Construction of The McKinley Memorial In Niles, Ohio

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Soldier's Monument in the Community Park

Soldier's Monument in the Community Park, it was erected by McPherson Post #116 of GAR and Citizens of Weathersfield Twp. to honor General James "Birdseye" McPherson, born Sandusky, Ohio November 14, 1828. The Old Town Hall was on the site where the McKinley Memorial would be built. The Soldier's Monument is still standing on rear grounds of Memorial today.

The McKinley Memorial would be located in the center of the block and a few houses on Main Street would be demolished to provide space for the monument to William McKinley, Niles' native son who became President in 1896, was elected to a second term, and was assassinated in 1901.

 


Joseph G. Butler, Mahoning Valley industrial and civic leader

Joseph G. Butler Jr. at the age of 11 from a
daguerrotype taken in Warren, Ohio in 1851. PO1.1109

Joseph G. Butler, Mahoning Valley industrial and civic leader, had been a close boyhood friend of William McKinley. It was Mr. Butler who conceived the idea of building a Memorial to McKinley in the town of his birth. The idea was enthusiastically received and on December 5, 1910, a charter was obtained by an Act of Congress and signed into law by President Taft the following March.

The building of the Memorial was made possible by the donations of many people. The donations ranged from pennies from the school children to the $50,000.00 from Henry Clay Frick. Mr. Frick's donation was specifically to be used for a library inside the Memorial.

Henry Clay Frick Donation to the Libray Building Fund.

Henry Clay Frick Donation to the Libray Building Fund. PO1.765

The city of Niles had already set aside a five-acre park as a location for the Memorial (purchased with municipal funds), and the Association stipulated that the design would be for a granite two-story structure with a basement, and that the structure must include a 1,000-seat auditorium (the "main feature"), a public library, a "relic room" for display of assorted effects, "an assembly hall for meetings of the veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic, where State encampments may be held, and for Spanish–American War Veterans, and a room for the meetings of officials of the city.


Titled:

A Group of Niles Boyhood Friends and dated 1861.
This image was reproduced from a Dauguerreotype

Left-right:

Edward Brush, William Ward, Jr., Joseph G. Butler, John Pithridge.

James Ward Jr., George T. Reis, Irvin Butler, William Berger.

Two of this group were living in 1922: George T. Reis and Joseph G. Butler.

Photograph with permission: McKinley Memorial Museum.


Aerial view of McKinley Memorial.

The Memorial would house not only a statue of McKinley, but also "bronze busts of men associated with him in the affairs of the nation," like Theodore Roosevelt, Marcus Hanna, Butler, and Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick,

The cornerstone of the Memorial was laid on November 20, 1915, and an inscribed plaque on it read "Erected 1915. To Perpetuate the Name and Achievements of William McKinley, Twenty-fifth President of the United States of America. Born January 29, 1843. Died September 14, 1901."

 

Below: a series of photographs detailing the construction and dedication of the Memorial.


Dated October 3, 1916, this is a close up

Dated October 3, 1916, this is a close up
of the process of setting the pillars that
uphold the front of the Memorial
. PO1.754

Dated August 18, 1916 the rear columns
Dated August 18, 1916 the rear columns
have been placed. A steam engine provides power for the derrick. Wagons were used to haul marble from the Erie R.R. depot. PO1.755
Dated October 28, 1916, the front
Dated October 28, 1916, the front
courtyard of the McKinley Memorial
is almost completed
. PO1.753

February 21, 1916 - the south wing three months after the laying of the cornerstone.
February 21, 1916 - the south wing three months after the laying of the cornerstone. Brick reinforcements of eight inch
marble facade gave walls strength
. PO1.759
March 23, 1916 - north wing, back.
March 23, 1916 - north wing, back. PO1.763


July 12, 1916 - roof girders being placed
July 12, 1916 - roof girders being placed
on the rear of the south wing
. PO1.760
October 3, 1916 - putting the finishing
October 3, 1916 - putting the finishing
touches at the back of the Memorial
. PO1.761
June 21, 1916 - the rear of the
June 21, 1916 - the rear of the
Memorial under construction
. PO1.762

