The Floral Offerings
Rarest and Costliest Blossoms Surround the Vault
Where Mr. McKinley’s Body Lies.
CANTON, Ohio, Sept.
19.—Never before on this continent has such a floral display been
seen at any public occasion as that in West Lawn Cemetery this afternoon.
The vault was lined with the rarest and costliest flowers, a multitude
of floral pieces was spread on the ground before the door of the
vault, and for one hundred feet to the right and left of the doorway
and for half as many feet to the rear of a line passing through
the front wall, it was impossible to tread, so thickly did the tributes
Nearly every country on both hemispheres
was represented by an offering. The number of these from the United
States is almost past counting. They came from every State in the
Union, and there is scarcely a man in public life whose tribute
of respect for the virtues of William McKinley did not lie beside
his coffined body this afternoon.
The inside of the vault was literally
a mass of roses and orchids when the casket was carried into it,
and the outside walls were well-nigh hidden beneath the profusion
of flowers hung upon them. Above the doorway hung an enormous wreath
of dark green galix [sic] leaves; over one corner of the
vault was another wreath, the leaves being a deep red; in a corresponding
position on the other side was hung a wreath of ivy.
The great wreath in the centre was
the offering of the Italian Government and the King of Italy, and
was one of the handsomest pieces seen. Upon a great streamer of
black satin, which swung from the mass of deep green leaves, was
the following inscription: “Requiem eternam dona ev domino”; beside
the black streamer floated one of red, white, and blue, the colors
of the United States, and another of red, white, and green, the
colors of Italy.
To the right of the door, in a frame
formed of red and white roses, was a vase fully six feet high, made
of white asters. This was the offering of the manufacturing potters
of East Liverpool, Ohio. The employees of these manufacturing potters
sent an elegant design of a vase done in red and white roses that
was fully equal in beauty to that sent by their employers.
On the south side of the doorway was
suspended a beautiful wreath of lilies of the valley, intertwined
with smilax, the whole surmounted with white and purple orchids.
To the left of the doorway was a great bunch of red roses and purple
orchids bound together with a wide band of royal purple satin. Standing
a short distance from the vault, to the south, was a small cradle
covered entirely with white and purple asters. On its sides were
worked in purple immortelles, the word: “Niles.” This was said to
be the cradle in which President McKinley had been rocked during
his infancy in Niles, Ohio. Special instructions came with it, that
it should be guarded with great care and returned safely to Niles,
where it is to be preserved.
From the Republic of Cuba came an
enormous representation of the flag of the new nation. A wreath
of red roses and lilies of the valley came from the Republic of
Haiti, a wreath of white roses and purple asters from the President
of Uruguay. From the Knights Templars of Minnesota came a great
shield five feet high and three feet wide, formed entirely of white
asters. In the centre was the red cross of the Knights Templars.
A round button, two feet in diameter, with the red cross in the
centre, came from the Knights of Tennessee.
An elaborate offering of roses and
orchids came from Melville E. Stone of New York. There were wreaths
from Savannah, Ga.; from San Francisco, from Duluth, New Orleans,
and from dozens of other cities. Many of the designs were unmarked,
and it was impossible to tell from whom they had come. The flowers
will be allowed to remain around the vault until they have fallen