Harding Home State Memorial OHS

380 Mount Vernon Ave
Marion, OH 43302-4120

A Modest Home for the 29th President

A modest home for the 29th President, the Harding Home Presidential Site reflects the Midwestern values of Warren G. Harding and his wife, Florence.

The house they built on Mount Vernon Avenue was a nice abode, with parlors flanking a commodious central hallway, four bedrooms on the second floor, and a large porch for visiting with neighbors on balmy evenings. When Florence Kling (1860-1924) and Warren Harding (1865-1923) were married in the front hallway in 1891, neither could envision what the future held. The house seemed suitable to Warren -- a comfortable middle-class dwelling for a newspaper editor and his family. Devoted to his community, Harding often claimed he was happier than other men who achieved fame and fortune in big cities. Florence and Warren lived in their home for thirty years until a larger, grander house in Washington, D.C. beckoned them away from Marion.

As editor for the Marion Star, Harding became involved in politics, first serving as a state senator, followed by a term in the United States Senate. Selected by the Republican Party to run for the presidency in 1920, his home became famous for its Front Porch Campaign. On any given day, crowds in the thousands traveled to Marion to hear Harding’s speeches. Behind the house, Harding constructed a small building for the use of traveling journalists to work on and post their articles. By promising a return to normalcy, Harding won the election by significant margins.

Scandal marred Harding’s presidency, and after his death personal scandals overshadowed his political accomplishments. Yet, as recent biographies point out, during the two years he was in office, Harding established a system for determining the federal budget, created a Veterans Bureau, backed anti-lynching laws, and supported women’s suffrage. While others questioned the value of his presidency, his wife had no doubts. When rewriting her will after Warren’s death in 1923, Florence left the home and its contents to the Harding Memorial Association, to preserve the legacy of her husband.

Read More

Notes for Travelers

The Harding Home is closed for renovation; it will reopen in May 2020. The house is being restored to reflect the Hardings’ lifestyle in 1920. A presidential center is being built adjacent to the house. The center will include a library, exhibits, and rooms for programming. For now, visitors can view the exterior of the house.

Additional Resources

Warren G. Harding and the Marion Star: How Newspapering Shaped a President, Sherry Smart Hall, 2014.