Just after Wool Markets and Sheep
for Sept. 15 went to press came the sad news that President McKinley
had succumbed to the “Grim Reaper” from the effects of the wounds
made by the assassin, who today sits in the Buffalo jail convicted
of murder, although his awful crime is something worse than mere
murder, for when he fired the shots that cut down our beloved President
in the full glory of his manhood he struck at the very heart of
Mere words fail when we try to say
what William McKinley was to this nation. Coming from the ranks
of what Lincoln called the “great plain people,” he, by his own
unaided energy and industry, gained the highest place that any man
in the world can be called to fill, for the President of the United
States is the most powerful ruler on earth.
That a man born among the lowly can
climb to the highest peak that ambition offers to the aspiring,
and at the same time never commit any act that lays him open to
condemnation, never sully the highest ideal of manhood, never go
beyond the limits of the Christian religion, all the time living
a life open to the whole people, shows that success does not depend
on sharp practice nor high position nor underhanded efforts.
The life of McKinley will serve as
a model for all the generations of aspiring young men who may come
on the stage of human action hereafter. His life was an open book,
his every success was attained by honorable means, his high position
at the time of his death was due solely and alone to his merits.
Sheep breeders and wool growers had
in William McKinley their best friend and most successful champion.
The American policy, of which he was the greatest exponent, is the
foundation upon which the sheep industry of this country has been
built up. Every time this policy has been departed from by the government
sheep-breeding and wool-growing has been affected in a disastrous
manner. In his capacity as chairman of the ways and means committee,
he formulated the greatest and best tariff law we have ever had.
The moment it was repealed the value of the sheep industry of this
country was almost swept out of existence. When the party that believes
in protection was again in power the sheep business began to improve
and the whole commercial fabric of the country put on new life.
The power of his example, the corectness [sic] of his economical
creed, the momentum the nation has gained under his grand administration
will not be lost, although he is gone from among us forever. We
have reason to believe the policy he mapped out for himself will
be carried forward in the minutest detail. Our nation is too great
to fall back even when its greatest man drops the reins of government
and lays down his authority in conformity with the mandate of that
Not only our nation, but all the nations
of earth mourn his untimely end. To him princes and kings sent messages
of sympathy, and the nations of the world put on the garb of sorrow
for his loss. No man who ever lived had greater honors paid him
after death. For him the business of the nation stopped and the
whole people mourned for some solemn minutes, while the wheels of
commerce stood silent and the engines that drive the factories of
a nation were idle. His life was inspiring, his death that of a
Christian who could willingly bow to the will of God and—
“Gather about him the draperies of his couch
And lie down to pleasant dreams.”
In the dying words of President
McKinley, “It is God’s way; His will be done.” No man ever lived
a greater life; no man ever died more triumphantly.