Source: Minneapolis Journal
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “On the Mournful Way”
City of publication: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of publication: 16 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: none
|“On the Mournful Way.” Minneapolis Journal 16 Sept. 1901: p. 2.|
|McKinley funeral train (procession from Buffalo, NY, to Washington, DC); McKinley funeral train; McKinley funeral train (persons aboard); McKinley casket; William McKinley (mourning: flowers, tokens of grief, etc.); William McKinley (death: public response: New York); Ida McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Roosevelt cabinet; Elihu Root; John Rutter Brooke; William McKinley (death: public response: Pennsylvania); William McKinley (mourning).|
|Theodore Alfred Bingham; John Rutter Brooke; Edward W. Eberle [identified as Ebroule below]; Louis McLane Hamilton [identified as Hamlin below]; William Loeb; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Elihu Root.|
|In accordance with the original source, the word “crepe” is spelled two different ways below and the parenthetical phrase “On Board the Funeral Train” is inconsistently capitalized throughout.|
On the Mournful Way
Tolling Bells and Reverent Thousands Along the Route.
Olean, N. Y., Sept. 16.—(On Board the Funeral
Train.)—The funeral train bearing the body of the martyred president started
on its journey to the national capital at 8:34 this morning. Only the engines
and the observation car were shrouded in black. The other cars were undraped.
Behind the drawn blinds were Mrs. McKinley, President Roosevelt, the cabinet
and other high dignitaries of the government.
The casket of the president, completely covered with a beautiful silk flag, lay on a raised bier in the observation car. Two sheaves of wheat were crossed above the breast. A white dove with outstretched wings seemed to be rising from the head of the casket. It was part of an exquisite floral piece in which red and white buds pictured the American flag and the French colors, a tribute from a Franco-American society. Standing at the foot of the casket was a soldier of the United States army uniformed and accoutered with gun at order arms. At the head a sailor of the navy stood at attention, cutlass at shoulder. The lid of the casket was closed. Just off from the apartment in a curtained niche, Lieutenant Ebroule of the army and Lieutenant Hamlin of the navy, remained on duty, while Colonel Bingham was in general charge of the car.
The other apartment of the car was for the moment a barracks, with guns stacked in the sections, cutlasses on the seats and the reserve of soldiers and sailors awaiting their detail at the bier of the dead chief. Two narrow overhanging viaducts under which the train passed as it drew slowly out of the station, bent beneath the weight of crowded humanity packed there by the pressure of the tide of people who filled all the adjoining streets. The windows and roofs of the houses and the roofs of the car in the yards were black with people, all uncovered.
When the train had cleared the city the people were still there, standing at the cross roads [sic] and in the fields. It ran literally between two lines of people. Farmers from the surrounding country had driven through the dark hours of the night to be at the side of the track where they could pay their last tribute of respect.
At East Aurora, the first town through which the train passed, the inhabitants had been augmented by thousands from the surrounding country. The country schools along the way let out, and the children the president loved so well in life were there to see his dead body pass. The train slowed down at every station to allow the people lined up on either side to get a better view of the flag-covered casket. The population of the little towns along the way like Holland, Arcade, Machias Junction, Franklinville and Hillsdale [sic] had tripled and quadrupled. The towns seemed suddenly grown into cities. As the train slowed up the mourners behind the curtained windows of the train could hear the tolling bells.
The funeral train passed here at 10:29. Three thousand people were gathered at the Pennsylvania station.
Mrs. McKinley Rests.
Port Allegheny [sic], Pa., Sept. 16.—Mrs. McKinley
was prevailed upon to lie down soon after the start was made. There were no
flowers in the apartment set aside for her use, and nothing to recall to her
mind the mournful mission on which the train was speeding. President Roosevelt
was quartered in a drawing-room in the car Hungary with Secretary Loeb. He busied
himself with letters and telegrams and with the innumerable questions which
required immediate answers.
The members of the cabinet individually cared for the more pressing business requiring their attention. Secretary Root was occupied for an hour dispatching orders in connection with the assembling of troops at Washington and other points for the ceremonies soon to occur. The cabinet officers joined President Roosevelt from time to time, but there was nothing in the nature of a concerted meeting.
Major-General Brooke, in fatigue uniform, with a band of crepe about his sleeve, conferred occasionally with the secretary of war and with him determined upon the military requirements of the occasion.
Up the Mountains.
Renovo, Pa., Sept. 16, (on Board Funeral Train).—Two
engines were used to pull the heavy train up the mountains. After leaving Olean
the train descended into the valley of the Susquehanna. At Emporium Junction
one of the engines was taken off. The route continued down the beautiful valley
of the Susquehanna as far as Harrisburg.
At the little town of Driftwood, which was reached at 12:30 the entire population of the town was massed behind a little band of Grand Army veterans who had planted a furled crape-trimmed flag in front of them. Renovo was reached at 1:05 p. m. Here the train crews and engines were changed.
Williamsport, Pa., Sept. 16.—(On board funeral
train).—At Renovo ropes had been stretched to keep back the crowds which surged
through the neighboring streets. A big flag, with President McKinley’s picture
framed in crape, was strung from corner to corner of the station, and in front
of it were hundreds of school children, their hats in their hands and their
little faces grave. This was the terminus of one of the railroad divisions,
and the train hands were all lined up with bared heads. Some of those who traveled
with President McKinley to California last spring recalled how often, when train
crews were changed on that trip, President McKinley had sent for the trainmen
to express his thanks personally.
After leaving Renovo the train passed through a more thickly populated country and the crowds grew denser. Half-masted flags were on every schoolhouse and the bells of the churches tolled dolefully as the funeral train sped by.
President Roosevelt lunched in the dining car of the train with Secretary Root at 1:30. The members of the cabinet and other distinguished personages aboard the train had preceded him into the diner. Mrs. McKinley and her immediate party remained in the car Olympia, which was provided with its own special dining car service.