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As the empty carriage of the Degeia Greek society, bearing only a life size portrait of President McKinley, passed around the corner of Randolph street and Fifth avenue the procession for some reason halted for a moment. The crowds pressed around the vehicle, eager to get near, as they had mistaken it for the one in which the President rode on his visits to Chicago.
The marshals and their aids were trying to clear the way, when a little girl, not more than 6 years old, darted out from the front wall of the crowd and ran toward the carriage. Half a dozen throats shouted a warning to her as she dodged near the horses' heels, but she paid no heed.
Reaching the carriage in safety the little one paused a moment and then tenderly tossed a handful of purple asters into the vehicle. She threw a kiss after the flowers and then started to run back to the sidewalk. A strong man picked her up and bore her to the mother, who had just missed her child.
“I gave my flowers to the President, mamma,” said the little girl as she was set down at her mother's feet.
"She did, indeed, ma'am," said the man who had carried the child back, as he motioned to a group of men who had seen the incident, smiling approval as they stood with their hats in their hands.”—Chicago Record-Herald.
CHAPTER V. LIFE OF WILLIAM McKINLEY Early Manhood—War Record-Lawyer and Politician.
William McKinley was born at Niles, Trumbull county, Ohio, on January 29, 1843, being now 58 years old. He was the son of William McKinley, Sr., and Nancy Campbell Allison, and sprang from a line that had figured in many of the early struggles and hardships of the republic.
McKinley's boyhood life really began at Poland, a neat little village, about eight miles south of Youngstown. Main street is its principal thoroughfare, which is well shaded with handsome trees. It is crossed by a beautiful and picturesque stream, upon whose banks the village grist mill is located. Should we follow Main street from the Methodist church, up hill and down hill to its terminus, a good-sized common and a Presbyterian church, we would find all that tends to make up a small village.
Here we come in contact with all classes, rich and poor alike. The various stores, the postoffice, in which McKinley served as a clerk during vacation, and the old Sparrow tavern, which is now falling into decay, all are found on Main street.
McKinley was but a child when his parents moved from Niles and made a home in this little village in Mahoning county. His surroundings and society were partly agricultural and partly mining, for Poland stands well by both these industries. It is the center of a rich farming country, and its appearance partakes more of this characteristic than of coal and mining. It is the most southern township of the original Western Reserve. One of the original land company from Connecticut settled at this point.
In this old Ohio village he was brought up, atending the public school and subsequently the academy, which was an excellent institution for those times. He left the academy when about seventeen, and entered Allegheny College. Here he remained but a short time, returning to Poland in consequence of illness. Recovering, he did not again return to Allegheny, but taught a country school. At this period in his life he enlisted.
Life at Poland until the war broke out was far from exciting. Youths like McKinley were obliged to study hard and not infrequently do odd jobs to help earn money for books and tuition. As they advanced into professions it was often necessary to teach school, clerk in a store, work on a farm, or take up some other occupation during vacation. The McKinley family never hesitated to do this, and as a result, all were equipped with good educations. Two of the daughters became excellent teachers, while McKinley himself, as before stated,
taught one term of winter school in what was then called the Kerr district. This old schoolhouse still stands. It is about two and onehalf miles by road southwest of Poland, but young McKinley usually strode manfully “across lots” to shorten the distance. Many who live in Poland still remember seeing the young schoolmaster climbing fences and making his way over the rolling surface of the country to and from his duties. He was thus able to assist in defraying the expenses of his tuition and that of other members of the family at the academy.
This sort of life, as all know, sharpens the intellect, and broadens the mind, and has a tendency to shorten the period between boyhood