Chronological Record of the Life of President
29. William McKinley, son of William and Nancy (Allison)
McKinley, is born at Niles, Trumbull county, O., being the seventh
of a family of nine children.
1852. The McKinley family
removes to Poland, Mahoning county, O., where William studies at
the Union seminary until he is 17.
1859. Becomes a member
of the Methodist Episcopal church in Poland.
1860. Enters the junior
class in Allegheny college, Meadville, Pa., but poor health prevents
the completion of the course. Subsequently teaches in a public school
near Poland and later becomes a clerk in the Poland postoffice.
1861. June 11. Enlists
as a private in Company E, of the Twenty-third Ohio volunteer infantry.
1862. April 15. Promoted
to commissary sergeant while in the winter’s camp at Fayette, W.
1862. Sept. 24. Promoted
to second lieutenant, in recognition of services at the battle of
Antietam. Wins the highest esteem of the colonel of the regiment,
Rutherford B. Hayes, and becomes a member of his staff.
1863. Feb. 7. Promoted
to first lieutenant.
1864. July 25. Promoted
to captain for gallantry at the battle of Kernstown, near Winchester,
1864. Oct. 11. First
vote for president cast, while on a march, for Abraham Lincoln.
1864. Shortly after the
battle of Cedar Creek (October 19), Captain McKinley serves on the
staffs of General George Crook and General Winfield S. Hancock.
1865. Assigned as acting
assistant adjutant general on the staff of General Samuel S. Carroll,
commanding the veteran reserve corps at Washington.
13. Commissioned by President Lincoln as major by 
brevet in the volunteer United States army, “for gallant and meritorious
service at the battles of Opequan, Cedar Creek and Fisher’s Hill.”
1865. July 26. Mustered
out of the army with his regiment, having never been absent from
his command on sick leave during more than four years’ service.
1865. Returns to Poland
and at once begins the study of law.
1866. Enters the Albany
(N. Y.) law school.
1867. Admitted to the bar
at Warren, O., in March. Accepting the advice of an elder sister
teaching in Canton, O., he begins the practice of law in Canton
and makes that place his home.
prosecuting attorney of Stark county on the republican ticket, although
the county had usually been democratic.
1871. Jan. 25. Marries
Miss Ida Saxton, of Canton. (Two daughters born to Mr. and Mrs.
McKinley—Katie in 1871 and Ida in 1873—and both lost in early childhood).
1871. Fails of re-election
as prosecuting attorney by forty-five votes, and for the next five
years devotes himself successfully to the practice of law, and becomes
a leading member of the bar of Stark county.
1872. Though not a candidate,
very active as a campaign speaker in the Grant-Greeley presidential
1875. Especially active
and conspicuous as a campaigner in the closely contested state election
in which Rutherford B. Hayes is elected governor.
member of the house of representatives by 3,300 majority, his friend
Hayes being elected to the presidency.
1878. Re-elected to congress
by 1,234 majority, his district in Ohio having been gerrymandered
to his disadvantage by a democratic legislature.
1880. Re-elected to congress
by 3,571 majority. Appointed a member of the ways and means committee,
to succeed President-elect Garfield.
1882. The republicans suffer
reverses throughout the country in the congressional election and
McKinley is re-elected by a majority of only 8.
1884. Prominent in opposition
to the proposed “Morrison tariff” in congress.
1884. As a delegate-at-large
to the republican national convention in Chicago actively supports
James G. Blaine for the presidential nomination. 
1884. Re-elected to congress
by a majority of 2,000, although his district had again been gerrymandered
1886. Re-elected to congress
by a majority of 2,550.
1886. Leads the minority
opposition in congress against the “Mills tariff bill.”
to the national convention in Chicago that nominated Benjamin Harrison,
and serves as chairman of the committee on resolutions. Many delegates
wish McKinley to become a nominee, but he stands firm in his support
of John Sherman.
1888. Elected to congress
for the seventh successive time, receiving a majority of 4,100 votes.
1889. At the organization
of the Fifty-first congress, is a candidate for speaker of the house,
but is defeated on the third ballot in the Republican caucus by
Thomas B. Reed.
1890. Upon the death of
William D. Kelley in January McKinley becomes chairman of the ways
and means committee and leader of his party in the house. He introduces
a bill “to simplify the laws in relation to the collection of revenues,”
known as the “customs administration bill.” He also introduces a
general tariff bill. The bill becomes a law October 6.
