Publication information

Law Times
Source type: journal
Document type: obituary
Document title: none
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 21 September 1901
Volume number: 111
Issue number: 3051
Pagination: 469-70

[untitled]. Law Times 21 Sept. 1901 v111n3051: pp. 469-70.
full text
William McKinley (personal history).
Named persons
Winfield Scott Hancock; Rutherford B. Hayes; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.
This item (below) appears in an obituary column titled “Legal Obituary” (pp. 469-70).


     President MCKINLEY died on the 14th inst. at Buffalo from the effects of a bullet wound inflicted by an Anarchist on the 6th inst. at the Pan-American Exhibition. William McKinley was born in the town of Niles, Trumbull county, State of Ohio, on the 29th Jan. 1843. Like so many Americans whose lives have made them illustrious (says the Times), he came of a stock in no way distinguished by other than the virtues of simplicity and good character. Again like the majority, the boy’s education was the thing which seemed to his parents the foundation of a career, and he was taught first in Poland Academy, then in Allegheny College, an institution of learning which, like many other so-called colleges, gave its new pupil perhaps fewer advantages than its name might entitle him to expect. Of what opportunities he had he made use. Leaving college, he became himself a teacher: but other duties awaited him on the threshold of his career. The great Civil War broke out just as he had entered his nineteenth year. The President of the United States called for troops to maintain the Union, the Government, and the existence of the Republic. McKinley enlisted as a private in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on the 11th June 1861, and remained in the military service of his country till the close of the war. It was more than a year before he emerged from the ranks, receiving his commission as second lieutenant on the 23rd Sept. 1862. Next year he was first lieutenant, captain the year following; and he served on the staffs of General Hayes (himself afterwards President) and General Hancock. President Lincoln gave him a brevet as major in March 1865 for gallantry in battle, and it was with that rank that he was mustered out of the service. To the time of his election as President, and after, he was known as “The Major.” His military career was honourable, though his opportunities for distinction were less than fell within the same period to other men. A boy he entered the army, hardly more than a boy he left it, and forthwith he began what he probably supposed to be his real work in life. He read for the Bar and was admitted in 1867. Settling at Canton, Ohio, which has been his home ever since, he was chosen Prosecuting-Attorney of the county in 1869. In the law he made no [469][470] great figure; the real work of his life did, in fact, lie elsewhere, and his election to the House of Representatives at Washington in 1876 marks the beginning of the political career in which he was destined to win the highest distinction to which an American citizen may attain.