Was Present at Exposition
Grace E. Smith at Buffalo Last Friday.
ATTENDING RECEPTION WHEN M’KINLEY WAS SHOT.
The Tragic Scene Described by a Nashua Girl.
Miss Grace E. Smith, the young Nashua
school teacher, who recently won The Telegraph’s teacher’s trip
to Buffalo in a well-conducted and close voting contest, was almost
an eye witness [sic] of the tragic attempted assassination
of President McKinley last Friday. Miss Smith was in the Temple
of Music at the time in the very room with the president when the
shooting took place, but so great was the crowd that she did not
actually see the assassin make his dastardly attempt. A scene followed
which Miss Smith will not soon forget and her description of the
tragedy and the following events will be read with interest:
Miss Grace E. Smith returned Saturday
evening from a pleasant week at the Exposition. In speaking of the
great fair, Miss Smith said: “I arrived at the Exposition last Monday
and spent the entire week in visiting the various departments. If
one wants to know the best way to see the Exposition it was my experience
that the entrance to the grounds through Lincoln park offered the
“The entrance to the grounds through
the park takes one in gradually. The broad entrance is lined with
trees, along the right hand [sic] side are the state buildings.
The two that were the most attractive to me were the New York building
and the New England building, the former being built of marble,
the latter of brick. In the New England building each state has
a room. One of the most interesting of these was the New Hampshire
room which was furnished with antique furniture under the direction
of Gen. William E. Spalding of Nashua. This room seemed very popular
among the visitors to the building and the register seemed to be
always in demand.
“One could spend an entire day at
the government building. It was a very interesting place. Each department
of the government had a room. I found the war department as interesting
as any. Here was to be seen all kinds of arms, including one of
the largest guns that is made; also pieces of armor plate in various
stages of construction.
“Was I on the Exposition grounds the
day of the shooting? Yes, I was. Friday morning I went to Niagara
Falls to see the sights. I was not aware that the president was
going to be there to [sic], but I found out afterwards that
he also had taken the trip. The party left during the early part
of the afternoon to go to Buffalo as he was to hold a reception
in the Temple of Music. I came back during the early part of the
afternoon also wishing to attend the reception.
“The reception was held in the large
hall in the temple. The president stood in front of a large flag,
while on either side were banks of [fl]owers. The station of the
receiving party was near one of the large pipe organs. I was in
the hall at the time the shot was fired, but could not see the president.
Some one cried, ‘He has killed the president.’ Men cried, women
were hysterical and dropped fainting to the floor where they were
allowed to remain so great was the excitement.
“When the assassin came up to the
president there was a fleshy negro behind, who as soon as the man
had fired his revolver threw his arms about the man’s neck and held
him. Foster, the secret service man who was near, actually pounded
the villain’s face into jelly before he was pulled off. There is
no doubt, whatever, if the negro had not held the man up he would
have dropped to the floor and would have been trampled to death
by the throng of people they were so excited. In a few moments the
police regained their senses, and took the man into a small anteroom
near by [sic] and threw him on the floor, those who saw him
said that he was but a quivering mass of jelly.
“In some secret manner the assassi[n]
was taken to the police headquarters in the city. The people were
wild with excitement, the popular sentiment seemed to be to lynch
the man, it had even been shouted in the hall after the shooting.
The crowd was so great about the building the street cars were stopped
and were obliged to go down a side street to get around. After the
shooting, the exhibits in the various buildings were closed, although
the buildings remained open.
“The president was taken to the hospital
after the sad affair where he remained until nearly 7:30 o’clock.
As was usual the electric display was started that evening, but
after they had been turned on for a few minutes they were turned
out. In the darkness, the ambulance, bearing the president, escorted
by a squad of mounted police, went slowly from the hospital to the
home of President Milburn. The streets were crowded with people
but never a sound was made. I was near enough to the ambulance to
see the form of the president as he lay there in his bandages attended
by his doctors. Since the sad affair the Exposition is practically
closed. I arrived home Saturday evening and had a most pleasant
week with the exception of the terrible affair of Friday.”