Minutes of Meetings: Of the Society [excerpt]
September 25th, 1901.—The
meeting was called to order at 8.40 ., President
J. James R. Croes in the chair; Charles Warren Hunt, Secretary,
and present, also, 68 members and 13 guests.
The Secretary read the following cablegram:
“S 17, 1901.
“To the American Society of Civil Engineers,
“220 West 57th Street, New York:
“Mansergh, President, expresses the
profound sorrow and sincere sympathy of the Institution of Civil
Engineers on the tragic death of your honored chief, McKinley.”
President Croes spoke
“It is difficult to
realize that, during the short interval that has elapsed since we
last met here, a tragedy has occurred which has stirred the whole
civilized world in a manner and to an extent the like 
of which has never been experienced in the history of the world.
The day after our last meeting in this hall, the President of the
United States, at the Pan-American Exposition, summed up the progress
of the century, showed how the Nation had advanced to the position
of a world-power, and clearly and forcibly outlined the path the
Nation should pursue to hold its position and increase its influence.
The next day he was stricken down by the hand of a useless being.
“The world shuddered, and for a week
hung with breathless interest upon the messages from the bedside
of the dying man, and, when he passed away, with words of pious
resignation to the will of the Almighty on his lips, it ceased its
labors everywhere and paid a silent heartfelt tribute to his memory.
“The law at once took the assassin
in hand, and he has had a trial in due form of law and has been
convicted of his crime.
“In reviewing the character and career
of William McKinley, it has seemed to me that he possessed many
of the characteristics of the true civil engineer. A careful investigator
of questions which came before him for adjudication, he was slow
to decide, open to conviction, vigorous in advocacy of what at the
time he felt to be right, but not afraid to change his mind when
affairs had changed or when new arguments were presented to him.
Courteous to his opponents and ever ready to discuss principles,
he has been by some considered as one who was too much disposed
“To me, it rather seems that he was
progressive, and not simply a persistent advocate of any opinion
merely because he had held it once and had to be consistent.
“He looked abroad, he felt the public
pulse, he noted the sequence of events, and forecast the results
to which they must lead. He may not have been an originator of novelties,
but he kept abreast of the times and was successful. His memory
will long be cherished with affection and increasing veneration.”