A little Then & Now on a Wednesday.
Then the Dewalt, Saxton, Barber, McKinley Home on South Market and 9th Street.
Now First Ladies National Historic Site on South Market and 4th Street.
A little Then & Now on a Wednesday.
Then the Dewalt, Saxton, Barber, McKinley Home on South Market and 9th Street.
Now First Ladies National Historic Site on South Market and 4th Street.
1898, 1929, Cleveland Avenue, Fifth Street, First Lady, Frank Onesto, home, Hotel Delmont, Hotel Onesto, Lester House, Mary Lester Raynolds, Mckinley, Melwise Restaurant, President, Saxton, Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving 1898 marked another occasion of President McKinley and First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley dining at the home of Mrs. Mary Lester Raynolds of Cleveland Avenue North and Fifth Street (Present day 2nd Street.) The Lester House turns into the Melwise Restaurant and Motel. Frank Onesto purchased the Melwise and it became Hotel Delmont. Mr. Onesto razed the over 100 year old house to build his Hotel Onesto in 1929.
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On the morning of October 10th 1898 President McKinley and his First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley woke up in the home of Marshall C. and Mary Barber, Ida’s sister. The home is now known as the National First Ladies Historical Site. According to the Monday October 10, 1898 Evening World-Herald of Omaha, Nebraska the couple passed as comfortable a night as possible. After breakfast the President took a short walk for exercise and smoked a cigar. They held a private funeral for George Dewalt Saxton brother of Ida McKinley and Mary Barber at the Barber home. Rev. O. D. Milligan of First Presbyterian Church in Canton, Ohio officiated. At 9:27 the President would meet the rest of his cabinet at the Pennsylvania Railroad Station for the trip to Omaha Nebraska while the first Lady would remain in Canton for a few days. President McKinley was bound for Omaha to attend the Trans Mississippi and International Exposition. James Fuller McKinley nephew of the President attends the exhibition with him.
The following evening a short parade welcomed President McKinley to Omaha, Nebraska, and the next day Wednesday October 12, 1898 he attended the exhibition. Looking for a way to show the progress of the country since the financial panic of 1893 twenty-four states combined forces and put on an exhibition containing 4062 exhibits with over 2.6 million people in attendance.
The President’s Special Train then heads back to Chicago to attend a Peace Jubilee. The Wednesday, Oct 19, 1898 Cleveland Leader spoke of President McKinley being greeted by five thousand people in the jubilee’s auditorium. The crowd called for President McKinley to speak after the keynote was through with his speech. The President expressed how deeply moved he was with the reception he has received in Chicago. There was a call for three cheers for President McKinley and the exercises concluded with a rousing rendition of “America” sung by the crowd. Mrs. McKinley made the trip to Chicago escorted by Major Webb Hayes, son of the late President Rutherford B. Hayes.
The Presidential train moved southeast from Chicago and headed for Indianapolis, Indiana where it would stop for two hours. The train much like today was met by rain, rain, and more rain. The train stopped at East Washington Street where the President and his party would disembark and board seven carriages for the ride to the Indiana Statehouse. The President and First Lady were seen having a grand old time in the parade, and Mr. McKinley posed for the cameras with his hat off. As the party neared the capital the crowds grew larger. The President was ushered into the capital and reappeared through a window onto a platform. The crowd applauded for several minutes before they were ordered to quiet down, and even then Mr. McKinley first words were inaudible. He thanked the crowd for the warm welcome. He said “We met with in no party name, we meet in common country and patriotism and peace.”
One hundred and twenty years ago today President McKinley stopped briefly in Indianapolis, Indiana to speak to his fellow citizens.
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International Archives Day…
Today we celebrate International Archives Day. In the McKinley Presidential Library we celebrate archives every day. More importantly we celebrate the people who created these wonderful documents, images, moving pictures, and narratives we call archives. Archives are the records left behind by people who came before us who wished to be remembered, and show future generations how a culture lived in a particular time.
