Sunday, March 13, 2011

Item From the Past: Benjamin Harrison's Final Resting Place

In March 1999, I visited Indianapolis’ Crown Hill Cemetery. It’s an enormous, picturesque, old-style cemetery with plenty of trees and headstones and even a few hills. President (Benjamin) Harrison is buried there, so I went to see his stone, but it was a fairly drab affair, an undistinguished family stone surrounded by artless individual stones.

Though I don't seem to have taken any pictures it, the nearby monument of Vice President Thomas Hendricks -- Cleveland’s first, a Hoosier who died in office in 1885 -- was a more aesthetic stone. Best of all in the vicinity was Gov. Oliver Morton, the “War Governor” of Indiana (in office 1861-67), who has a spiffy bust of himself atop his monument. By golly, he wanted people to remember him. Of course, almost no one has.

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