Was Sent to Buffalo Early Sunday Morning
Casket in Which the President’s Remains Are to Be
Buried Was Made in Rochester.
At an early hour yesterday morning
the richly embellished casket in which the remains of William McKinley,
the martyred chief of the nation, will be borne to their last resting
place among the people he loved so well, his fellow townsmen of
Canton, O., was driven from the National Casket Company’s factory
at the corner of Court and Exchange streets and placed in the car
at the New York Central station which transported it to Buffalo.
All through the night the busy tap,
tap of the casket makers, a party of twelve expert workmen, had
molded into form the receptacle of the president’s remains. It was
a special piece of work and one that required the utmost tension
of the skill of the tried workmen. Each went to his separate and
special part of the work, the fitting process for the component
pieces of the case, the arrangement of the pieces and the final
rounding into form by way of decoration, at 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
The incentive to all this busy preparation
was given at that hour by Benjamin E. Chase, treasurer of the company,
who went to Buffalo Saturday morning at the request of the McKinley
family. He went to the Buffalo branch of the company and had been
seated but a few moments when Senator Mark Hanna, who seems to have
taken the burden of arranging the details for the funeral, drove
up and together, he and Mr. Chase, agreed on the makeup of the casket.
Mr. Chase at once communicated with
the factory in Rochester by telephone and work on the casket was
begun. He returned later in the day and gave his personal supervision
to the finishing details. The finished casket is the finest piece
of constructive workmanship within the scope of the company’s workmen.
A report has gained credence in Syracuse and Utica, and has been
published in the papers of those cities, to the effect that an Oneida
firm was to furnish the casket for the president’s remains. This
The magnificent receptacle for the
president’s remains is known as a state casket. It has a red cedar
shell, a wood whose durability is the greatest, has an oval cut
top and ornamental cloth-covered corners and moldings. The case
is lined with cream satin tufted lining. Fitting the lining is the
inside solid copper lining overlaid with glass which will be hermetically
sealed and make possible the preservation of the body for many years
after it is laid away. Patent attachments will firmly screw the
rubber edges of the copper lining into place. At the head of the
casket is a cream satin tufted pillow that has been shaped to conform
to the president’s head. The exterior of the casket is covered with
the finest quality of plain black broadcloth. On the edges are beautiful
scroll work designs.
Everything necessary in the construction
of the casket except the attachment of the handles and the silver
plate, with the customary inscription, was performed at the Rochester
factory. The casket weighs nearly 700 pounds. It is six feet in
length, twenty-two inches wide and eighteen inches deep. The cost
has not yet been estimated. Cost was not considered in its design
and construction, but it requires a large sum to manufacture it.
It will have a long journey. When
it arrived in Buffalo yesterday morning it was taken to the undertaking
establishment of Drouillard & Koch, who have had charge of the
remains of the president. The body, which had been embalmed, was
placed in the casket and taken to the city hall, where it lay in
state yesterday afternoon for the inspection of the populace.
The second stage of the casket’s journeying
is to be taken up this morning at 7 o’clock, when the remains will
be taken from Buffalo to Washington in charge of Mr. Drouillard,
who will take care of the body until it is sent on to Canton. The
casket is inclosed [sic] in a red cedar case which will hide it
from view during the journeying.