The McKinley Presidential Library fulfills two missions: preserving President William McKinley’s legacy, and the History of Stark County. We thank our dedicated and passionate volunteers who work not only in our work space at the museum, but at their homes, and at other historical sites, near and far. This is WHAT we do. We Seek the Threads that Connect the Past & Present to Inspire Others in Their Quests.. This is WHY we do what we do…
People travel great distances, make great sacrifices, and spend vast amounts of time and money searching for the answers to their questions. People from all over the world visit, call, or write to the Archive with questions about their relatives who lived in Stark County, to find a business that was once here, or to view the vast photograph collection. Everyone has a story, everyone has a question. We can help you…
The McKinley Presidential Library is open to help you with research Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Our typical process for research is to have our patrons fill out a Research Request Form, https://mckinleystarkcountyresearch.wordpress.com/submit-research-request/ then one of our researchers will address your question and determine what resources we have available in our archives, and finally invite you to come in to view artifacts, documents, and resources that help answer your question. If you are not local we can communicate through email and telephone.
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Our volunteers at the Presidential Library want to show you the long journey of the McKinley Correspondence Project.
To start, we want to tell you our motivation for pursuing this project. One of the major aspects of the library is making sure our information is accessible, especially for our researchers who dedicate their time to finding answers. Our volunteers at the library take their research requests very seriously and we have systems in place so that information in our library can be accessed by our volunteers and archivist.
Our project began around 2005 with one our current volunteers, Judy Pocock and Janet, a former McKinley Librarian. At the time, the Presidential Library was not how it looks today, and it wasn’t as organized or put together for accessibility. There were many projects that needed to be started and one of these projects was the McKinley Correspondence documents. This project consisted of letters to and from William McKinley during his life. They began by thinking of the different directions they could go with this project, and where to start. It is so important to have a plan and take the time to think before you start on your project. The main goal was to find some way to summarize and put the letters in chronological order. Judy began to write out abstracts for each letter, which was a daunting process because most of the letters are handwritten. It was very time-consuming, but they were able to get a majority of them completed before Janet, the former librarian left and the project was put on hold.
This brings us to 2016 when our current archivist Mark Holland attended a conference about managing, conserving, and preserving archives. There he learned that keeping documents in binders with sleeves was not appropriate protocol anymore and he began to think of ways that they could house the McKinley Correspondence letters properly. There was a major obstacle in the way: retail stores do not sell the correct length and height of the documents. Thankfully, he was able to work with a company who put him in contact with a third-party and they were able to create custom made ring folders. These folders would allow the strain to be placed in the folders and the housing and not on the documents themselves. Once that part of the project was completed, there were still more steps that had to be thought out. The letters had to be transcribed and have correct abstracts so they could easily be found. The letters were transcribed by our volunteers, Susan Henry and Judy Pocock and former Office Manager, Rita Zwick. This part of the project took years to be completed. Volunteer, Rosemary Shaheen spent many hours entering data on the letters that researchers can find online. Moving on to 2018, our library had an intern from Walsh University who began working on the digitization process of the project. Samantha did more of the technical side of the project by scanning and adding each piece of the sleeve to our database using our museum software. After the scanning and cataloging was completed around December, those involved in the project were able to see the results of their hard work. After having a couple of meetings to discuss the next steps, Judy and Samantha worked together to put the sleeves into our custom-made folders and create labels for each file folder, making sure everything was in chronological order and placed in the appropriate area. We are so excited to have this project completed, as it makes our research easier and more effective than just leaving it in huge binders with documents spanning five years or more per binder.
Completing the McKinley Correspondence project was extremely important because we can track what William McKinley was doing and who he was writing to during his life and even letters written by people close to him confirming his death. These documents are very important to the Presidential Library because it relates to William McKinley as a citizen of Stark County, and it gives historical documentation about the 25th President of the United States.
March 26, 2019
McKinley Presidential Library
Guest Blogger, Samantha Weaver
The following is a personal account of the first visit of the writer in 1965 to the McKinley National Memorial in Canton, Ohio
On Visiting the Monument (Installment 1):
My first visit to the McKinley National Memorial – a site that we as Massillonians had always just called, “the monument,” most likely came at the invitation of my first grade school- and Cub Scout-pal, Robert.
One fine June morning , just as our summer vacation was getting underway, Robert and his mother drove up in front of our house in their trusty blue Chevy. Mom and I were out directly and got situated in the car – moms in front, kids in back. A picnic lunch for four that mom had made the night before was folded neatly in waxed paper and packed in a basket with our drinks wrapped with equal care in aluminum foil so they’d stay cold, rested on the seat between Robert and me. The moms both wore white “cat’s eye” rimmed style sunglasses to protect their eyes from the glare of the mid-morning sun. Rob and I were men. We didn’t need no glasses.
