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Source: The Life of William McKinley
Source type: book
Document type: appendix
Document title: “The McKinley Monuments” [appendix 3]
Author(s): Olcott, Charles S.
Volume number: 2
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Place of publication: Boston, Massachusetts
Year of publication: 1916
Pagination: 389-95

Olcott, Charles S. “The McKinley Monuments” [appendix 3]. The Life of William McKinley. Vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916: pp. 389-95.
full text of appendix; excerpt of book
McKinley memorial (Muskegon, MI); McKinley memorial (Toledo, OH); McKinley memorial (Adams, MA); McKinley memorial (Buffalo, NY); McKinley memorial (Columbus, OH); McKinley memorial (Chicago, IL); McKinley memorial (Niles, OH); William McKinley (paintings); Carnation League of America; McKinley memorial (Canton, OH); McKinley memorial (Canton, OH: dedication); William McKinley (poetry).
Named persons
Joseph G. Butler, Jr.; William R. Day; Charles H. Hackley; Andrew L. Harris; Augustus Lukeman; Hermon A. MacNeil [first name misspelled below]; Philip Martinez; Helen McKinley; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Charles J. Mulligan; Charles Henry Niehaus; Walter H. Page; A. Phimister Proctor; James Whitcomb Riley; Theodore Roosevelt; Albert Weinert; Benjamin Ide Wheeler.
This appendix includes the two following footnotes, the first appearing on page 392 and the second appearing on page 394. Click on the superscripted numbers preceding each footnote to navigate to the respective locations in the text.

1 See ante, p. 375.

2 From the Biographical Edition of the Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley. Copyright, 1913. Reproduced by permission of The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis, Indiana.

An unnumbered plate with illustration appears facing page 390, captioned as follows: “The McKinley Birthplace Memorial, Niles, Ohio.”


