Publication information

Norfolk Weekly News-Journal
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Canton Has Martyr Dead”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Norfolk, Nebraska
Date of publication: 20 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: none
Pagination: 5

“Canton Has Martyr Dead.” Norfolk Weekly News-Journal 20 Sept. 1901: p. 5.
full text
William McKinley (posthumous return: Canton, OH); William McKinley (mourning); William McKinley (lying in state: Canton, OH); McKinley funeral services (Canton, OH: arrangements, preparations, etc.); Canton, OH; Theodore Roosevelt (at Canton, OH); McKinley funeral services (Canton, OH: attendees).
Named persons
William S. Cowles [initial wrong below]; Elizabeth Aultman Harter; C. E. Manchester; Abner McKinley; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; O. B. Milligan; Presley M. Rixey; Theodore Roosevelt.
The article is accompanied on the same page with an illustration, captioned as follows: “Hearse Bearing the Nation’s Dead Chief.”

Canton Has Martyr Dead


Home Town of Wm. McKinley Mourns Departed Statesman.
Friends Who Have Known Him So Long View the Body and Casket Is Then
Closed Forever—Final Sad Scene Is Near.

     Canton, Sept. 19.—Tenderly and reverently those who had known William McKinley best yesterday received his martyred body into their arms. They had forgotten the illustrious career of the statesman in the loss of a great personal friend who had grown dearer to them with the passing of the years. They hardly noticed the president of the United States or his cabinet or the generals and admirals in their resplendent uniforms. The flag-draped casket which contained the body of their friend and fellow townsman held all their thoughts. He had left them two weeks ago in the full tide of the strength of a glorious manhood, and they had brought him back dead. Anguish was in the hearts of every man, woman and child. The entire population of the little city and thousands from all over Ohio, the full strength of the National guard of the state, 5,000 men in all, the governor, lieutenant governor and a justice of the supreme court, representing the three branches of the state government, were at the station to receive the remains.
     The whole town was in deep black. The only house in all this sorrow-stricken city without a touch of mourning drapery was the old familiar McKinley cottage on North Market street, to which so many distinguished men of the country have made pilgrimages in the times that are gone. There was not even a bow of crepe on the door when the stricken widow was carried by Abner McKinley and Dr. Rixey into it to the darkened home. Only the hitching post at the curb in front of the residence had been swathed in black by the citizens in order that it might conform to the general scheme of mourning decorations that had been adopted.

People File by Loved Chief.

     Sad as was the procession which bore the body to the court house, where it lay in state during the afternoon, it could not compare with the infinite sadness of that endless double line of broken hearted people who streamed steadily through the dimly lighted corridors from the time the coffin was opened until it was taken home to the sorrowing widow at nightfall. They stepped softly lest their footfalls wake their friend from his last long sleep. Tears came unbidden to wet the bier. Perhaps it was the great change that had come upon the countenance which moved them more than the sight of the familiar features. The signs of discoloration which appeared upon the brow and cheeks Tuesday at the state ceremonial in the rotunda of the capitol at Washington had deepened. The lips had become livid. All but two of the lights of the chandelier above the head were extinguished in order that the change might appear less noticeable, but every one who viewed the remains remarked the darkened features, and the ghastly lips. When the body was taken away thousands were still in line, and the committee in charge of the arrangements was appealed to to allow a further opportunity today to view the remains before they were taken to the church. But this had to be denied to them, and the casket may never be opened again.
     All through the afternoon the crowd passed the catafalque, approximately at the rate of 100 every minute, making in the five hours the body lay in state, a total of 30,000 people.

Funeral Arrangements.

     The funeral service will take place today at 1:30 p. m., at the First Methodist Episcopal church, of which the dead president was a communicant and a trustee.
     They will be brief, by the expressed wish of the family. Rev. O. B. Milligan, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, in which President and Mrs. McKinley were married 30 years ago, will make the opening prayer. Dr. C. E. Manchester, pastor of the late president’s church, will deliver the only address. A quartette will sing: “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere,” and another quartette will render “Lead, Kindly Light.”
     An imposing procession consisting of many of the G. A. R. posts of the state, the National guard, details of regulars from all branches of the service, fraternal, social and civic organizations and representatives of commercial bodies from all over the country, the governors of several states with their staffs, the house and senate of the United States, the cabinet and president of the United States, will follow the remains to Westlawn cemetery, where they will be placed in a receiving vault, awaiting the time when they will be laid in the grave beside the two children who were buried years ago.
     Railroad facilities seem inadequate to bring the people who are coming today.

Floral Designs Are Elaborate.

     The number and beauty of the floral tributes which are arriving surpass belief. Flowers are literally coming by the ton. The hot houses of the country seem to have been emptied to supply them. The facilities of the little city of Canton are entirely inadequate to care for the thousands who are here, much less the other thousands who are on the way. Although the local committee is doing everything in its power to furnish food and shelter, many of the officials from Washington were compelled to sleep in the cars in which they came. The population of Canton is about 31,000, but it is expected over 100,000 people will be here today.
     President Roosevelt and his naval aide, Captain H. Cowles, are at the residence of Mrs. George Harter on Market street. A company of Ohio militia guards the house. During the afternoon the president walked over to the McKinley residence to inquire after Mrs. McKinley. He was informed that she had stood the trip from Washington bravely, but in the opinion of the physician it would not be advisable for her to attempt to attend the services at the church today. She will therefore remain at her home with Dr. Rixey.
     The other cabinet officers and the generals and admirals completing the guard of honor, are also at private residences. President Roosevelt and the official party will start back on the return journey to Washington at 7 o’clock tonight.