Warren G. Harding Home Photograph

1891; 1920 - 1923

Ohio History Connection

Ohio History Connection

Warren G. Harding built this home in 1891. The photograph measures 5" by 7" (12 by 18 cm). Harding and his future wife, Florence Kling, planned and built the house just before their marriage on July 8, 1891. Harding used the home for his 1920 "front porch" campaign for president, and built the press house in the back of the house so that his speeches could be broadcast more widely. The Hardings lived in the home until 1921, when they moved to the White House. Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923) was born in Corsica (now called Blooming Grove), a small town in Morrow County, Ohio. Harding graduated from Ohio Central College in Iberia at the age of sixteen. His family moved to Marion, where Harding taught school and briefly studied law. He worked occasionally as a reporter for a local paper before buying the Marion Star in 1884. Within five years, the Star was one of the most successful small-town newspapers in the state. Harding became popular as the leader of the Citizen's Coronet Band, which played at political rallies, and for his skill as an orator. Willing to follow the lead of political bosses, Harding advanced rapidly in Ohio politics, serving as state senator and lieutenant governor. In 1914 Harding was elected to the U. S. Senate. He launched his famous "front porch" 1920 presidential campaign from the porch of his Victorian home in Marion, Ohio. He won the presidency with sixty percent of the popular vote, promising a "return to normalcy" following the wave of reforms begun during Theodore Roosevelt's administration. As President, Harding appointed several friends to federal office who proved untrustworthy. His administration was tainted by corruption, and the infamous "Teapot Dome" scandal (in which Harding's Secretary of the Interior leased a U.S. petroleum reserve to a private oil company) nearly destroyed his presidency. After he died in office in August 1923, other scandals were uncovered, further tarnishing Harding's reputation. First Lady Florence Harding (1860-1924) was born Florence Mabel Kling in Marion, where her father was a successful businessman. Her first marriage ended in divorce in 1886. In 1891, she married Warren G. Harding and went to work in the circulation department of her husband's newspaper. Florence Harding was a strong supporter of her husband's political career. As First Lady, she reopened the White House to the public; it had been closed when previous president Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke. The couple had no children.

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  • Title: Warren G. Harding Home Photograph
  • Date: 1891; 1920 - 1923
  • Location: Marion (Ohio)
  • Subject Keywords: Presidents and Politics, Architecture, Houses
  • Contributor: Ohio History Connection
  • Rights: Online access is provided for research purposes only. For rights and reproduction requests or more information, go to http://www.ohiohistory.org/images/information
  • External Link: http://www.ohiomemory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p267401coll32/id/5380