Main Content

William Henry Harrison’s wife, Anna, was too ill to travel when her husband set out from Ohio for his 1841 Inauguration. The president-elect asked his daughter-in-law, Jane Irwin Harrison, to accompany him and act as hostess until Anna’s proposed arrival in May.

Jane Irwin was born on July 23, 1804, in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, to parents Archibald and Mary Irwin.1 While visiting family, Jane met William Henry Harrison Jr., and on February 18, 1824, the couple married.2 They had two children; only one, James, lived to adulthood.3

Tragically, she was widowed by the death of her husband in 1838.4 During her father-in-law’s short tenure as president, she served as White House hostess, assisted by her aunt, also named Jane.5

After his sudden death on April 4, 1841, Jane moved to Ohio. She went on to remarry Lewis Whiteman. She died May 11, 1847, from tuberculosis and is buried in Cincinnati.6

Footnotes & Resources

  1. “John Scott Harrison,” in Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Microfilm, 508 rolls, Ancestry. Com; Joan C. McCulloh, “The Irwin Sisters of Irwinton,” Mercersburg Historical Society,
  2. Jane Irwin in Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Methodist Church Records. Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Eastern Pennsylvania United Methodist Church Commission on Archives and History.
  3. Joan C. McCulloh, “The Irwin Sisters of Irwinton,” Mercersburg Historical Society,
  4. Ibid.
  5. “Jane Harrison,” National Portrait Gallery,
  6. “Jane Findlay Irwin Whiteman,” Find a Grave,

You Might Also Like