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
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