Saturday, April 23, 2011

Services Held in Honor of President William Henry Harrison

Grace Episcopal Church held a special service in honor of recently-deceased President William Henry Harrison on Friday, April 23, 1841. The Order of Exercises included two Odes by the choir, as well as a choral anthem. Prayers were led by the Rev. I.A. Hart and Rev. A.W. Curtis, and the eulogy for President Harrison was give by the Rev. B.H. Hickox. William Henry Harrison was the ninth United States President, serving from March 4, 1841 to April 4, 1841, the shortest term of any American president. He died after he caught a cold that developed into pneumonia.

Before he became President, William Henry Harrison was a frontier leader who fought in several battles during the early Indian wars. He was known his victory over Shawnee chief Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811. During the War of 1812, he commanded the Army of the Northwest as Brigadier General. He became a national hero after the defeat of the combined British and Indian forces at the Battle of the Thames.

In September of 1835, Harrison was in Sandusky to officiate at the groundbreaking of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad.

During his presidential campaign in 1840, William Henry Harrison visited Sandusky. The ladies of Sandusky presented him with this embroidered banner in honor of the campaign.
The banner is still on display at the Follett House Museum. The story behind this banner is related on page 13 of the October 1896 issue of the Firelands Pioneer, available in the Genealogy section of the Sandusky Library.

Today few would agree with William Henry Harrison’s views on slavery and Native Americans, but in his day he was heralded as a military hero by the residents of Sandusky, Ohio.

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