Publication information
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Source: Buffalo Sunday Times
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Coroner Wilson Says He Is Sorry He Gave News”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Buffalo, New York
Date of publication: 15 September 1901
Volume number: 44
Issue number: 53
Part/Section: 2
Pagination: [14]

“Coroner Wilson Says He Is Sorry He Gave News.” Buffalo Sunday Times 15 Sept. 1901 v44n53: part 2, p. [14].
full text
James T. Wilson; William McKinley (death: false reports); James T. Wilson (public statements); William McKinley (death: news coverage); Thomas Penney; Milburn residence (visitors); Milburn residence (outdoors: setup, conditions, activity, etc.); William H. Ryan.
Named persons
Edwin Fleming; Harry Hamlin; William McKinley; Thomas Penney; William H. Ryan; John N. Scatcherd; James T. Wilson.


Coroner Wilson Says He Is Sorry He Gave News



From the News of Yesterday.

     Coroner Wilson said to a News reporter this morning that he was extremely sorry to have been an agent in misinforming the public concerning the death of President McKinley last night at an hour earlier than it actually occurred.
     He said: “I was notified by District Attorney Penney that President McKinley was dead and was told to go to the house and do my duty. When I said that he was dead I certainly believed it. I did not go to the house in an automobile but in a carriage. The horses were driven slowly and there was no attempt at all to hurry them.
     “I was greatly surprised, and pleased, when I got to the house and found that the President still lived. I withdrew at once and am very sorry that such an incident should have occurred. I am also very sorry that what I said should have been the cause of the News getting out an extra announcing the President’s death before it actually occurred.”
     At 12:20 Edwin Fleming, secretary of the Exposition Company, and two of the Exposition directors, John N. Scatcherd and Harry Hamlin, arrived[.]
     Five minutes later Coroner Wilson drove up in a carriage.
     “Is the President dead?” he was asked.
     “Yes,” he replied, “I was notified at 12:10. District Attorney Penney called me up from the Buffalo Club at 12:10 and told me that the President was dead.”
     The Coroner went at once into the Milburn home and was met in the hall by Representative William H. Ryan.
     “What are you doing here?” asked the astonished Mr. Ryan.
     “I came to take charge of the body,” answered the Coroner.
     Then Mr. Ryan told him that the President was not dead and advised him at once to go out and correct his report to the newspaper men. The Coroner left the house and was driven away before he could be questioned.
     The above statement, printed in the Express this morning, gives the exact facts as to the authority on which the premature announcements of President McKinley’s death was made by the extra editions of the evening papers soon after midnight last night.
     Coroner Wilson made his statement to the newspaper men and the information was sent to the waiting offices, not only of Buffalo, but all over the country. Coroner Wilson quoted District Attorney Penney as his informant and the public has now the right to ask Mr. Penney for an explanation of his share in the mistake. The News, within 20 minutes after the edition announcing the President’s death was on the street, issued another setting the matter straight.
     The above fully explains why the News, Commercial and THE TIMES published papers announcing the President’s death before it occurred. Coroner Wilson is not to be blamed, otherwise than in his failure to enter the Milburn house, and ascertain whether or not the President was dead before he made the announcement.



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