William McKinley was considered a “nice guy” and as the congressman from Ohio – he was respected by all his fellow Congressmen. But he gave it up to become governor of Ohio and then gave that up to run for president. Twice he defeated William Jennings Bryan.

Even McKinley’s opponents would go away smiling because they had the opportunity to meet him. Unfortunately, at least one person didn’t like him.  President McKinley was the third president to be assassinated – but even on the way to the hospital with two bullets inside him, he said, “must be some poor misguided fellow.”  Theodore Roosevelt, his vice president, became president upon McKinley’s death.

McKinley’s wife, Ida, was well-to-do, but shortly after their marriage, she became ill with epilepsy and had many serious headaches which effected her health for the rest of her life.

McKinley was the last president to serve in the l800s and the first in the 1900s.

Sadly, one of the McKinley’s homes burned down and another was destroyed. They had a beautiful home in Canton, but that was torn down to make way for a hospital.

But there are memorials to McKinley.

1. The $500 bill.

2. Mt. McKinley in Alaska.

3. A county in New Mexico.

4. Most recently, the National First Ladies Library has been headquartered in Ida McKinley’s home – also in Canton, Ohio. Ida McKinley’s childhood home was chosen because of the lack of a home honoring William McKinley himself.

Some McKinley facts –

1. McKinley was the first President to ride in a car.

2. His nickname was Wobbly Willie.

3. Last Words: Goodbye, all; good-bye. It is God’s way. His will be done, not ours.

Here I am, standing on the steps, at the McKinley National Memorial and Museum in Canton. We did not go to the museum. I forget why. Either it was closed or we were on a tight schedule.

To hear McKinley’s 1896 Campaign speech – click on the link.

Interesting – he says something about preserving the government of the United States and the finances of the government.  Where is William when we need him?

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