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John Scott Harrison

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1857
Preceded by Lewis D. Campbell
Succeeded by William S. Groesbeck

Born October 4, 1804 (1804-10-04)
Vincennes, Indiana, USA
Died May 25, 1878 (1878-05-26)
North Bend, Ohio, USA
Political party Whig, Oppositionist
Spouse(s) (1) Lucretia Knapp Johnson (2) Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin
Profession Politician, Farmer

John Scott Harrison (October 4, 1804 – May 25, 1878) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio and the only man to be both the son and the father of U.S. Presidents. His father, William Henry Harrison was the 9th President in 1841; and, his son, Benjamin Harrison, was the 23rd President from 1889-1893. Harrison did not live to see his son become President.


Early life and family

Born in Vincennes, Indiana, the son of future President William Henry Harrison and Anna Tuthill Symmes and the grandson of Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Harrison V, Harrison completed preparatory studies and studied medicine. He later abandoned this to become a farmer.

In 1824 he married Lucretia Knapp Johnson (16 September 1804-6 February 1830). They had three children; Elizabeth Short Harrison (1825-1904), William Henry Harrison (1827-1829) and Sarah Lucretia Harrison (born 1829).

On 12 August 1831 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he married Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin (18 July 1810-15 August 1850). He and Elizabeth had 10 children;

  • Archibald Harrison (1832-1870)
  • Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901); became president
  • Mary Jane Harrison (1835-1867)
  • Anna Symmes Harrison (1837-1838)
  • John Irwin Harrison (born & died 1839)
  • Carter Bassett Harrison (1840-1905)
  • Anna Symmes Harrison (1842-1926)
  • John Scott Harrison (1844-1926)
  • James Findlay Harrison (1847-1848)
  • James Irwin Harrison (1849-1850)

After his father's death, in 1841, his mother moved in with his family to help raise the children.

Political career

He was elected a Whig to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1852, reelected an Oppositionist in 1854 and served from 1853 to 1857. After being defeated for a third term in 1856, Harrison retired to his estate "Point Farm" in North Bend, Ohio where he died on May 25, 1878. He was interred in the William Henry Harrison Tomb State Memorial in North Bend with his parents and other family members.

Body snatching

At that time it was common practice for graves to be robbed for recently deceased bodies for use in teaching dissection and anatomy at medical colleges. As a result, many precautions were taken to secure Harrison’s grave including: building a cemented brick vault, filling the grave with earth mixed with heavy stones and employing a watchman to check the grave each hour of every night for a week.

The day of Harrison’s funeral it was discovered that the body of young Augustus Devin, which had been buried the previous week in an adjoining grave, had been stolen. The next day, one of John Harrison’s sons and another friend of Devin’s, traveled to Cincinnati to look for his body. With search warrants in hand they went to the Ohio Medical College, where they discovered not Devin’s body but the naked body of John Scott Harrison hanging from a rope down a chute beneath a trap door. Devin's body was later found preserved in a vat of brine at the medical college of the University of Michigan. [1]


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lewis D. Campbell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1857
Succeeded by
William S. Groesbeck


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