10 Interesting Facts about William McKinley

One of these following facts about William McKinley is definitely going to give you much information about what McKinley has been doing during his entire life: how great and amazing he was. William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish-American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry, and maintained the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of inflationary proposals. To get to know more about him, here are some other facts about William McKinley you may like to know.

Facts about William McKinley 1: Devout Methodist

McKinley was a devout Methodist throughout his life, and volunteered as a teenager at his local church.  He attended only one year of college, returning home due to depression and illness.  Afterwards, he worked briefly as a schoolteacher.

Facts about William McKinley 2: Military Voluntary

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, an 18-year-old McKinley volunteered for the military and served under Major Rutherford B. Hayes, who would, of course, go on to become president in the 1870’s.  They remained close friends and political allies for the remainder of their lives.  McKinley eventually earned the rank of Brevet Major.

Facts about William McKinley - William McKinley

Facts about William McKinley – William McKinley

Facts about William McKinley 3: Law School and Training

After several years of law school and training, McKinley set up a small practice in Canton, Ohio.  In 1869, he was elected District Attorney of Stark County, Ohio, but was defeated in 1871 in his bid for re-election.

Facts about William McKinley 4: Deaths of His Family

That same year, he married Ida Saxton, and the couple had two daughters.  Their second daughter, Ida, died in infancy in 1873, and the eldest daughter, Katherine, died of typhoid fever two years later.  The couple never had anymore children.  Her daughters’ deaths devastated Ida McKinley, and she began to develop psychological and physical health problems, including epilepsy and debilitating anxiety.  She remained a recluse for the rest of her life, including during her husband’s presidency.

Facts about William McKinley - Wife

Facts about William McKinley – Wife

Facts about William McKinley 5: Independently-Minded

From the start of his first term in Congress, McKinley proved himself to be independently-minded, frequently voting across the aisle and event voting once to override a presidential veto from his friend and fellow Republican  Hayes.

Facts about William McKinley 6: Chairman of the Committee

By the late 1880’s, McKinley had become a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and after failing in a bid to become Speaker of the House in 1888, he instead was appointed as the chairman of the committee.  As chairman, he was instrumental in passing a new tariff that greatly increased the taxes levied against foreign products entering the country.

Facts about William McKinley - On $500 Bill

Facts about William McKinley – On $500 Bill

Facts about William McKinley 7: Worst Economic Depression

The McKinley Tariff went over like a lead balloon.  Domestic prices shot up throughout the early 1890’s as demand for them increased, and the economy delved into the worst economic depression of the 19th century.  Numerous Republicans lost seats around the country, including McKinley, who was defeated for re-election in 1890.

Facts about William McKinley 8: Nominated for President

Finding himself out of a job in 1891, McKinley ran for governor of Ohio and won, taking office in 1892.  He proved a popular governor, and was re-elected in 1894.  Despite his involvement in the unpopular tariff that was named for him, McKinley managed to maintain a prominent profile in Republican politics, and was nominated for president in 1896.

Facts about William McKinley - Memorial Statehouse

Facts about William McKinley – Memorial Statehouse

Facts about William McKinley 9: Front Porch Campaign

McKinley instituted an effective “Front Porch Campaign,” opting to meet with voters and journalists at his home in Ohio, rather than touring the country giving speeches, as his Democratic challenger (William Jennings Bryan) was doing.  It paid off.  McKinley won the election in a narrow victory, winning 51% of the popular vote.

Facts about William McKinley 10: Successful Presidency

McKinley’s presidency was widely viewed as a successful one, with the economy improving and American businesses growing larger.  McKinely was also given credit for America’s resounding victory in the Spanish-American war, which resulted in territorial gains for the U.S.  In 1900, McKinley again faced William Jennings Bryan in the election, and this time defeated him handily.

Facts about William McKinley - Grave

Facts about William McKinley – Grave

Hope you found those William McKinley facts really interesting and useful to read.

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