The William McKinley Memorial Monument

Capitol Square, Ohio State House, Columbus, Ohio

On September 6, 1901, anarchist Leon F. Czolgosz assasinated President William McKinley, Republican President and beloved "Idol of Ohio" at the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley died eight days later on September 14, 1901, having served just eight months of his second term in office. He is remembered for his kindness and dignity, his religious convictions and his deep devotion to his invalid wife, Ida Saxton McKinley. As President, he led the country in the Spanish-American War, he extended the principle of Manifest Destiny to the annexation of Hawaii and U.S. territorial expansion in Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam; and he initiated the Panama Canal project.

The McKinley Memorial Monument is located on the grounds of the Ohio State Capitol Building on High Street in Columbus. It reportedly stands at the sight where Governor McKinley paused each morning to wave to his wife on his way into the state capitol. The heroic figure of McKinley is poised as if delivering his final address in Buffalo. At each end and connected with the central pedestal by a granite bench are bronze figures personifying Peace and Prosperity, considered to be ruling principles of McKinley's life. "Peace," the left allegorical group, consists of a tall, strong and robust woman representing American womanhood and the maternal ideals of heart and home. Seated beside the woman is a bare-shouldered young girl representing "Education" who gazes at the woman. This group, according to the Ohio State Journal of September 13, 1906, "is intended to symbolize the tribute of the people to the man." The right group consists of two figures, a man representing "Prosperity" and a young lad, "Industry." "Prosperity is the robust figure of an artisan in workman's garb, instructing a youth in the use of a tool, a mute promise of the future efficiency of American workmanship, upon which so much of the nation's prosperity had depended in the past."

Quotations from McKinley's final address are inscribed in the base of the monument. Aligned with the figures of "Peace": "Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war." Near the pedestal referencing "Prosperity" is etched: "Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness and peace to all our neighbors, and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of the earth."

Further information about the commissioning process for The William McKinley Memorial Monument and about the other commemorations of William McKinley are available.

The McKinley Memorial Monument

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PT 5/98