The Last Tribute
Sunday was a period of gloom in the
city of Buffalo. Thousands upon thousands thronged the streets and
walked or stood in the wind-driven rain while in hushed voices they
talked of the calamity that had befallen the Nation: a calamity
that carried the weight of its woe to every home in the land. The
sound of laughter was stilled. Grave faces, set lips and tear-dimmed
eyes told the story.
Out in the neighborhood of the Milburn
home where were begun the last rites—the last ceremonial honor that
in love and veneration of God a Christian people show their dead,
surging, yet quiet humanity banked up the lines that barred approach
to the house in which lay the body of the Nation’s late Chief Magistrate,
William McKinley. Strong men wept as frail women cried. The wailing
of children pierced the sob-broken stillness.
The brief funeral service over the
remains of the late President McKinley were held at 11 o’clock and
conducted by Rev. Dr. C. E. Locke, pastor of the Delaware Avenue
Methodist Church of Buffalo. In the house was gathered President
Roosevelt, Members of the Cabinet, Senators and other invited guests.
After the ceremony the casket holding
the remains of the dead President was under a military escort taken
to the City Hall and from 1 to 11 p. m. a double file of people
passed by and viewed the remains. While the crowd was waiting in
line a heavy rain fell drenching all. This did not seem to lesson
The casket was placed in the very
center of the main corridor of the City Hall directly under the
dome. Great masses of green palms, ferns and bay trees were banked
across the halls leading into the main corridor. All over were handsome
floral tributes, some brought from the Milburn house, others sent
to the City Hall direct.
The open space in the floors of the
two upper floors which lets in the light from above was taken up
by a black canopy. Under this floating down over the casket were
four large silk flags, the Stars and Stripes. The iron work of the
stairs and the rail about the rotunda were entwined with black and
The funeral train, bearing the body
of President McKinley and escort, left Buffalo for Washington over
the Pennsylvania railroad at 8:30 Monday morning.
Tuesday the body lay in state at the
To-day the body of President McKinley
will be taken to Canton, Ohio, his former home.
To-morrow (Thursday) funeral services
will be held at Canton, Ohio, and the burial will follow. The entire
National Guard, of that state, numbering over 5,000 men, will be
Thursday will be a day of prayer and
mourning throughout the United States. President Roosevelt has issued
an official proclamation so ordering. Similar proclamations have
been issued by Gov. Odell of New York, the governors of other states;
by Mayor Diehl of Buffalo and the mayors of other cities. The public
schools of Buffalo and throughout the country will be closed. There
will be special services in church, temple, synagogue, chapel and
other places of worship throughout the land.