Mrs. McKinley Mourning Her Life Away.
For Hours the Distressed Widow Sits Grieving Beside the Tomb of
Murdered Husband—Fears That She May Not Survive the Winter.
O., Dec. 10—The visit of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. G. Dawes to Mrs. McKinley
at her home in Canton is thought here to be significant. Reports
from Canton, while exceedingly guarded, are to the effect that the
condition of Mrs. McKinley is regarded with great anxiety by the
family and close friends.
It is generally understood that Mrs.
McKinley never fully recovered from the effect of her experience
on her California trip and her illness in San Francisco. Then came
the shock of her husband’s tragic end. While she appeared to endure
this shock fairly well, it has developed since that the heart-breaking
strain made serious inroads on her physical and mental strength.
In fact it is regretfully admitted by those near to Mrs. McKinley
that both mind and body have been seriously undermined, and that
there are signs that seem to indicate she is failing rapidly.
One of the unfavorable symptons [sic]
of Mrs. McKinley’s case is her mental condition. She mourns constantly
for her husband, and can think or talk of no other subject. The
holiday season has always been a time for gayety with the McKinleys,
but is understood that Mrs. McKinley feels her bereavement so poignantly
that she has told her relatives she has no heart to participate
in any Christmas festivities. It is said that she has even asked
to be left alone in complete solitude in her room on Christmas day.
Another fact shows how keenly Mrs.
McKinley feels her bereavement, and how constantly it occupies her
mind. It has repeatedly happened since the funeral that on pleasant
days she has had a rocking chair taken to her husband’s tomb. There,
accompanied by a nurse or a friend, she has sat for hours beside
the tomb, plunged in grief and a prey to the deepest melancholy.
In the last two weeks this tendency
to melancholy has grown more marked, and Mrs. McKinley’s condition
has become a source of anxiety io [sic] her friends at Canton
and to those who have gone to see her from other parts of the state.
So keen has the anxiety become that a systematic effort will now
be made to interest her in the things about her, and to take her
mind away from the one subject that absorbs her thoughts in all
her waking hours.
It was undoubtedly in pursuance of
this plan that ex-Comptroller Dawes and his wife were summoned from
Evanston, Ill., to make her a visit at her home in Canton. As is
generally known, Mr. and Mrs. Dawes were the closest friends Mr.
and Mrs. McKinley had in Washington. Mr. Dawes was not only a member
of the late President’s official family, but almost a member of
his household. On this account, doubtless, it is expected that the
presence of Mr. and Mrs. Dawes at this time will be both acceptable
Reports from Canton go so far as to
indicate that unless there is an improvement in Mrs. McKinley’s
condition there is grave fear she will not live through the winter.
If it is found possible to divert her mind in some measure and to
rouse her from her state of absorbing grief and melancholy, the
mental respite, it is believed, will have a beneficial effect upon
her physical health. Unless this can be done and her mind relieved
in some degree of its load of grief those nearest and dearest to
her fear the strain will prove too great for her to bear.
Mr. and Mrs. Dawes are the first of
a number of close acquaintances who will visit Mrs. McKinley and
make a determined effort to distract her attention from her grief
and inject a ray of sunshine into her melancholy.