included the first attempt at annexing Hawaii and the Wounded Knee Massacre, an atrocity in which the U.S. Army killed between 150-300 men, women, and children from the Indigenous Lakota Sioux tribe.

Fast Facts

Born: August 20, 1833 in North Bend, Ohio

Spouses: Caroline Scott Harrison (m. 1853-1892); Mary Lord Dimmick Harrison (m. 1896-1901)

Highest Military Rank: Brevet Brigadier General — U.S. Army

Political Affiliation: Republican Party

Presidential Term: 1889-1893

Vice President: Levi P. Morton

Died: March 13, 1901 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Age: 67

Last Words: “Are the doctors here? Doctor… my lungs!”

Interment: Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

"God forbid that the day should ever come when, in the American mind, the thought of man as a 'consumer' shall submerge the old American thought of man as a creature of God, endowed with 'unalienable rights.'"
- Benjamin Harrison

December 1900 in his essay "The Status of Annexed Territory and of its Free Civilized Inhabitants," published in the January 1901 issue of the North American Review
Photographed August 18, 2023.

Benjamin Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, in a dwelling that formerly stood on the farm established by his paternal grandfather. A different structure occupies the land today, and a historical marker along the sidewalk on Symmes Avenue notes the presidential birth that occurred there in 1833. The address of the house on the corner that occupies the footprint of the Harrison birthplace is 23 Washington Street — a fitting connection to the 23rd U.S. president.

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Harrison, Benjamin. Views of an Ex-President. Indianapolis: Bowen-Merrill Company, 1901. Accessed January 13, 2022. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015070238871&view=1up&seq=9&skin=2021.

Lamb, Brian and the staff of C-SPAN. Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb? A Tour of Presidential Gravesites. Rev. ed. New York: PublicAffairs, 2003.

Landry, Alysa. “Benjamin Harrison: Busted Up Sioux Nation, No Remorse for Wounded Knee.” Indian Country Today. Updated September 13, 2018. https://indiancountrytoday.com/archive/benjamin-harrison-busted-up-sioux-nation-no-remorse-for-wounded-knee.

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