LET THE BELLS TOLL FOR THE NATION’S WOE
President McKinley Vanquished in the Battle With Death and His Life Goes Out in the Still Watches of the Night, Causing Millions of Hearts to be Chilled With the Sorrow Too Great for Words to Express.
Born in Niles, Ohio, Jan. 29, 1843.
Was educated in the public schools and Allegheny college.
Enlisted as a private in the Twenty-third Ohio in 1861.
Was commissionary sergeant in 1862, second lieutenant in 1862, first lieutenant in 1863, captain in 1864.
Served on staffs of Hayes, Crook and Hancock.
Was made brevet major of volunteers for gallantry in battle by Lincoln in 1865.
After the was studied law and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1867.
In 1867 settled in Canton, Ohio, and that place has been his home since.
Was member of congress from Ohio from 1876 to 1891.
As chairman of committee on ways and means reported the tariff bill of 1890, known as the McKinley bill.
Elected governor of Ohio in 1891; was re-elected in 1893.
Was delegate-at-large to National Republican convention and member of committee on resolutions in 1884, and supported James G. Blaine.
Was delegate-at-large from Ohio to convention of 1888 and supported John Sherman; was chairman then of committee on resolutions.
Was delegate-at-large to convention of 1892 and was made its chairman. He received 182 votes for president, but refused to allow his name to be considered, he supporting Benjamin Harrison.
Nominated for president at the National Republican convention at St. Louis, June 18, 1896, receiving 661 out of a total of 905 votes.
Was elected president in November, 1896, by a popular plurality of over 600,000 votes.
Was elected president in November, 1900, by a popular plurality of 849,435.
Was stricken down by the hand of an assassin on Sept. 6, 1901.
Died at Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 14, 1901.
THE LAST HOURS OF THE PRESIDENT
Touching Scenes in Sick Room Where a Noble Life Was Fleeting.
Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 13. — Before 6 o’clock this morning it was clear that President McKinley was dying, and preparations were made for the last sad farewell from those nearest and dearest to him. Oxygen had been ministered steadily, but it had little effect in keeping back the approach of death.
The president came out of one period of unconsciousness only to relapse into another. During this period occurred a series of events profoundly touching in character. Downstairs, with strained and tear-stained faces, the members of the cabinet were grouped anxious-waiting.
Last Greeting to Dying Chief
They knew the end was near and that the time had come when they must see him for the last time. About 6 o’clock, one by one they ascended the stairway — Secretary Root, Secretary Hitchcock and Attorney-General Knox. Secretary Wilson was there, but he held back, not wishing to see the president in the last agony. There was only a momentary stay of the cabinet officers at the threshold of the death chamber and then they withdrew, the tears streaming down their faces and words of intense grief choking their throats.
Last Parting With Beloved Wife
After they left, the physicians rallied him, and the president asked almost immediately that his wife be brought to him. The doctors fell back into the shadow of the room as Mrs. McKinley came through the doorway. The strong face of the dying man lighted up with a faint smile as their hands were clasped. She sat beside him, and held his hand. Despite her physical weakness, she bore up bravely under the ordeal.
President’s Last Words
The president in his last period of consciousness, which ended at 7:40, chanted the words of the hymn “Nearer My God, to Thee,” and his last audible conscious words as taken down by Dr. Mann at the bedside were: “Good bye, all; good bye. It is God’s way. His will be done.”
Ready to Meet Death
Then his mind began to wander and soon he completely lost consciousness. His life was prolonged for hours by the administration of oxygen and the president finally expressed the desire to be allowed to die. At 8:30 the administration of oxygen ceased, the pulse grew fainter and fainter; he was sinking gradually like a child into the eternal slumber. At 10 o’clock the pulse was no longer to be felt in the extremities and they grew cold.
They Await the End
Below stairs a grief-stricken gathering waited sadly for the end. Those in the house were Secretaries Hitchcock, Wilson and Root, Attorney-General Knox, Senators Fairbanks, Hanna and Burrows, Judge Day, Colonel Herrick, Abner McKinley and wife, Dr. and Mrs. Baer, Mrs. Barber, Mrs. Duncan, the president’s sister; Mrs. Mary Barber, Mrs. McWilliams, Mrs. McKinley’s cousin; the physicians, including Doctors McBurney, John G. Milburn, John N. Scatcherd, Harry Hamlin, Secretary Cortelyou, and a numbers of others.
At 9:37, Secretary Cortelyou sent out the formal notification that the president was dying, but the president lingered on, his pulse growing fainter and fainter.
Sorrow Pierces Every Heart
There was no need for official bulletins after this. Those who came from the house told the same story — the president was dying, and the end might come at any time. Dr. Mann said at 11 o’clock that the president was still alive, and would probably live some time. Thus the minutes lengthened into hours, and midnight came with the president still battling against death. Secretaries Root and Wilson came from the house about midnight and paced up and down the sidewalk. All that Secretary Root said was that the “end has not come yet.”
Early Report of Death
Shortly after midnight the president’s breathing was barely perceptible. It was recognized that nothing remained but the last struggle.
The arrival of the coroner gave rise to the rumor of death. The coroner said he had been ordered by the district attorney to go there as soon as possible after the announcement of death. He had seen the announcement in a local paper and had accepted it as true.
President Consoles Wife
The president was practically unconscious during the time, but powerful heart stimulants, including oxygen, were employed to restore him to consciousness for the final parting with his wife. He asked for her and she sat at his side and held his hand. He consoled her and bade her good bye. She went through the heart-trying scene the same bravery and fortitude which she has borne the grief of the tragedy which ended his life.
Cause of Death Undetermined
The immediate cause of the president’s death is undetermined. The physicians disagree, and it will possibly require an autopsy to fix the exact cause. The president’s remains will be taken to Washington, and there will be held a state funeral.
Vice President Roosevelt, who will now succeed to the presidency, may take the oath of office whenever he happens to hear the news. The cabinet will resign in a body, and President Roosevelt will have an opportunity of forming a new cabinet if he so desires.
Davenport Daily Republican (Davenport, Iowa) Sep 14, 1901
The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Sep 16, 1901