First Ladies: Jane Irwin Harrison

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When Anna Symmes Harrison, proved too ill to travel to Washington, D.C. with her husband, William Henry Harrison, for his upcoming inauguration he asked his recently widowed daughter-in-law to accompany him.

Jane Irwin Harrison

This daughter-in-law, Jane Irwin Harrison, was the widow of William Henry Harrison, Jr. She agreed to accompany her father-in-law to the White House and act as hostess, until Anna Harrison could arrive as planned in May.

Jane Irwin was born on July 23, 1804 in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Archibald and Mary Ramsey Irwin. She was the granddaughter of James Ramsey, owner of Millmont Farm, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

Her mother died on February 10, 1813 and she and her siblings were adopted by their father’s second wife.

Jane married William Henry Harrison, Jr. And became the mother to two sons, James and William.

Jane’s sister, Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin, married William Henry Harrison, Jr’s brother, John Scott Harrison. Elizabeth Irwin Harrison was the mother of future president, Benjamin Harrison.

William Henry Harrison, Jr died in 1838.

In 1841, Jane journeyed with her father-in-law to serve as his hostess. She acted as official hostess for the 32 days of her father-in-law’s presidency. However, she was assisted by her father’s sister, Jane Irwin Findlay.

Jane Irwin Harrison died on May 11, 1846 at the age of 41.

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