Mary Dimmick Harrison

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Mary Harrison
Mary Scott Lord

(1858-04-30)April 30, 1858
DiedJanuary 5, 1948(1948-01-05) (aged 89)
Resting placeCrown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Walter Erskine Dimmick
(m. 1881; died 1882)
(m. 1896; died 1901)
ChildrenElizabeth Harrison Walker

Mary Scott Dimmick Harrison (née Lord; April 30, 1858 – January 5, 1948) was the second wife of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States. She was nearly 25 years younger than Harrison, and was the niece of his first wife.[1]


Born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, as Mary Scott Lord, she was the daughter of Russell Farnham Lord, chief engineer of the Delaware and Hudson Canal (later known as the Delaware and Hudson Railway), and his wife Elizabeth Mayhew Scott.[2]

On October 22, 1881, she married Walter Erskine Dimmick (July 4, 1856 – January 14, 1882), a son of the attorney-general of Pennsylvania and brother of future Scranton mayor J. Benjamin Dimmick. He died three months after their marriage, leaving her a widow at age 23.[2] A niece of Caroline Harrison, she in 1889 moved into the White House to serve as assistant to the First Lady. Sometime after Mrs. Harrison's death in 1892, the former president and Mrs. Dimmick fell in love and late in 1895 announced their engagement.

At age 37, she married the former president, aged 62, on April 6, 1896, at St. Thomas Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City.[2][3] Harrison's grown children from his first marriage, horrified at the news, did not attend the wedding. Harrison's vice president and the then governor of New York, Levi P. Morton, and several former cabinet members were among the three dozen guests; former navy secretary Benjamin F. Tracy was best man. Without a honeymoon, the couple settled in Indianapolis.

Together, the Harrisons had one daughter:

The Harrisons traveled widely: to Venezuela, where Harrison played a role in settling a boundary dispute, and to the First Peace Conference at The Hague in 1899. Benjamin Harrison died on March 13, 1901. Mrs. Harrison survived the former president by nearly half a century. Arden Davis Melick reveals that "Mary Dimmick Harrison established The Benjamin Harrison Memorial Home in Indianapolis, Indiana."[5] In 1901, she commissioned Frederick Wilson of Tiffany Studios to create a stained-glass window for Benjamin Harrison's long-time congregation, First Presbyterian Church.[6]

On September 1, 1914, Mary and her seventeen-year-old daughter Elizabeth returned from Europe upon the outbreak of war aboard the SS Ryndam.[7] She died of asthma in New York City on January 5, 1948.[2][8] She was buried in Indianapolis, Indiana, in Crown Hill Cemetery.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mary Dimmick Harrison". Benjamin Harrison. Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  2. ^ a b c d "Mrs. Benj. Harrison, Widow Of 23rd President, Dies at 89". Milwaukee Sentinel. January 6, 1948. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  3. ^ "Soon to Be Mrs. Harrison". New York Times. March 29, 1896. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  4. ^ Hart, Craig (2004). A Genealogy of the Wives of the American Presidents and Their First Two Generations of Descent. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7864-1956-2.
  5. ^ Arden Davis Melick, Wives of the presidents (Hammond, 1985), 53.
  6. ^ "Angel of the Resurrection". Indianapolis Museum of Art Online Collection. Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  7. ^ 1914; Arrival; Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 2365; Line: 18; Page Number: 3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820–1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  8. ^ "Died". Time magazine. January 12, 1948. Archived from the original on February 1, 2011. Retrieved 2009-12-30.

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