William McKinley
Burial Location Visited President Grave #
Canton, Ohio June 19, 2005 20th Visited

Thousands of people travel to Canton each
year to see the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
My father and I also visited the hall, but
first we paid our respects at the tomb of
William McKinley, the third president slain
in office.

First Lady Ida McKinley passed away in May
1907, just months before the memorial was
dedicated. Her and the president's bodies are
contained in a pair of sarcophagi made of
green granite that originated in Vermont.

108 steps lead up to the memorial,
which is situated next to the
William McKinley President Library
and Museum. The library is run by
the Stark County Historical Society.

 The McKinley's two daughters, both of whom
passed away in early childhood, are interred
in the walls of the monument.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* The seventh child born to Nancy and William McKinley, the boy who would one day be the 25th president came into the world on January 29, 1843. Raised in the town of Niles, he later moved with his family to Poland, Ohio. In 1861, the Civil War broke out, and young William joined the Union Army. Ironically, he served under a major 
named Rutherford B. Hayes, who would later become president as well. Hayes promoted the youthful McKinley several times during the course of the conflict, and by its end, he had become a captain. Upon leaving the army in September of 1865, he was a brevet major.

* In 1871, McKinley married Ida Saxton the daughter of a prominent banker in Canton. Almost a year later, Ida gave birth to the couple's first child Katherine. Two years later, the two welcomed a second daughter into the world. The youngest child, also named Ida, passed away within five months time, followed by her older sister in 1875. These tragedies had a terrible effect on Ida McKinley's already ill health. Always fragile, she was prone to seizures, and often had them while in public. If the first lady were to have an epileptic fit during a state dinner, her loving husband would sorrowfully drop a handkerchief over her face to preserve her dignity.

* Attending both Allegheny College and Albany Law School, McKinley passed the bar in 1867. In 1876, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with the help of his ally, Rutherford B. Hayes, who was running for president that same year. McKinley served two different stints in that body, leaving for a final time in 1891. He was also Ohio's 39th governor, serving from 1892 to 1896. In 1890, while he was still a congressman, McKinley wrote the aptly-named McKinley Tariff, which raised taxes and devastated farmers across America. The outcome was the Panic of 1893. Despite this, the Ohioan won the 1896 presidential election by 95 electoral votes.

* One affair that defined McKinley's presidency was the Spanish-American War. The conflict, which started in April of 1898, had been long in the making. Americans were well aware of how Spain was treating Cuba, which borders the United States. The U.S. ordered Spain to cease what it was doing, but to no avail. In February of 1898, the USS Maine, a U.S. battleship that had been stationed off of Havana, mysteriously exploded. Thinking that the vessel was sabotaged by the Spanish, relations between the two countries grew tenser and tenser until war was final declared. Within four short months, the United States would end up victorious.

* In September 1901, the president traveled to Buffalo, New York, the location of the Pan-American Exposition. On the 5th, McKinley delivered what would be his last speech. The next day, after a brief visit to Niagara Falls, McKinley returned to Buffalo. In the afternoon, he entered the Temple of Music, a building built specifically for the exposition. Despite warnings from his personal secretary, McKinley opted to greet the public as planned. At 4:07 p.m., a man with a bandaged hand stepped forward. As the president stretched his arm out, the man slapped it away and shot him. After he fired two shots, the gunman was subdued. As his captors began to beat the assailant, the wounded president selflessly said, "Don't let them hurt him!" McKinley was taken to the home of John Milburn, the president of the exposition. There, McKinley's condition improved greatly, and it was believed that he would make a full recovery. After a few days, he was allowed to eat solid food, but gangrene had set in and took control of the president. He declined very rapidly thereafter, dying in the early hours of September 14th. Anarchist Leon Czolgosz, the gunman who had concealed the weapon in his bandage, was executed the following month.

First Lady: Ida Saxton McKinley

  - Spouse: Ida Saxton McKinley (m. 1871-1901)

Political Party:
 Republican Party

Vice President:
Garret Augustus Hobart (1897-1899)

                         Theodore Roosevelt (1901)

Last Words:
"It is God's way. His will be done, not ours. We are all going... Oh,


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