Publication information
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Source: New Castle Weekly Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “The Place of Sepulture of the Dead President”
Author(s): Kay, William Bingham
City of publication: New Castle, Pennsylvania
Date of publication: 25 September 1901
Volume number: 52
Issue number: 40
Pagination: 1

Kay, William Bingham. “The Place of Sepulture of the Dead President.” New Castle Weekly Herald 25 Sept. 1901 v52n40: p. 1.
full text
West Lawn Cemetery; McKinley memorial (Canton, OH); McKinley burial vault; William S. Williams; McKinley funeral services (Canton, OH: arrangements, preparations, etc.); McKinley funeral services (Canton, OH); Canton, OH; William McKinley (death: public response: Canton, OH); William McKinley (mourning); John C. Dueber.
Named persons
John C. Dueber; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; William S. Williams.


The Place of Sepulture of the Dead President


Only for a Short Time Will the Casket Rest in the Vault at West Lawn.

     Canton, Sept. 18.—On the crest of a knoll overlooking a pretty lakelet in West Lawn Cemetery, the ashes of the dead President will rest, one day. Already, Canton is planning a monument of massiveness and beauty, and its site has been chosen. For the present, the cloth-covered, copper-lined cedar casket will be placed in the public receiving vault of the cemetery.
     Captain W. S. Williams, a veteran of the Civil War and a wealthy resident of the town, placed his family vault at the disposal of those in charge of the funeral. The offer was declined with expressions of gratitude, because the crowds could not be conveniently handled there. The receiving vault is about the size of the chapel at Oak Park Cemetery. It has no chapel attached. Upon one side is a rack upon which the casings of the dead are placed. The President’s casket will not be placed in one of these grooves, but will rest upon a black-draped base placed in the center.
     A force of workmen were busy about the vault and cemetery, today. They have been working there since Monday morning. The interior of the vault has been cleansed, polished and painted. The iron gates before the entrance doors have been scoured of every trace of rust, and glisten in the sunlight. The inlaid floor is mirror-like in its smooth surfacing.
     Just outside, and to the right, a canopy of black and white has been raised. Beneath this shelter the martyr will rest for a moment while the brief service of the grave is read. Then it will be tenderly lifted and borne within the walls of the tomb, there to rest until removed to the new monument, when it will be moved no more.
     The cortege will wind its solemn way, for one and a half miles, over streets so often traveled by Major and Mrs. McKinley as they went to West Lawn to strew blossoms upon the graves of their dead children, or to stand beside the mounds heaped over their parents. Out Tuscarawus [sic], on which the President’s home church fronts, it will proceed to Harrison, thence, with one more turning, it will enter the cemetery gates.
     Every foot of that route has its reminder of the martyr. Here is the church in which he took the vows of held [sic]; here, just a little above, is the church in which he took te [sic] vows of marriage; here is the house in which his father lived and died; here are homes of friends he loved.
     Here and there, stands have been erected from which the cotege [sic] may be seen as it passes along. Here and there is an arch. Everywhere are streamers, festoons and knots of crepe and smaller bits of white. Everywhere are draped pictures of the fallen President.
     On the line is the great Dueber watch-case factory. John C. Dueber was a close friend of the President, and is one of his honorary pallbearers. There will be no stir of life in those vast shops, for they came to a standstill when the funeral train rolled in. From top of towers to ground line the facade of the great building is clothed in black and white. John C. Dueber must have expended thousands to honor his dead friend.
     Every telegraph, telephone and trolley pole along the route is wrapped in black, with a narrow band of white winding about the sombre folds. Every building bears the mark of grief. And it is so out North Market street [sic], where the McKinley home stands. That home was bought by the Major after he became Chief Executive, and was intended to be the spot of his retirement when the stress of hard duty should be over.
     Quickly and effectively has Canton worked in preparation for the funeral. Immediately upon receipt of the news that all was over, leading men of the place met and sketched a general plan. General committees were appointed, and to them the details were confided. How well their labors were performed is shown today. The change of plans which resulted in the arrival of the funeral train a day earlier than was expected caused a frantic acceleration of arrangements, but Canton was still equal to the occasion.
     Today, when the solemn party came, it was seen that every contingency had been provided for. There was no hitch, no awkwardness, no uncertainty. With the precision of clockwork the plans agreed upon were carried out. The reception committee, the carriage committee, the entertainment committee, the decoration committee, he [sic] flower committee, the press committee, had all in readiness.



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