Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “The President Is Dead”
City of publication: Lancaster, New York
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 6
Issue number: 77
|“The President Is Dead.” Enterprise [Lancaster] 14 Sept. 1901 v6n77: p. 1.|
|William McKinley (death); William McKinley (death: persons present in Milburn residence).|
|Mabel McKinley Baer; Mary Barber (Ida McKinley niece); William R. Day; Chauncey M. Depew; Marcus Hanna; Ethan A. Hitchcock; Abner McKinley; Anna Endsley McKinley (sister-in-law); Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Mary Goodman McWilliams; Theodore Roosevelt; Elihu Root; James Wilson.|
The President Is Dead
THE END CAME AT 2:[?] O’CLOCK THIS MORNING.
President Wm. McKinley is dead. On Thursday the
President suffered a relapse and it was beyond the power of the physicians in
attendance to stop the progress of the decline. All day yesterday news from
the President’s bedside was eagerly sought for but the bulletins issued gave
little hope. Early last evening those in attendance noticed the gradual failing
of the distinguished patient and shortly before eight o’clock while the President
was yet conscious and fully realizing that the end was at hand he asked for
Mrs. McKinley. She was taken into the room and to her husband’s bedside. All
left the room then save one nurse and the husband and wife were practically
alone. The President was able to speak faintly as his wife bent over him. Those
who know how tenderly and constantly he has cared for her and how great his
anxiety has been for her ever since he was stricken down by the anarchist’s
bullet can hardly speak of that pitiful scene without almost breaking down at
the thought of it. Meantime the door of the sick room was thrown open and those
nearest the President were quietly gathered about it. In the group was Mr. and
Mrs. Abner McKinley, Mrs. Baer, the President’s niece, Miss Barber, Mrs. McKinley’s
niece, Judge Day, Secretaries Root, Hitchcock and Wilson, Senator Depew, Senator
Hanna and Mrs. McWilliams.
Those by his bedside turned way as his wife bent over him and kissed him good-bye. He knew her. He looked into her eyes and saw how brave she was trying to be and as her head bowed by his and her face rested against his cold cheek he chanted a few lines of “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” then whispered, faintingly, brokenly, his last words: “Good-bye all, good-bye. It is God’s way. His will be done.”
Death was due to collapse of heart.
He died the death of a hero. There was no sudden ending of it all. Death came slowly like the evening time. He had no fear. As the chill of death crept inch by inch upon him he was serene and placid. Even when mind and speech were beyond control, his thoughts and words were of the simple, homely joys of life, of bygone days of happiness, of dearly loved friends, of scenes of fond memories. He bore no enmities, cherished no resentment. His life faded like a sunset and the darkness of the beyond enfolded him “as one who wraps the draperies of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
Vice-President Roosevelt had been notified early in the day of the critical state of affairs and word had come from him that he was on his way in a special train. There was no longer a doubt that in the approaching death of the President a complete change in the executive administration of the Government would ensue.
A meeting of the Cabinet was held at the Milburn house this morning. Vice-President Roosevelt arrived in Buffalo this afternoon. According to present intentions there will be a simple religious ceremony at the Milburn house, the body then will be escorted to the train by soldiers, will be taken to Washington, where it will lie in state for some time and subsequently be taken to Canton, Ohio. It is said the body will not be taken from Buffalo until Monday.