History Moment By William “Doc” Halliday

Ascent and Assassination of William McKinley

assassinationWilliam McKinley was the twenty-fifth President of the United States. He was born in Ohio in 1843 before Texas was admitted to the Union. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He joined as a private and rose through the ranks ending his service as a Brevet Major. He was the last American President who served in that conflict. Those who served in the war included Millard Filmore, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, and Benjamin Harrison. During the Civil War he served under future President Hayes, and they became lifelong friends.

After the war McKinley studied law and became an attorney. In 1867 his friend Rutherford B. Hayes ran for Governor of Ohio. McKinley made speeches on his behalf  in Stark County, and worked hard for Hayes election. The county was populated with many Democrats, but Hayes won the county and the state. In 1869, McKinley was elected to the position of Prosecuting Attorney for Stark County, Ohio. He attended the state Republican convention in 1875 where Hayes was nominated for a third term as governor. He again campaigned for his old friend in that election in the autumn of 1875.

In 1876, McKinley defended a group of coalminers who were arrested for rioting after they clashed…

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