Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Harrisons in:
 • Crown Hill Cemetery
 • Indianapolis
 • Marion County
 • Indiana
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Benjamin Harrison
Birth: Aug. 20, 1833
North Bend
Hamilton County
Ohio, USA
Death: Mar. 13, 1901
Indianapolis
Marion County
Indiana, USA

American Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, US Senator and US President. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 23rd US President from March 1889 until March 1893. His paternal ancestors immigrated from England to the colony of Jamestown, Virginia in 1630. Born the second of eight children, his father served in the US House of Representatives from Ohio and his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, served briefly as the 9th US President. His great-grandfather, Benjamin Harrison V, was governor of Virginia and signer of the Declaration of Independence. His parents were not wealthy and he received his elementary education in a one-room schoolhouse near his home and later received instructions by a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies. In 1847 he enrolled at Farmer's College near Cincinnati, Ohio and in 1850 he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, graduating in 1852. He then took up the study of law as a legal apprentice in the Cincinnati law office of Storer & Gwynne. On October 20, 2853 he married Caroline Lavinia Scott. While working on his law studies, he returned to live on his father's farm and after completion, he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1854. He was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in the office of John H. Ray. Growing up, he favored the policies of the Whig Party but in 1856 he joined the newly formed Republican Party and campaigned for Republican presidential candidate John C. Frémont. That same year he was elected at the Indianapolis city attorney and two years later he into a law partnership with William Wallace and they opened their office called Wallace & Harrison. In 1860 he successfully ran as the Republican candidate for reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court. He was an active supporter of his party's platform, and served as Republican State Committee Secretary. In 1862, after the outbreak of the American Civil War, he raised a regiment of volunteers for the Union Army and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant. That August he was promoted by Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton to the rank of colonel, and his regiment was commissioned as the 70th Indiana Infantry. For much of its first two years, the 70th Indiana performed reconnaissance duty and guarded railroads in Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1864 his regiment joined General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and moved to the front lines and in January of that year, he was promoted to command the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the 20th Corps. He saw action with the 1st Brigade at the Battles of Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peachtree Creek and Atlanta. When Sherman's main force began its March to the Sea, his brigade was transferred to the District of Etowah and participated in the Battle of Nashville. In January 1865 President Abraham Lincoln nominated him to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers, confirmed by the US Senate the following month. He rode in the Grand Review in Washington DC before mustering out of the US Army in June 1865. He then returned to his position as reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court (he had been re-elected in October 1864) and in 1872 he campaigned unsuccessfully of the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana. In 1876 he became the Republican nominee for Indiana governor but was defeated in the general election. When the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 reached Indianapolis, he helped to mediate between the workers and management and to preserve public order. In 1878, upon the death of Indiana Senator Oliver P. Morton, he ran for the seat but was defeated by the Democrat Daniel W. Voorhees. In 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed him to the Mississippi River Commission, which worked to develop internal improvements on the river. The following year, as a delegate to the 1880 Republican National Convention, he was instrumental in breaking a deadlock on candidates, and James A. Garfield won the nomination. HE was elected to the US Senate in 1880 and served for one term, from March 1881 until March 1887. While in the Senate, he chaired the Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard and the Committee on Territories. In 1886 he was defeated in his bid for re-election to the US Senate and returned to his law practice. At the 1888 Republican National Convention, his name was submitted as the presidential nominee. After placing 4th on the first few ballots, supporters of the previous Republican nominee, James G. Blaine, threw their support behind Harrison and he was nominated by a wide margin on the 8th ballot and Levi P. Morton of New York was selected as his running mate. His opponent was the Democratic incumbent President Grover Cleveland. With a high voter turnout (nearly 80 percent), he received 90,000 fewer popular votes that Cleveland but won the Electoral College by 233 to 168. His major accomplishments while in office include the McKinley Tariff, which imposed historic protective trade rates, the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the creation of the National Forests through an amendment to the Land Revision Act of 1891. He also substantially strengthened and modernized the Navy, and conducted an active foreign policy. He quickly saw the enactment of the Dependent and Disability Pension Act in 1890, a cause he had championed while in Congress. He proposed, in vain, federal education funding as well as voting rights enforcement for African Americans during his administration. During his administration, what is considered the last Native American battle of the 19th century, Wounded Knee in South Dakota, was fought on December 29, 1890 that ended in a massacre of Sioux women and children by elements of the US 7th Cavalry. His general policy on Native Americans was to encourage assimilation into white society and, despite the massacre, he believed the policy to have been generally successful. This policy, known as the allotment system and embodied in the Dawes Act, was favored by liberal reformers at the time, but eventually proved detrimental to Native Americans as they sold most of their land at low prices to white speculators. In 1892 he ran as the Republican candidate for US President against former President Grover Cleveland. The treasury surplus had dissipated and the tariff revisions of the past four years had made imported goods so expensive that now many voters shifted to the reform position. Many westerners, traditionally Republican voters, defected to the new Populist Party candidate, James Weaver, who promised free silver, generous veterans' pensions, and an eight-hour work day. During this time, Harrison's wife Caroline began a critical struggle with tuberculosis and two weeks before the election, she succumbed to the disease. Cleveland easily won the presidential election in both the popular and electoral votes. After leaving the presidential office, he lived briefly in San Francisco, California where he gave lectures at Stanford University in Stanford, California. From July 1895 until his death he served on the Board of Trustees of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. In 1896 he remarried, to Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, the widowed 37-year-old niece and former secretary of his deceased wife. He declined to run again for the presidency and gave his support to the Republican nominee, William McKinley in 1897. In 1899 he attended the First Peace Conference at The Hague, Netherlands. In 1900 he served as an attorney for the Republic of Venezuela in their British Guiana boundary dispute with England. After an international trial at Paris, France, in which he filed an 800-page brief, he lost the case but his legal arguments won him international renown. After contracting influenza, he died from pneumonia at his home at the age of 67. A statue in his honor was erected at University Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1942 a Liberty Ship, the SS Benjamin Harrison, was named in his honor. In 1903 the US Army post Fort Benjamin Harrison, located in Lawrence, Indiana was established in his honor. It was closed as part of the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. Harrison Hall, a dormitory at Purdue University is also named in his honor. His son, Russell Benjamin Harrison, was a US diplomat and later an Indiana politician. He was the last US President to sport a full beard. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John Scott Harrison (1804 - 1878)
  Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin Harrison (1810 - 1850)
 
