The McKinley Monuments
I 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 
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  the form of
a semicircular exedra in granite, with a figure in bronze by Charles
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.
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:—
T M U S.
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:— 
L C C V P W.
In the center of this mortuary chamber
are the two sarcophagi, inscribed W MK
and I MK.
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- 
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 
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.