1890. As a result of the
gerrymandered congressional district and the reaction against the
republican party throughout the country, caused by the protracted
struggle over the tariff bill, McKinley is defeated in the election
for congress by 300 votes in counties that had previously gone democratic
3. Elected governor of Ohio by a plurality of 21,511, polling
the largest vote that had ever been cast for governor in Ohio. His
opponent is the democratic governor, James E. Campbell.
1892. As delegate-at-large
to the national convention at Minneapolis and chairman of the convention,
McKinley refuses to permit the consideration of his name and supports
the renomination of President Harrison. The roll call results as
follows: Harrison 535, Blaine 182, McKinley 182, Reed 4, Lincoln
1892. Death of William
McKinley, Sr., in November.
1893. Unanimously renominated
for governor of Ohio and re-elected by a plurality of 80,995, this
majority being the greatest ever recorded, with a single exception
during the civil war, for any candidate in the history of the state.
1896. June 18. At
the Republican national convention in St. Louis is nominated for
president on the first ballot, the result of the voting 
being as follows: McKinley 661½, Reed 84½, Quay 60½,
Morton 58, Allison 35½, Cameron 1.
3. Receives a popular vote in the presidential election of
7,104,779, a plurality of 601,854 over his democratic opponent,
William J. Bryan. In the electoral college later McKinley receives
271 votes, against 176 for Bryan.
1897. March 4. Inaugurated
President of the United States for the twenty-eighth quadrennial
1897. March 6. Issues
proclamation for an extra session of congress to assemble March
15. The president’s message dwells solely upon the need of a revision
of the existing tariff law.
1897. May 17. In
response to an appeal from the President congress appropriates $50,000
for the relief of the destitution in Cuba.
1897. July 24. The
“Dingley tariff bill” receives the president’s approval.
1897. Dec. 12. Death
of President McKinley’s mother at Canton, O.
1898. Both branches
of congress vote unanimously (the house on March 8 by a vote of
313 to 0 and the senate by a vote of 76 to 0 on the following day)
to place $50,000,000 at the disposal of the president to be used
at his discretion “for the national defense.”
1898. March 23. The
president sends to the Spanish government through Minister Woodford
at Madrid, an ultimatum regarding the intolerable condition of affairs
1898. March 28. The
report of the court of inquiry on the destruction of the Maine at
Havana, on February 15, is transmitted by the president to congress.
1898. April 11. The
president sends a message to congress outlining the situation, declaring
that intervention is necessary and advising against the recognition
of the Cuban government.
1898. April 21. The
Spanish government sends Minister Woodford his passports, thus beginning
1898. April 23. The
president issues a call for 125,000 volunteers.
1898. April 24. Spain
formally declares that war exists with the United States.
25. The President sends message to congress recommending the
passage of a joint resolution declaring that war exists with Spain.
On the same day both branches of congress passed such a resolution.
1898. May 25. The
President issues a call for 75,000 additional volunteers. 
1898. June 29. Yale
university confers upon President McKinley the degree of LL. D.
1898. July 7. Joint
resolution of congress providing for the annexation of Hawaii receives
the approval of the president.
1898. Aug. 9. Spain
formally accepts the president’s terms of peace.
1898. Aug. 12. The
peace protocol is signed. An armistice is proclaimed and the Cuban
1898. Oct. 17. The
president receives the degree of LL. D. from the University of Chicago.
1898. Dec. 10. The
treaty of peace between Spain and the United States is signed at
1900. March 14. The
President signs the “gold standard act.”
21. The Republican national convention at Philadelphia unanimously
renominates William McKinley for the presidency.
1900. June 21. The
president’s amnesty proclamation to the Filipinos is published in
1900. July 10. The
United States government makes public a statement of its policy
as to affairs in China.
1900. Sept. 10. Letter
accepting the presidential nomination and discussing the issues
of the campaign is given to the public.
1900. Nov. 6. In
the presidential election William McKinley carries twenty-eight
states, which have an aggregate of 292 votes in the electoral college,
his democratic opponent, William J. Bryan, carrying seventeen states,
having 155 electoral votes. His popular plurality is also larger
than in the election of 1896.
1901. March 4. Inaugurated
president. Shot by Czolsgosz September 6, at Buffalo, N. Y. Dies
September 14 at Buffalo. Buried at Canton, O., September 19.