Publication information

Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Memorials to McKinley: Monuments That Have Been, and Are to Be, Erected in Honor of the Slain President”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: October 1905
Volume number: 9
Issue number: none
Pagination: 23-35

“Memorials to McKinley: Monuments That Have Been, and Are to Be, Erected in Honor of the Slain President.” Craftsman Oct. 1905 v9: pp. 23-35.
full text
McKinley memorialization; William McKinley (personal character); Charles Emory Smith (public statements); McKinley memorial (Toledo, OH); McKinley memorial (Muskegon, MI); McKinley memorial (Adams, MA); McKinley memorial (Chicago, IL); McKinley memorial (Columbus, OH); McKinley memorial (Philadelphia, PA); McKinley memorial (Buffalo, NY); McKinley memorial (Canton, OH).
Named persons
Robert Ingersoll Aitken; Marcus Hanna; Charles Albert Lopez [in notes]; Augustus Lukeman; Hermon A. MacNeil; Philip Martiny; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Charles J. Mulligan; Charles Henry Niehaus; A. Phimister Proctor; Augustus Saint-Gaudens [variant spelling below]; Rupert Schmid; Albert Weinert.
The article includes images captioned as follows:
  • “Statue of President M’Kinley at Chicago. By Charles J. Mulligan.” (p. 25)
  • “Unfinished Sketch of the Philadelphia Memorial, by Charles Albert Lopez.” (p. 26)
  • “The Martiny Monument at Springfield, Mass.” (p. 27)
  • “M’Kinley Monument at Toledo, Ohio. Unveiled on First Anniversary of President’s Death. Portrait Executed by Albert Weinert.” (p. 28)
  • “McKinley Monument at Adams, Mass. By Augustus Lukeman.” (p. 29)
  • “General Scheme of M’Kinley Memorial at Columbus, Ohio, H. A. MacNeil, Sculptor; Lord & Hewlett, Architects, Associated.” (p. 30)
  • “M’Kinley Munument [sic] at Muskegon, Mich. Portrait Executed by Chas. Henry Niehaus.” (p. 30)
  • “Death Mask of President M’Kinley in the National Museum, Washington.” (p. 31)
  • “A. Phimister Proctor at Work on Lions for M’Kinley Monument at Buffalo.” (p. 31)
  • “M’Kinley Monument to Be Placed in Buffalo, Designed by Carrere & Hastings, New York.” (p. 32)
No text appears on pages 25-32 of this article.

Memorials to McKinley: Monuments That Have Been, and Are to Be,
Erected in Honor of the Slain President

