Source: Collier’s Weekly
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Career of President McKinley”
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 27
Issue number: 24
|“Career of President McKinley.” Collier’s Weekly 14 Sept. 1901 v27n24: p. 5.|
|William McKinley (personal history).|
|William Jennings Bryan; George Crook; Winfield Scott Hancock; Rutherford B. Hayes; Abraham Lincoln; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; William McKinley, Sr.; William S. Rosecrans.|
Career of President McKinley
The McKinleys are of Scotch-Irish descent, and came to this country about one hundred and fifty years ago. William McKinley, father of the President, was an iron manufacturer. He lived to see his son Governor of Ohio. The present William McKinley is fifty-eight years old. He was born at Niles, Trumbull County, Ohio. In 1860, he entered Alleghany College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, but his health was broken by overstudy, and he became a clerk in the post-office at Poland, to which place the family had moved from Niles. When came the call to arms, he enlisted as a private in the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers. Among the officers of this famous regiment were General W. S. Rosecrans, and Rutherford B. Hayes, who afterward became President. For his services in the winter camp of Fayetteville, young McKinley, in 1862, was made commissary-sergeant. In recognition of his bravery at the battle of Antietam, he was given a commission as second lieutenant. In 1863 he was promoted to first lieutenant, and served on the staffs of Generals R. B. Hayes, Crook, and Hancock. In 1864 he was made captain, and in 1865 brevetted major by President Lincoln for gallantry.
After the war he studied law in Canton, Ohio, and at the Albany Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1867. He settled in Canton, and has made his home in that city ever since. He soon attracted attention as a lawyer of exceptional ability, and in 1869 was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Stark County, though that county was Democratic.
From this time forward, politics engaged Mr. McKinley’s special attention and interest. In 1876 he was elected to Congress, where he remained until 1890, having been re-elected seven times. It was as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee that he gave the nation the bill that bore his name.
In 1891, and again in 1893, Mr. McKinley was elected Governor of Ohio. He had become one of the recognized leaders of the Republican party. As political speaker and leader in Congress, and in various political conventions, he had made himself known and admired throughout the country. The confidence of the people in his principles and purposes was so firmly established that no great surprise was felt when he was nominated for the Presidency, on the first ballot, at St. Louis in 1896. The electoral vote that followed stood 271 for McKinley and 176 for Bryan.
In 1871, Major McKinley was married to Miss Ida Saxton of Canton. Two daughters were born to them, but both died in early childhood. During his official career the President has received the degree of Doctor of Laws from a number of universities.