 Spouses:
  Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison (1832 - 1892)
  Mary Scott Lord Harrison (1858 - 1948)
 
 Children:
  Russell Benjamin Harrison (1854 - 1936)*
  Mary Scott Harrison McKee (1858 - 1930)*
  Stillborn Daughter Harrison (1861 - 1861)*
  Elizabeth Harrison Walker (1897 - 1955)*
 
 Siblings:
  William Henry Harrison (1827 - 1829)**
  Archibald Harrison (1832 - 1870)*
  Benjamin Harrison (1833 - 1901)
  Anna Symmes Harrison (1837 - 1838)*
  John Irwin Harrison (1839 - 1839)*
  Carter Bassett Harrison (1840 - 1905)*
  Mary Harrison Sapp (1841 - 1905)*
  Anna Harrison Morris (1842 - 1926)*
  John Scott Harrison (1844 - 1926)*
  James Findlay Harrison (1847 - 1848)*
  James Irwin Harrison (1849 - 1850)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Crown Hill Cemetery
Indianapolis
Marion County
Indiana, USA
Plot: Lot 13
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 451
Benjamin Harrison
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Benjamin Harrison
Added by: Cory Walker
 
Benjamin Harrison
Added by: Lauren Anthony
 
There are 4 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

In Honor
-
 Added: Nov. 28, 2014

- Tom Black
 Added: Nov. 13, 2014
Thank you for your military service during the American Civil War and for your public service as a US Senator and President. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Sep. 9, 2014
There are 493 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.4 after 256 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service