FOUR years ago on the fourteenth day of September William McKinley died. In those four years more monuments have been erected to his memory and more money appropriated for further memorials than for any other man within a like space of time in the history of this country, or of the world. Within a year after his death nearly a million of dollars had been set aside for monuments that should tell, in the undying language of bronze and stone, something of the love and honor in which this man was held by his countrymen.
     When the assassin’s shot rang round the world on the sixth day of September, 1901, it struck the hearts of millions not only with the awe and horror of a dastard deed, but with the hurt of a personal sorrow. No President of the United States had ever won in his lifetime a more deep and general regard from the people, and in that dark hour this hero of millions rose to his fullest height. Then and to the end the nobility of his nature shone forth like the light of a star, which, though swept from the zenith into eternal space, can never be wholly effaced from the mental vision. Perhaps no one has so well measured in words the attributes which endeared this man to the many, as a member of the McKinley cabinet, in delivering a eulogy on his dead chief: “Would you know his generosity? Recall his words as he looked upon the miscreant, ‘Let no one hurt him.’ Would you understand his thoughtful chivalry? Remark his immediate admonition, ‘Do not let them alarm my wife.’ Would you appreciate his considerate courtesy? Turn to his fine sense, ‘I am sorry the Exposition has been shadowed.’ Would you measure his moral grandeur? Dwell upon that final utterance of sublime submission, ‘It is God’s way; His will, not ours, be done.’”
     And so it was not surprising that by a common impulse the people of every state from coast to coast, from Canada line to the Gulf, sought in the one way possible to do him honor. Never before has the raising of a great fund been so spontaneous. Subscriptions were not urged. The money was not begged. It poured in from every side, from village and metropolis, by pennies from school children, by hard earned dimes and dollars of working men, by larger but never extravagant or ostentatious gifts of men and women of means. [23][24]
     Within a week after the President’s death Toledo had raised fifteen thousand dollars for a memorial, and on the first anniversary of his death the first monument erected by the people of a city was unveiled before a vast concourse of citizens such as had gathered at the same spot on the day of the funeral and in tearful silence paid a city’s tribute to the man whom thousands in Toledo had called friend. This monument is a portrait in bronze, mounted on a granite base, and stands directly in front of the Court House. In the granite base was deposited a great roll, nearly a quarter of a mile long, containing the names of the twenty-six thousand people who contributed to the monument fund. The statue is the work of Albert Weinert of New York, and represents McKinley in the act of making an address, and at the moment when he had paused to let a burst of applause subside. Mr. Weinert had had some personal acquaintance with the President, which aided him in his work, and the further advantage of various photographs of the death mask which is in the National Museum at Washington and which he secured by special favor. An address made by Senator Hanna at the unveiling of this memorial to his friend was one of his last public speeches.
     Six months prior to the unveiling of the Toledo monument a life-size statue of President McKinley was erected at Muskegon, Michigan. This was the gift of a public-spirited citizen of Muskegon, who commissioned Charles Henry Niehaus to execute what was to prove one of the last of his many gifts to the city. The donor’s death occurred soon afterward. This memorial is in the form of an exedra, in the centre of which rises the figure in bronze. Mr. Niehaus, too, had met the President, had felt his personal magnetism and the strength of that quiet, kindly nature, more persuasive than forceful with its subtly insistent power. He was aided also in his work by photographs which he had had taken while executing a bust of the President before his death. These photographs were particularly helpful to the artist because the character lines had not been retouched, but for this very reason Mrs. McKinley had the plates destroyed after the one set of prints was made.
     Closely following the unveiling of the Toledo monument was that of a memorial at Adams, Massachusetts, also a portrait in bronze, though of heroic size, and executed by Augustus Lukeman. The [24][33] fund for this memorial was started immediately after the death of the President, who three times had been an honored guest of the town,—first, when as Governor of Ohio he dedicated the second Berkshire mill to the principles of protection and prosperity; second, when as President he laid the corner stone of the Memorial Public Library, before which the statue stands; and when again as President he returned to lay the corner stone of Berkshire mill No. 4. The contributions were largely from mill operatives, from school children, and the congregations of churches of various denominations, constituting a tribute from people in whom the President had shown a particular and personal interest. The statue stands eight feet high, the figure in a characteristic pose of the President while delivering an address, with left arm uplifted and head slightly thrown back, the right hand resting on a standard enveloped in the flag. The granite pedestal bears on each of its four sides a granite tablet in relief, one showing McKinley addressing the House of Representatives on the tariff bill, another as commissary sergeant at the Battle of Antietam, the third representing him delivering his first inaugural address, and the fourth bearing these words taken from his last speech at Buffalo: “Let us remember that our interest is in Concord, not Conflict, and that our real eminence is in the Victories of Peace, not those of War.”
     Other memorials already erected are at San José and San Francisco, California, the former a gift of the sculptor, Rupert Schmid, to the town; the latter being a figure of Columbia in marble, the work of Robert I. Aitken. In McKinley Park, Chicago, stands another, the gift of a well known citizen of Chicago, a lover of great men and a particular admirer of Mr. McKinley. This memorial was dedicated to the workingmen of Chicago. It is in the form of a semicircular exedra in granite, the figure of bronze being the work of Charles Mulligan of Chicago. The sculptor’s idea was to express the interest McKinley always felt for the people and particularly as indicated at the moment he arose to present to Congress the tariff bill that bears his name. The monument most recently unveiled is that erected by popular subscription at Springfield, Massachusetts. This one is the work of Philip Martiny and shows a beautifully modeled female figure representing Fame reaching forth a palm leaf toward the bust of McKinley surmounting the pedestal.
     In a half dozen other sculptors’ studios in New York and else- [33][34] where stand models more or less finished for still other memorials. H. A. MacNeil has just completed the model of the portrait for a monument to be erected at Columbus, Ohio, at a cost of fifty thousand dollars, and is now at work on models for two groups which will be executed in bronze and adorn opposite ends of an exedra, from the centre of which will rise the heroic portrait, also in bronze. The two groups represent the general fundamental elements in the prosperity of the country. One is Peace, as represented by a female figure placing the palm over the sword and accoutrements of war, while a little girl at her side is weaving a festoon of flowers. The other shows a very robust workman with tools in his hand, and at his side a young boy holding a scroll on which he and the man are working out a mechanical problem. The State of Ohio appropriated one-half the sum for this memorial, the remaining half being divided between the municipal government and the citizens of Columbus.
     Philadelphia’s tribute to this universally beloved man will be in the form of a heroic bronze, mounted on a granite pedestal, at the front of which, placed so as not to detract from the main figure, is a group embodying the idea of pro patria,—a mother figure instructing a child in the principles of patriotism, pointing to the figure above as an example.
     In commemoration of the saddest event in the history of Buffalo there will one day stand there a memorial to be erected at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars, the funds for the monument having been appropriated by the State of New York, the site being given by the city. This will be an architectural monument, designed by Carrere & Hastings of New York. It is an obelisk of Vermont marble with a series of broad approaches. At the four corners of the base of the shaft rest four lions in heroic size, also of Vermont marble. These lions are the work of A. Phimister Proctor, one of the foremost of American animal sculptors. Mr. Proctor has already devoted more than a year to this work, it being necessary to make two models in reverse positions. The second model is now almost completed, but the completion of the monument will require at least another year.
     Quite naturally the most elaborate and costly memorial is the one to be erected at Canton, the home of McKinley in the days of his struggling young manhood and in the days when he had achieved that which to him seemed most worth striving for. This memorial is more [34][35] than local in character. It is national and subscriptions to the fund have reached nearly six hundred thousand dollars, coming from every nook and cranny of the United States. The entire amount necessary for the building of the memorial is already in hand, but an additional hundred thousand dollars is to be raised as an endowment fund, the interest from which will defray all expenses and provide for the maintenance of the property, in this way avoiding the necessity of charging an admittance fee to people visiting the tomb. Although the plans on which architects have been working for two years are not yet finally approved, work at the monument site has already begun and it is expected that it will be finished in two years from this time. The memorial will be seventy-five feet in diameter, one hundred feet in height, built of pink granite with a marble interior. It is to be severely plain in character and will stand on an eminence known as Monument Hill, itself seventy-five feet above the surrounding level. It is quite likely that a sculptured portrait of McKinley will have a part in the plan, and that this will be the work of Saint Gaudens.
     As succeeding years give perspective to the life of this man, other generations will rise to do him honor, but it comes to the few to be meted such prompt recognition as this. No other man in public life in this country has had so much evidence while he lived of the affection of his countrymen, nor at his death such a universal and eager impulse to show him honor.