William McKinley

William McKinley Twenty-Fifth President 1897-1901 Born: 1/29/1843 Birthplace: Niles, Ohio William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, on Jan. 29, 1843. He taught school, then served in the Civil War, rising from the ranks to become a major. McKinley opened a law office in Canton, Ohio, and in 1871 married Ida Saxton. Elected to Congress in 1876, he served there until 1891, except for 1883?85. His faithful advocacy of business interests culminated in the passage of the highly protective McKinley Tariff of 1890. With the support of Mark Hanna, a shrewd Cleveland businessman interested in safeguarding tariff protection, McKinley became governor of Ohio in 1892 and Republican presidential candidate in 1896. The business community, alarmed by the progressivism of William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic candidate, spent considerable money to assure McKinley's victory. The chief event of McKinley's administration was the war with Spain, which resulted in the United States' acquisition of the Philippines and other islands. (whitehouse.gov) Fast Fact: Under William McKinley the Nation gained its first overseas possessions. . (www.mckinley.lib.oh.us/musemum/biography.htm) Biography of William McKinley 25th President of the United States William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States. He was born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio, a town of about 300 people at that time. He was the 7th child born to William and Nancy Alison McKinley (of Irish and Scotch descent). His father leased an iron foundry in Niles. William attended a one-room schoolhouse that stood on the site of this memorial. The family moved to Poland, Ohio when he was nine years old so that the children could attend a private school there called the Poland Academy. In school William enjoyed reading, debating, and public speaking. In fact, he was the president of the school?s first debate club. When he was 16 he attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, for a short time before illness forced him to return home. When he regained his health he did not return to Meadville because of the family?s changed financial situation. Instead, he worked for awhile as a postal clerk. When the Civil War broke out on April 12, 1861 he was teaching at Kerr School near Poland, Ohio. He and a cousin, Will Osbourne (who later became mayor of Youngstown) enlisted as privates in the 23rd regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was under the command of Rutherford B. Hayes, the future U.S. president. His first battle was at Carnifax Ferry, W. Virginia. He was later promoted to commissary sergeant and at the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862), while his regiment was under intense enemy fire, and against the advice of his superiors, he took food to the troops. Because of this act 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 returned to Poland, Ohio where he studied law with Judge Charles Glidden. In 1866 he entered 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 over-burdened 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 became active in the politics of the Republican Party. He was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Stark County in 1869. While doing business at a local bank he met Ida Saxton, who was the daughter of a local banker and was also the "Belle" of Canton. They married in January, 1871 and their first daughter, Katherine, was born on Christmas day of that year. Their second child, Ida, was born in 1873 and died at the age of 4 ? months. That same year, Mrs. McKinley?s mother also died. Two years later, their first daughter, Katie, died of typhoid fever. Mrs. McKinley became ill with depression, phlebitis, and epilepsy, which left her a semi-invalid who needed 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. His opponent, Levi Lamborn, had been wearing a scarlet carnation during