Source: Home and Flowers
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Flowers Express a Nation’s Grief”
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 11
Issue number: 1
|“Flowers Express a Nation’s Grief.” Home and Flowers Nov. 1901 v11n1: p. 13.|
|William McKinley (mourning); William McKinley (death: public response); William McKinley (mourning: flowers, tokens of grief, etc.); McKinley burial vault; McKinley funeral services (Washington, DC).|
|The article (below) is accompanied on the same page with two photographs, captioned as follows: “Floral Decorations at the M’Kinley Vault, Canton, Ohio” and “Design Furnished by Bookbinders, Government Printing Office.”|
Flowers Express a Nation’s Grief
BEAUTIFUL TRIBUTES TO THE MARTYRED PRESIDENT
Since the last issue of H
William McKinley was a lover of flowers. His favorite was the carnation, which he almost always wore. In a number of ways the dead president had shown his appreciation of the beautiful as it is found in the floral world. It was fitting that the most magnificent floral d[i]splay seen at any public occasion in modern history should have been that at his funeral.
The remains were interred at West Lawn cemetery, Canton, Ohio. The vault was lined with the rarest and costliest flowers, a multitude of floral pieces were spread on the ground before the door of the vault, and for a hundred feet to the right and left of the doorway and for half as many feet to the rear of a line passing through the front wall it was impossible to tread, so thickly did the tributes lie. Nearly every country on both hemispheres was represented by an offering. The number of those from the United States is almost past counting. They came from every state in the union, and there is scarcely a man in public life whose tribute of respect for the virtues of William McKinley did not lie beside his coffined remains.
The inside of the vault was literally a mass of roses and orchids when the casket was carried into it, and the outside walls were well nigh hidden beneath the profusion of flowers hung upon them. Above the doorway hung an enormous wreath of dark green galax leaves; over the right corner of the vault was a similar wreath, the leaves being deep red; in a corresponding position on the other side was hung a wreath of ivy. To the right of the door in a frame formed of red and white roses was a vase fully six feet high made of white asters. On the south side of the doorway was suspended a beautiful wreath of lilies-of-the-valley, intertwined with smilax, the whole surmounted with white and purple orchids. To the left of the doorway was a great bunch of red roses and purple orchids.
Equally superb were the floral tributes to Mr. McKinley’s memory which were seen at the funeral exercises in Washington. Grouped among the tall white pillars on the east portico of the national capitol were many magnificent pieces. One of the handsomest tributes was the gift of the president of Brazil, composed of the native orchids of that country. In its shadow was a little contribution, the most unpretentious offering of all, to which much sentiment and pathos attached. It was sent by a little boy at York, Pa., who had once met the president and knew of his love for flowers. Significant of the life of the dead statesman and of the craft of the donors was the design representing an open book, the gift of the bookbinders of the government printing office. Across the pages were the words in gold, “God’s will be done.” The book was six feet across and rested upon a massive base of rare flowers. As a background were draped three silken flags. One of our illustrations is from a photo of this design.