Former U.S. Rep. William Henry Harrison, Descendant of PresidentsAP , Associated Press
Oct. 10, 1990 4:47 PM ET
SHERIDAN, WYO. SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) _ Former U.S. Rep. William Henry Harrison, a descendant of two presidents and an opponent of excessive federal power, has died at age 94.
Harrison died Monday of heart failure at Palms of Pasadena Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., his winter home. He will be buried here Saturday.
A five-term Republican congressman from Wyoming, Harrison campaigned in the early 1960s by opposing Kennedy administration policies. He saw Washington taking more control and direction over American life and he didn't like it.
''This is, in my opinion, a serious detriment and threat to local and state initiative and control which are at the very foundation of our freedom and liberty and our free enterprise system,'' he said in April 1962.
Politics ran on both sides of his family.
He was a grandson of President Benjamin Harrison and a great-great grandson of President William Henry Harrison. His great-great-great grandfather was another Benjamin Harrison; that one signed the Declaration of Independence.
On his mother's side, Harrison was a grandson of Alvin Saunders, Nebraska's territorial governor during the Civil War and later a U.S. senator.
Harrison was born in Terre Haute, Ind., on Aug. 10, 1896. After earning a law degree he served in the Indiana Legislature, then moved to Wyoming and eventually won election as a lawmaker here. He was first elected to Congress in 1950.
In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed Harrison to the U.S. Renegotiation Board, an independent agency that examined contracts relating to the defense and aerospace programs in an effort to stop excessive profits.
Harrison resigned from the board at age 75 and returned to Wyoming.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, a daughter and a son.