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Source: Ouray Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Saw the President Shot”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Ouray, Colorado
Date of publication: 12 September 1901
Volume number: 13
Issue number: 24
Pagination: 1

“Saw the President Shot.” Ouray Herald 12 Sept. 1901 v13n24: p. 1.
full text
Lillie Simon; McKinley assassination (eyewitnesses); Lizzie B. Wilcox; McKinley assassination (eyewitness accounts: Lillie Simon).
Named persons
Meyer Kayser [first name misspelled below]; William McKinley; John G. Milburn; Lillie Simon; Lizzie B. Wilcox.


Saw the President Shot

     The Kansas City Star publishes the following story of the shooting of President McKinley as told by an eye witness [sic] to the affair. The story will be of especial interest to Ouray readers from the fact that it is told by Miss Lillian Simon, a young lady well known to many people in this city and a niece of Mayer Kayser. She has visited friends here at various times. The Star says:
     Miss Lillie Simon, a glove importer at 100 East Eleventh street [sic], was an eye witness of the shooting of President McKinley. Miss Simon had just shaken hands with the president and was turning to look at him as she passed when she saw the flash and heard the report of the shots. Miss Simon was returning from a visit to New York and stopped off for a day or two to visit Mrs. Frank B. Wilcox, formerly of Kansas City, but now of Buffalo.
     “I can hardly bring myself to speak of the affair,” said Miss Simon this morning. “It was so awful, the shooting down of that grand man. And to think that he had just shaken hands with me, such a cordial handclasp, too. He looked squarely into my eyes and said: ‘I am glad to know you.’ And he looked as if he meant what he said.
     “But to go back to the beginning. Mrs. Wilcox and myself were taking in the exposition. We had lunched at [Fereumburg?] restaurant[,] one of the picturesque features of the Midway. We were making a hasty tour of the government building, when Mrs. Wilcox asked me if I did not want to see the president. We walked over to the door of the temple of music.


     “There was a crowd in the doorway, but we were fortunate in getting up close, and when the ropes dropped we were among the first to gain admittance. Probably seventy people were in front of us. Mrs. Wilcox dropped in a little ahead of me. I was just in front of that man with the unpronouncable [sic] name who shot the president. I asked the gentlemen in front of me if they would object to my going ahead in the line to where Mrs. Wilcox was. And that put four persons between me and the assassin. The assassin was not a bad looking man. He was tall and it looked to me as if the cuff of his shirt had been turned back over his right hand. I afterward learned that the bit of white I had taken for his cuff was a handkerchief, concealing that awful revolver. We walked forward slowly.
     “Mrs. Wilcox stepped back to let me go ahead. I saw Mr. Milburn, a dark, handsome man, standing beside the president. I had seen him before and recognized him. I saw several alert [unreadable line(s) of text] that they were secret service men. The first thing I knew I was in front of the president. He stood there, smiling, with his hand extended. As I put forward my right hand he grasped it firmly, smiled into my face and remarked ‘I am glad to know you.’ He held my hand for a moment and the thought came to me that if he was as cordial with every one as he had been with me he would be simply worn out shaking hands before the afternoon was over. I turned to make mention of this to Mrs. Wilcox when I saw the tall young man extend his left hand to shake hands and heard the sound of the discharge. I distinctly saw a flash of fire. I was so startled that I thought I was shot myself. And then the president fell back into the arms of those about him. Then there seemed to be a heap of men at the feet of the president.


     “The gaurds [sic] drove us back. We stood there, everybody speaking to each other. Nearly everybody was crying, men and woman [sic], too. I could hear shouts, but it was all part of a great, almost indistinguishable noise. We made our way to the door by which we had entered, but it was locked. A moment later a gaurd [sic] came to call an ambulance and he let us out. He pressed a button just outside the door and in two minutes an automobile ambulance was there[.] We waited and saw the president carried out. There was a half smile on his face. He seemed to be suffering, but it appeared to me that he wanted the people to believe that he wasn’t hurt much. So he just smiled, although he must have been suffering the most intense agony. He seemed to me like a grand wounded soldier who had just performed some great deed of bravery which had earned for him a mortal wound. His vest was open and I could see a thin stream of blood trickling down the front of his shirt.
     “Then we both left the ground [sic] and went home. The scene had so completely unerved [sic] me that I left Buffalo that night. It was nearly two hours before I left and while the shooting occurred at 4 o’clock, there was not an ‘extra’ on the streets until 7:30 o’clock that evening. In Kansas City there would have been an extra on the street in ten minutes.”



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