First Daughters to Serve As First Lady: Mary Harrison McKee

Mary Scott Harrison McKee was the daughter of President Benjamin Harrison and Caroline Scott Harrison.

Mary Harrison McKee

After her mother’s death, she served as White House hostess for the remaining few months of her father’s Presidency.

She was born on April 3, 1858 and the only daughter of the President and his first wife.

She and her brother, Russell, were educated in public schools.

In November 1884, she married James Robert McKee, who would become one of the founding members of General Electric company. The couple would have two children together.

After her father was elected president in 1888, she and her family lived with her parents in the White House through his term. Her son, Benjamin McKee, became known as Baby McKee in the press.

Her mother died in October 1892, and Mary stepped up to serve as de facto First Lady. Two weeks after her mother died, her father lost his bid for re-election.

Mary and her brother strongly opposed their father’s second marriage to Mary Lord Dimmick, who was her first cousin and twenty-five years younger than the president.

Mary and Russell never saw or spoke to their father again. She arrived in Indianapolis several hours after his death.

She died on October 28, 1930 at the age of 72. She was buried with her parents at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Her husband outlived her by twelve years.

Mary Harrison McKee is the most recent First Lady that was not married to the President.

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