The McKinley Monuments

     IT has been estimated that within a year after McKinley’s death nearly a million dollars were contributed or appropriated from public funds for the building of monuments, and that within four years more memorials had been erected than had been done for any other man in like space of time in the history of the country and probably of the world.
     The first of these to be dedicated was the gift of Charles H. Hackley to the city of Muskegon, Michigan. The artist was Charles Henry Niehaus, who received his commission from the donor six weeks after the President’s death. Mr. Niehaus had the advantage of knowing the President, who had given him sittings for a bust. His memorial, which took the form of an exedra, with a bronze statue in the center, was unveiled on Memorial Day, 1902.
     Toledo, Ohio, was the first to build a monument by popular subscription. Within one week the sum of fifteen thousand dollars was collected from twenty-six thousand contributors. Albert Weinert was the sculptor. This memorial is a bronze statue representing McKinley making an address and at a moment when he had paused, apparently, to allow an outburst of applause to subside. It stands on a granite base, in front of the court-house.
     The statue at Adams, Massachusetts, in front of the public library, was unveiled October 10, 1903. It is the work of Augustus Lukeman, and represents the contributions of many factory employees and school-children. The statue is in bronze, eight feet in height, standing [389][390] on a granite pedestal six feet high. It represents the President, with left arm uplifted and head thrown slightly back, his right hand resting on a standard, enveloped by a flag. Four bronze plates on the pedestal suggest significant episodes in McKinley’s life. The one on the front is a relief picture of Congressman McKinley addressing the House of Representatives on his famous tariff measure. Another commemorates the scene at Antietam, when the young commissary sergeant brought coffee and food to the soldiers at the front. A third pictures the first inauguration, and the fourth is inscribed with the words from the Buffalo speech, “Let us remember that our interest is in Concord, not Conflict, and that our real eminence is in the Victories of Peace, not those of War.”
     The people of Buffalo dedicated an imposing monument in Niagara Square, on the sixth anniversary, not of the shooting, but of the famous speech, September 5. It is a shaft of Vermont marble, rising sixty-nine feet, from a base twenty-four feet high. At the four corners of the base, somewhat after the style of the Nelson Monument in Trafalgar Square, London, are massive sculptured lions, the work of A. Phimister Proctor.
     The monument in Columbus, Ohio, stands in front of the Capitol, at the place where Governor McKinley always paused, before entering, to wave his handkerchief to his wife, who watched from the hotel opposite. It is a statue by Herman A. MacNeil, flanked by two symbolic groups. It was unveiled on the fifth anniversary of McKinley’s death.
     A beautiful statue by Philip Martinez was erected in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a bust portrait in bronze, surmounting a shaft on which is sculptured a female figure reaching upward with a palm branch in her hand.
     In McKinley Park, Chicago, there is a memorial in [390][391] the form of a semicircular exedra in granite, with a figure in bronze by Charles J. Mulligan.
     Among others which should be mentioned are those in Philadelphia and San Francisco and San José, California.
     More significant, perhaps, than any of these, is the new memorial, now in process of erection in Niles, Ohio, near the site of President McKinley’s birthplace, the corner-stone of which was laid on the 20th of November, 1915. It will be a long, low building of white marble, the central feature of which will be a court of honor, corresponding with the atrium of an old Roman palace, and approached through a colonnade of imposing design. As in the old Pompeiian houses, the atrium is to have a pool, back of which will stand a bronze statue of heroic size. The court will be encircled with a peristyle of Doric columns. The right wing of the building is to contain an auditorium and the left wing will be used as a library and reading-room. Joseph G. Butler, Jr., a former schoolmate of McKinley and a lifelong friend, is the chief promoter of this memorial, the cost of which will be about three hundred thousand dollars. In aid of this memorial, Congress has recently (February, 1916) authorized the coinage of one hundred thousand souvenir gold dollars.
     On July 14, 1914, a painting of McKinley, presented by Mr. Butler to the Westminster Central Hall, London, was unveiled with appropriate ceremonies and an address by Walter H. Page, the American Ambassador.
     President McKinley’s well-known fondness for flowers, led to another memorial of unique character. His favorite flower was the carnation—deep pink in color—and he wore one habitually in the button-hole of his coat. “The Carnation League of America” was formed shortly after his death, with the object of encouraging the general observance of his birthday by the wearing of carnations. [391][392]
     The Nation’s Memorial to William McKinley was erected at Canton, Ohio, at a cost of about six hundred thousand dollars. The contour and wide extent of the land covered by the monument, with its approaches and the broad scale upon which it is designed, suggest the dignity and greatness, as well as the simplicity, of McKinley’s character. A mausoleum, circular in form, seventy-five feet in diameter, and rising ninety-seven feet from the granite platform upon which it stands, looks down from the summit of a green terraced hill. The platform is a circular emplacement, one hundred and seventy-eight feet in diameter, reached by a main staircase, fifty feet wide, one hundred and ninety-four feet long, and broken into four flights with broad landings between. On the lower edge of the central landing, surmounting a marble pedestal, is a colossal bronze statue of McKinley, nine feet six inches high. It is the work of Charles Henry Niehaus, the sculptor of the Muskegon memorial, and represents the President in the delivery of his famous Buffalo speech, the artist skillfully using a photograph made at the time. On the pedestal are carved the words of President Wheeler spoken on the occasion of McKinley’s investiture with the degree of Doctor of Laws.¹ On the reverse are the words:—
     The circular interior of the mausoleum is constructed of pink Milford granite. Four arched recesses, flanked by engaged Doric columns, and surmounted by an entablature, form the keynote of the interior decoration. In the frieze of the entablature are the well-known words:— [392][393]
     In the center of this mortuary chamber are the two sarcophagi, inscribed WILLIAM MCKINLEY and IDA MCKINLEY. They are designed to appear as two in one. Each is hewn from a single block of polished dark-green granite from Vermont. They rest upon a high base of polished Wisconsin granite, of a dark-maroon color, surrounded by a parapet of Knoxville marble.
     At the foot of the great stairways leading to the monument is a long basin of water, subdivided into five levels, each twenty inches lower than the one above, thus producing four cascades over which the water pours in curved lines. A sloping grassy mound lines the basin, and on each side is a road, bordered with trees, the two uniting at the foot of the steps. Thus the mausoleum is seen from a distance, surmounting a green hill, through a long vista between walls of foliage, the water basins seeming to be broad steps connecting with the granite stairway beyond.
     This imposing memorial was dedicated on the 30th of September, 1907. Mr. Justice Day, President of the Memorial Association, opened the ceremonies by introducing the chairman of the day, Andrew L. Harris, the Governor of Ohio, and later made an address on the “Building of the Memorial.” The statue was then unveiled by Miss Helen McKinley. President Roosevelt, the orator of the day, closed the ceremonies with an eloquent eulogy of the character and achievements of his predecessor, pointing out the lesson of broad human sympathy taught by his career.
     Perhaps the most beautiful and touching feature of this tribute of love and respect was the reading, by James Whitcomb Riley, in musical tones and with pa- [393][394] thetic fervor, of the poem which he had prepared for the occasion:²—

He said: “It is God’s way;
     His will, not ours, be done.”
And o’er our land a shadow lay
     That darkened all the sun;
The voice of jubilee
     That gladdened all the air
Fell sudden to a quavering key
     Of suppliance and prayer.

He was our chief—our guide—
     Sprung of our common earth,
From youth’s long struggle proved and tried
     To manhood’s highest worth;
Through toil, he knew all needs
     Of all his toiling kind,
The favored striver who succeeds,
     The one who falls behind.

The boy’s young faith he still
     Retained through years mature—
The faith to labor, hand and will,
     Nor doubt the harvest sure—
The harvest of Man’s love—
     A Nation’s joy that swells
To heights of song, or deep whereof
     But sacred silence tells.

To him his Country seemed
     Even as a mother, where
He rested—slept; and once he dreamed—
     As on her bosom there—
And thrilled to hear, within
     That dream of her, the call
Of bugles and the clang and din
     Of war—And o’er it all [394][395]

His rapt eyes caught the bright
     Old Banner, winging wild
And beck’ning him, as to the fight
     When—even as a child—
He awakened—And the dream
     Was real! And he leapt
As led the proud flag through a gleam
     Of tears the Mother wept.

His was a tender hand—
     Even as a woman’s is—
And yet as fixed, in Right’s command,
     As this bronze hand of his;
This was the soldier brave—
     This was the Victor fair—
This is the Hero Heaven gave
     To glory here—and There.



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