Source: Milwaukee Journal
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Milwaukee People Hear the News with Deepest Feelings of Sorrow”
City of publication: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 19
Issue number: none
|“Milwaukee People Hear the News with Deepest Feelings of Sorrow.” Milwaukee Journal 14 Sept. 1901 v19: p. 3.|
|William McKinley (death: public response: Milwaukee, WI); Ida McKinley (medical condition).|
Milwaukee People Hear the News with Deepest Feelings of Sorrow
At 1:26 o’clock this morning the
great bell in the city hall tower began to toll its dismal message to a silent
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 homes.
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 homes.
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 it.