June 21, 1916 - the men are working
June 21, 1916 - the men are working
on the walls facing the courtyard. PO1.756
March 23, 1916 - north wing, front.
March 23, 1916 - north wing, front. PO1.764
August 18, 1916 - overall view. south wing
August 18, 1916 - overall view. south wing
in the foreground. Buildings in Franklin
Alley had not yet been torn down. PO1.758

     

A photo of the front cover of the program used at the Laying of the Cornerstone
A photo of the front cover of the program used at the Laying of the Cornerstone
of the McKinley Memorial Building on
November 20,1915.
PO1.775
A photo of the front cover of the program used for the dedication of the McKinley Memorial on October 5, 1917. The Honorable William Howard Taft was the guest speaker.
A photo of the front cover of the program used for the dedication of the McKinley Memorial on October 5, 1917. The Honorable William Howard Taft was the guest speaker. PO1.777
A photo of the back of the program used to commemorate the dedication of the McKinley Memorial in Niles, Ohio on Oct. 5, 1917.
A photo of the back of the program used to commemorate the dedication of the McKinley Memorial in Niles, Ohio on Oct. 5, 1917.
PO1.781

A photo of the inside of the program used to commemorate the dedication of the McKinley Memorial in Niles, Ohio on Oct. 5, 1917.
A photo of the inside of the program used to commemorate the dedication of the McKinley Memorial in Niles, Ohio on Oct. 5, 1917. PO1.780

Joseph G. Butler, Mahoning Valley
Joseph G. Butler, Mahoning Valley
industrial and civic leader, had been a close boyhood friend of William McKinley.

It was Mr. Butler who concieved the idea of building a Memorial to McKinley in the town of his birth. The idea was enthusiastically received and on December 5, 1910, a charter was obtained by an Act of Congress and signed into law by President Taft. PO1.776

A photo of the front page of the Niles
A photo of the front page of the Niles
Daily News on October 5, 1917, recognizing the dedication of the McKinley Memorial and all the luminaries who attended. PO1.783

Photo of the various statues in the Court of Honor at the McKinley Memorial.
Photo of the various statues in the Court of Honor at the McKinley Memorial. PO1.752

Photo of the various statues in the Court of Honor at the McKinley Memorial.
Photo of the various statues in the Court of Honor at the McKinley Memorial. PO1.749


A photo of the front facade of the
A photo of the front facade of the
McKinley Memorial on a wet evening,
and earlier during the day. Note some
of the busts are still out front. PO2.726

Photo of the various statues in the Court of Honor at the McKinley Memorial.
Photo of the various statues in the Court of Honor at the McKinley Memorial. PO1.750

The building of the Memorial was made possible by the donations of many people.
The building of the Memorial was made possible by the donations of many people.
The donations ranged from pennies from the school children to the $50,000.00 from Henry Clay Frick. Mr. Frick's donation was specifically to be used for a library inside the Memorial. PO1.766
The McKinley Memorial "Court of Honor" and the J. Massey Rhind statue of William McKinley.
The McKinley Memorial "Court of Honor" and the J. Massey Rhind statue of William McKinley. The goldfish pond has been filled
in and is planted with seasonal flowers. PO1.770
The "Relic Room" on the second floor
The "Relic Room" on the second floor
of the south or library wing as it
appeared before the expansion. PO1.769

Another in a series of shots of the unveiling of the Warren G. Harding bust at the McKinley Memorial in 1921.
Another in a series of shots of the unveiling of the Warren G. Harding bust at the McKinley Memorial in 1921. Many dignitaries were on hand for the ceremony. PO1.773
June 18, 1921- Mrs. J.D. Waddell nee Mary Ann Thomas unveiling the bust of Warren G. Harding at the McKinley Memorial.
June 18, 1921- Mrs. J.D. Waddell nee Mary Ann Thomas unveiling the bust of Warren G. Harding at the McKinley Memorial. PO1.771
The Honorable William Howard Taft was
The Honorable William Howard Taft was
the main speaker at the dedication of the McKinley Memorial on October 5, 1917. When the charter for the Memorial was obtained, by an Act of Congress, it was
signed into law by President Taft. PO1.774


Soldier's Monument

Views of flowers

Views of flowers
Views of flowers

Civil War cannon
Civil War cannon

     
 
 
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