Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio. He is best known for being the 23rd president of the United States. He was the grandson of President William Henry Harrison.
Harrison grew up on a farm where he spent much of his time fishing and hunting. He later attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After graduating, he moved with his wife Caroline to Indianapolis, Indiana. There he worked as a lawyer until the Civil War. He joined the Union Army and fought in Atlanta. By the time he left the army in 1865, he had reached the rank of Brigadier General.
After the war, Harrison was elected to be the reporter for the Supreme Court of Indiana. After unsuccessfully running for governor twice and Senator once, he was finally elected to the U.S. Senate in 1881.
In 1888 Harrison received the nomination for president. He lost the popular vote by over 90,000 votes, but still won the electoral vote to defeat the incumbent Grover Cleveland. The federal budget grew a lot while Harrison was president. He had the first budget to exceed $1 billion when there wasn’t a war happening. Most of the budget was used to help the navy and harbors throughout the U.S. Harrison supported the Tariff Act of 1890, which imposed high protective tariffs. His administration also passed the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 to protect trade and commerce against uncontrollable monopoly.
Six states were added during Harrison’s presidency, including Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. He was the first president to have electricity in the White House. He was also the first president to have his voice recorded. Some people called him the human iceberg because he had such a stiff personality. He was also called little Ben because he was 5 feet 6 inches tall.
Benjamin Harrison would serve only one term as president. He was defeated by Grover Cleavland in the election of 1892. After Harrison’s presidency he returned to his home in Indianapolis and died from pneumonia in 1901 at the age of 67.
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Here is the house of Benjamin Harrison in Indiana. He started constructing the house with his wife in 1884. The cost of the house was around $24,000. Harrison died in the home on March 13, 1901.