Wives of Presidents: Mary Scott Lord Dimmick Harrison

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Mary Scott Lord Dimmick Harrison was the second wife of President Benjamin Harrison. She never served as First Lady, as they were married after her husband left

Mary Scott Lord Dimmick Harrison as a young woman

office. His first wife, Caroline Harrison, died in the last months of his presidency.

Mary Scott Lord was born on April 30, 1858 in Honesdale, Pennslvania. She was the daughter of Russell Farnham and Elizabeth Mayhew Scott Lord.

Mary married Walter Erskine Dimmick on October 22, 1881. He died three months after their marriage on January 14, 1882. At the young age of 23, she was left a widow.

Mary was a niece of the First Lady, Caroline Harrison, and moved into the White House in 1889 to serve as her assistant.

After Caroline Harrison died in 1892, a relationship began to form between Mary and former President Benjamin Harrison.

The couple announced their engagement in late 1895. President Harrison’s two children from his previous marriage protested and an estrangement occurred between them.

On April 6, 1896, a 37 year old Mary married the former president, aged 62, in New York City.

The couple settled in Indianapolis after their marriage. In 1897, they had a daughter, Elizabeth together.

The couple traveled widely during their years together.

Benjamin Harrison died on March 13, 1901. Mary established The Benjamin Harrison Memorial Home in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mary Harrison never remarried and survived her husband by almost half a century. She died from asthma on January 5, 1948. She is buried beside her husband in the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.