President Benjamin Harrison
The 23rd president of the United States — and the only one buried here at Crown Hill Cemetery. President Benjamin Harrison was practically born into politics, coming from a family whose male descendants were firmly rooted in political office for more than 250 years. His grandfather, William Henry Harrison, served as our nation’s 9th president.
The day the Republican Party nominated him to run for presidential office in 1888, President Harrison launched his famous “front porch campaign,” speaking to the thousands of supporters who gathered outside of his Delaware Street home to congratulate him. Throughout his entire campaign, he remained in Indianapolis, speaking to laborers, businessmen, veterans, women’s organizations and reporters from a review stand set up in Military Park. Although he lost the popular vote, President Harrison won the Electoral College, thus ousting Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland.
President Harrison was sworn into office on March 4, 1889. He focused much of his effort on currency reform and economic equity, signing the Sherman Antitrust Act into law to cut down on monopolies. He emerged as the first “environmental president,” creating forest preserves throughout the country. He was also responsible for civil service reforms, an expanded veterans pension, a Meat Inspection Act and an International Copyright Act. The most lasting legacy of his presidency was the expansion of the union to include the Dakotas, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming. He served just one term, ironically losing to Grover Cleveland.
President Harrison died of pneumonia on March 13, 1901 in his Indianapolis home, and he was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery beside his first wife. Every year, on the weekend closest to his birthday on August 20, Crown Hill honors Harrison with a ceremony open to the public.