William McKinley 25 th President of the United States. William McKinley was born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio, a town of about 300 people. He was the 7 th child born to William and Nancy Alison McKinley His family moved to Poland, Ohio when he was nine years old so that the children could go to a private school called the Poland Academy. In school William liked to read, debate, and he was the president of the school's first debate club. When he was 16 he went to Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, for a while before he got sick and had to return home. he did not go back to Meadville, because the family had no money.
Instead, he worked as a postal clerk for awhile. When the Civil War started on April 12, 1861, he taught at Kerr School near Poland, Ohio. He and a cousin, Will Osbourne enlisted as privates in the 23 rd regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was under the command of Rutherford B. Hayes, the future U. S. president, Because of this acts of bravery, he was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant.
By the time the war was over he had attained the rank of brevet major. William went back to Poland, Ohio where he studied law with Judge Charles Glidden. In 1866 he went to law school in Albany, New York, but he did not graduate. In 1867 he was admitted to the bar in Warren, Ohio. He moved to Canton, Ohio where two of his sisters were schoolteachers and he got a job working for Judge George Belden. Belden was so busy with cases that he offered one to McKinley.
McKinley won the case and so impressed the judge that he was paid $25. 00 for the case and was given a job. Later, McKinley opened his own law office and got into the politics of the Republican Party. He was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Stark County in 1869. While also doing business at a local bank where he met Ida Saxton, she was the daughter of his boss, and was also the Belle of Canton. They got married in January, 1871 and their first daughter, Katherine, was born on Christmas day.
Their second child, Ida, was born in 1873 and died at the age of 4 1/2 months. That same year, Mrs. McKinley's mother also died. Two years later, their first daughter, Katie, died of typhoid fever. Mrs. McKinley got sick with depression, phlebitis, and epilepsy, which left her needing constant care.
Mr. McKinley was always concerned about her and he was known for his devotion to her. McKinley won election to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1876. After this debate, McKinley began wearing a scarlet carnation.
He was rarely seen, while serving as congressman and governor, without his trademark carnation. McKinley served 7 terms in Congress from 1877-1891, except for a 9-months in 1884-1885. The House ruled that his opponent, lawyer Jonathan Wallace, had received the most votes in the 1882 election, so Wallace took McKinley's seat for the rest of the term. McKinley easily got back to the office in the 1884 election. McKinley consistently won re-election even though the districts he represented were heavily Democratic. As a congressman, he focused his energies on the tariff problem and became known as a protectionist and as a persuasive speaker.
He was usually associated with being on the side of big business, but he also worked hard for labor and later, as governor of Ohio, he encouraged employees to join labor unions and to criticize employers who refused workers the right to organized. Also as congressman he supported gold over silver as the backbone of America's money system. In 1889, Thomas Reed of Maine defeated him in the position of Speaker of the House. McKinley lost his next bid for Congress and returned to Canton in 1891. As governor, a position he held for two terms from 1891-1895, he proposed laws to protect railroad workers and address the issue of child labor, and a state board of arbitration was established to deal with labor and business problems. During this time as governor he became friends with millionaire industrialist Mark Hanna from Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1892 McKinley was at the Republican National Convention and was almost nominated for the presidency. Mark Hanna had unofficially opened a McKinley-for-President headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1893, McKinley faced a personal problem that almost sidetracked his political career. He had co-signed bank notes totaling more than $100, 000. 00 to help a friend start a business. The business went down the drain, and McKinley was expected to repay the bank loans.
McKinley did not have the money. His friends, led by Mark Hanna, raised enough money to repay the debt. The public felt bad for McKinley and he was re-elected as governor in 1893. In 1896, the Republicans again supported McKinley and he was nominated as the Republican presidential contender with Garret Hobart, a New Jersey senator, as his running mate. The Democratic opponents were William Jennings Bryan, from Nebraska, whose running mate was Arthur Sewall, a rich ship builder. McKinley conducted a front-porch campaign in Canton, partly because he didn't want to leave his wife.
Over 750, 000 people visited Canton to hear him speak. McKinley won the election with more than 7 million of 14 million votes. The U. S.
declared war on Spain. The U. S. blocked the Spanish ships inside Santiago Harbor.
The war last approximately 110 days and at the ensuing Treaty of Paris, Puerto Rico and Guam became U. S and, for $20 million, we acquired the Philippines as a territory in 1899. Vice President Hobart died in office. McKinley chose Teddy Roosevelt as his running mate for the 1900 election. In this election, McKinley again faced William Jennings Bryan as his presidential opponent. McKinley won the election with an easy victory During McKinley was shaking hands with the public at a reception held at the Temple of Music.
One man in the line was Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, whose right hand had been wrapped with a handkerchief. Inside the handkerchief was concealed a. 32 caliber revolver. When Czolgosz got up to the president, he shot McKinley twice. The first bullet deflected of a button on the president's shirt, and the other bullet pierced the president's stomach, went through the colon and kidney. As the president was waiting for medical aid, he said to his secretary, my wife, be careful, Corte you, how you tell her-oh, be careful.
He also told the aide not to let the crowd hurt the assassin. McKinley was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery... The president was operated on but they could not find the bullet, so they closed him up and sent him to the home in hope that the president would recover. He started to improve for a couple of days but then he took a turn for the worse and died on September 14 th from infection. Doctors had decided not to use Edison's X-ray machine to find the bullet because they were not sure of what effects it might have had on the president. The president's body first went to the Buffalo City Hall to be seen by the public for a couple of days, then to Washington D.
C. for two days and finally to Canton, Ohio on September 18 th where he was buried at Westlaw n Cemetery. He was the third president to be assassinated: the others were Lincoln and Garfield. The assassin was tried, found guilty, and was electrocuted in Buffalo shortly after the shooting.
McKinley's wife, Ida, returned to Canton where a sister cared for her until her death in 1907.