Source: New York Times
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “The Floral Offerings”
City of publication: New York, New York
Date of publication: 20 September 1901
Volume number: 51
Issue number: 16132
|“The Floral Offerings.” New York Times 20 Sept. 1901 v51n16132: p. 2.|
|William McKinley (mourning: flowers, tokens of grief, etc.); William McKinley (death: public response); William McKinley (death: international response); McKinley burial vault.|
|William McKinley; Melville E. Stone.|
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 lie.
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 to pieces.