The Woman from Grimesville
WHILE President McKinley was lying so dangerously
wounded in Buffalo, the police and soldiers were forced to be rather
strict with pedestrians at West Ferry street and Delaware avenue,
the corner nearest the Milburn house. Down at Highland avenue, a
block way [sic], was the first rope barrier. It was there that a
sweet-faced woman of sixty or seventy was stopped by the policeman.
She carried a bunch of old-fashioned garden posies, tied with a
faded pink ribbon. “You can’t go through lady,” said the officer,
stepping in front of her. The old lady stepped back trembling, and
the tears began to flow, as 
she said: “Will you be so kind as to give these to Mrs. McKinley?
They’re from my own yard, and I’ve walked clear in from out near
Grimesville to give them to her with my love, and tell her that
we are all praying out at Grimesville that her husband will get
well.” It was said at the Milburn house that, while there were bouquets
made of huge clusters of American Beauty roses, here and there about
the room, the bunch of old-fashioned posies from the woman at Grimesville,
who prayed for the President, had the place of honor on the dresser.
The plain, old woman with the old-fashioned
flowers, is a fair expression of the universal sympathy of the common
people of this country, and of the civilized world for Mrs. McKinley,
as well as for her husband, and the afflicted nation of which he
was the head. Mrs. McKinley, though a confirmed invalid, was brought
into public notice and favor, because the President was so devoted
to her, and nursed her so tenderly. It was perfectly natural for
this plain woman, who, no doubt, had known what sorrow was herself,
by her message and offering to voice the sympathy of American womanhood.
It was right for the old-fashioned flowers to have the chief place
on the dresser, for a woman’s sympathy had gotten into their colors
to enrich their beauty, and into their odors as an incense of love.
When our two other Presidents were
shot down by the assassin’s bullet, Queen Victoria sent special
messages of condolence to their wives, and the Christian sympathy
and prayers of the ruler of a great empire, and those of the woman
from Grimesville were exactly the same, and are as beautiful flowers
as have been brought from the field of heaven to bloom in the garden
The woman not only brought her sympathy
and flowers, but the promise of her prayers. She knew that the sympathy
of her poor heart, with the best flowers she could find to emphasize
it, would be so futile! But she did know that God’s Holy Spirit
could comfort her, and that the consolations of the spirit could
be secured by prayer.