Mary Scott Harrison

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Mary Scott Harrison (Lord)

Birthplace: Honesdale, Wayne County, PA, United States
Death: January 05, 1948 (89)
New York City, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Russell Farnham Lord, Sr. and Elizabeth Mayhew Lord
Wife of Walter Erskine Dimmick and Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the USA
Mother of Elizabeth Walker
Sister of Walter Scott Lord and Elizabeth Scott Parker
Half sister of Anna Tracy; James Henry Lord and Russell Franham Lord, Jr.

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About Mary Scott Harrison


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


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.

On October 22, 1881, she married Walter Erskine Dimmick (July 4, 1856 - January 14, 1882), a son of the attorney-general of Pennsylvania. He died three months after their marriage, leaving her a widow at age 23. A niece of Carrie 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. Harrison's grown children from his first marriage, horrified at the news, did not attend the wedding. Harrison's vice president, 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:

   Elizabeth (Harrison) Walker (1897-1955) , a lawyer. Born in Indianapolis, she graduated from New York University law school in 1919. In 1922, she married James Blaine Walker, grandnephew of her father's secretary of state James G. Blaine. She was founder and publisher of "Cues on the News", an investment newsletter for women.

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. 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." In early September 1914 Mary and Elizabeth returned from Europe upon the outbreak of war aboard the Ryndam.

She died in New York City on January 5, 1948 from her asthma. She was buried in Indianapolis, Indiana in Crown Hill Cemetery.

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"All Biographical Cyclopedia of U.S. Women"

HARRISON, MARY SCOTT LORD, widow of Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States from 1889-1893, was born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, daughter of Russell Farnum and Elizabeth (Scott) Lord. Her father was Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company; her mother was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was educated at Mrs. Moffat's School, Princeton, New Jersey, and was graduated from Elmira College, Elmira, New York.

Mrs. Harrison was an active war worker, serving as Director of the Entertainment Bureau of the Officer's Department of the New York War Camp Community Service, providing amusements for over 1,000 commissioned personnel of the American forces [p.370] each week. Speaking of her work, Mrs. Harrison said: "We have found officers who were anxious for a taste of the bright lights, and our theatre tickets, opera boxes and concert passes pleased them. Then there were the ones who craved a bit of intimate entertainment which, after all, can be found only in the home. But we were ready and waiting for them, and hundreds have been invited to dinner, weekend parties and motoring trips."

She married, first, on October 22, 1881, at Scranton, Pennsylvania, Walter Erskine Dimmick (died 1882), son of Samuel, E. Dimmick; second, at North Bend, Ohio, April 6, 1896, Benjamin Harrison, ex-President of the United States, son of John Scott Harrison, United States Congressman and grandson of William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States. Benjamin Harrison was Colonel of the 70th Indiana Regiment in the Civil War and was appointed Brigadier-General, January 23, 1865. He was elected United States Senator, March 4, 1881, and became twenty-third President of the United States in 1889, serving one term. He died March 13, 1901. General and Mrs. Harrison had one daughter, Elizabeth Harrison, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1897, a lawyer by profession.

Benjamin Harrison's second wife received her early education by private tutors in New York City. Mary's father died when she was nine and she moved to Springfield, Illinois, with her mother and sister. In Springfield she attended a private school conducted by Miss. Corvoran at the home of Mrs. C. M. Smith (a sister of Mary Todd Lincoln). After one year in Springfield the family settled in Princeton, New Jersey. For five years Mary attended a Princeton Day Boarding School kept by Mrs. Moffitt. She then spent one year at a female college in Elmira, New York. Her main course of study and her passion was music.

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Mary Scott Harrison's Timeline

April 30, 1858
Honesdale, Wayne County, PA, United States
March 21, 1897
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
January 5, 1948
Age 89
New York City, New York, United States
Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana