Killing of the President
Man Who Caught the Murderer of McKinley Tells of
T. B. Parker, who was
the first man to reach Czolgosz, the assassin of President McKinley,
after he fired the shot that was fatal, spoke to a large and attentive
audience at St. John’s African Methodist Episcopal church last evening.
Mr. Parker led up to the story of
the assassination by telling of his own former life, of his service
as mail carrier in the south and later as deputy sheriff in Savannah.
He followed the story of his own life through all its phases up
until that time when he had begun service as a waiter in one of
the restaurants at the Pan-American exposition. Then he told of
the vast concourse of people gathered in the Temple of Music on
the exposition grounds to hear the president speak and of the line
that gathered in restless enthusiasm and good will [sic] to greet
the president and shake him by the hand. It was late for him to
report to duty and he tried again and again to crowd before Czolgosz,
who moved forward in the line slowly and grudgingly, but the guards
held him back in his own position.
“Immediately in front of Czolgosz,”
he said, “was a little girl, and as the president shook her by the
hand he smiled and spoke a word to her and we all watched her and
President McKinley, while Czolgosz pressed forward with his hand
bound in a white cloth, and, s[p]eaking no word, raised the white-bound
hand and fired twice. It was done very quickly and before anyone
could stop him. I jumped forward and struck him in the face as he
tried to fire again. The blow dazed him and he fell to the ground,
while I grappled with him and began choking him. I had him about
the neck and the others, trying to reach him trampled on the two
of us, and I felt almost dead when the crowd cleared away from about
Then he told of the noise, the confusion
and the masterliness of the wounded president [as?] the great concourse
of people began to realize what had really been done.
Before Mr. Parker spoke there was
a short program of musical and other selections by members of the
congregation and friends and a reception w[a]s tendered to him before
the evening broke up.