William McKinley was born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio, a town of about 300 people. He was the 7th 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 23rd 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 ½ 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.
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...he 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 14th 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 18th where he was buried at Westlawn 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.
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