Milwaukee People Hear the News with Deepest Feelings
At 1:26 o’clock this
morning the great bell in the city hall tower began to toll its
dismal message to a silent city.
The streets were deserted. Tired with
the vigil from early evening until the 11 o’clock extras announced
that the death chill had set in, the thousands of people who were
down town [sic] near the bulletin boards, had gone to their
The time of hope was past. It was
a question of minutes, probably even of an hour, some of the bulletins
said until the end must come. A horror-stricken public realized
that such bulletins as came officially from Buffalo would not be
sent out if there was the slightest hope.
When the word came that consciousness
had departed finally, but that he might live until midnight, the
anxious watchers began leaving the down-town districts for their
Next to the president himself, the
interest at this time centered in Mrs. McKinley. It was a matter
of current belief that she would not survive the shock. There were
many who believed that today would bring the news of two deaths—that
the disciple of anarchy had murdered a woman and a frail invalid,
as well as the president of the United States.
In marked contrast to the excitement
caused by the news eight days ago that the president had been shot
was the behavior of the crowds last night. The crowd was vastly
larger in size, and that every heart deeply felt the great calamity
was evidenced by the hushed tones of the conversation carried on
even in the streets.
The crowd seemed loath to believe
that the end was about to come. It hoped, and hoped against hope.
When an evening paper extra came out
at 5:40 o’clock announcing in head lines [sic] across the
entire page that the president was dead, the public refused to believe
it. Reliable sources of information were telephoned to. Other newspapers
found it advisable to send out their newsboys with extras saying
that the president still lived. This was at 6:30.
And, although the city hall bell tolled
from 1:26 to 2:04 o’clock this morning, there were but few who heard