Driving from Massillon to Canton, we covered the eight mile trip in mere minutes. As we rode the then familiar landmarks along Lincoln Way West and West Tuscarawas Street passed before us: Lambrou’s Chicken Chateau, Brady’s Pink Cottage Restaurant and Stark Drive-In; ahead on the left, the orange roofline of Howard Johnson’s, Milk Maid Candies, the Ohio Bell Telephone Terminal Center and The Sachsenheim Club, Stemco’s, The Red Coachman, the Town & Country Buffet and little F’n E Dairy. Construction was near finishing on the new St. Joan of Arc Church, then came Central Catholic High School, Kling Motors, The Dog House, McDonald’s Golden Arches, the Robert Hall Store and PDQ on the left, Laughlin Motors on the right; there’s Fishers and Country Fair Shopping Center. Across the street on the south side of the block, the new Mellet Mall was getting signage in place on the wall of the huge new Penny’s store soon to open and in a few more blocks there was Heggy’s Nut Shoppe. A little farther on the left, there’s Schrock’s Hobbies and the bell tower of St. Joseph’s Church, Shopper’s Fair on the right and finally, there ahead on the right, the golden dome of First Baptist Church and just beyond, venerable Mother Goose Land. We turned left off of West Tusc and entered the edge of the park but still at that point, the whole sweep of the monument itself was hidden from view.
We drove in heart-pounding silence up the right-hand side of the tree-lined boulevard where once, “The Long Water” formed the blade and tip of a figurative sword. Just a little further and there at last was the monument! First the motor court then the tiers of steps drew our eyes up to the bronze doors and the glistening white dome. Big as it was, you almost had to refocus to capture the bronze statue of the president standing centered at a point about half way between the first step and the top step. As I leaned over on Robert’s side of the seat to look out of the open window, the view took my breath away! His mom brought the car to a stop in a parking space as he and I stared out the back window. Before we left the car the moms, speaking almost in a whisper, reminded us that this was supposed to be a quiet and respectful place – like church. Once outside the car, I still wasn’t sure of myself and I held my mom’s hand. I remember being just caught up in the moment – dare I say, the majesty of the place – the glaring white granite, the brilliant blue of a cloudless late spring sky, the deep green of the grass and the leaves on the trees – and the silence; respectful, awesome and still. Everybody’s mom must have had that talk in the car that morning because except for maybe the click of a camera shutter or the occasional robin or cardinal trill, there was no sound. The American and Ohio state flags fluttered on their halyards but never scratched against the masts. Busy West Tusc was just a few blocks away but not a sound intruded on that setting. It seemed holy. Then a little voice from someone who, in their own excitement, forgot the whispered reminder from their mom in the car, turned and hollered merrily from the top-most step, “One hundred and eight!”
The steps had a bit of an irregular stride so it took a few to get our climbing rhythm but it was quickly mastered and we were on our way up and up, “44,45,46…” a quick look back down to reckon how high we’d climbed and get a closer look at the statue. “68,69,70…” gettin’ kinda sweaty; “106, 107, 108!” We first turned to look behind us as we were standing above the tops of the trees and could see clear into downtown Canton. The bell tower of St. Joseph’s on our right at about 2 o’clock; the fifth floor dome of Central Catholic much farther out at about 1 o’clock; directly ahead and to the left, the panorama of skyscrapers, church steeples, smoke stacks and signal towers that was the pulse of Stark County.
Now composed and reverent again, we turned to step inside.
Only one of the bronze doors was open and it was, it seemed, only open a crack but each of us entered with room to spare. In the cool, quite stillness, taking a few seconds for my eyes to adjust, I remember making the sign of the cross and looking for a holy water fount – so very church-like was the atmosphere. Gathered on the floor were several of the wreaths still on display from the Decoration Day program held just a few weeks before. And there at last lying side by side in a very tall granite vault were the two McKinley’s. Their daughters, the sign read, had been interred in the walls. Looking up into the arch of the dome I noticed that there were flood lights shining on the vault that wasn’t black as I’d thought but instead a deep green. This seemed an almost surreal spot, so cool and clean and quiet; right on the edge of a busy downtown but almost unaware of the hustle and bustle going on all around it. Time suspended itself for those several minutes we spent inside reading and imagining and taking history by the hand.
Michael J. Bachtel Guest Blogger
An Immersion Experience of Primary Documents, Canton Industries.
Fifteen students from Walsh University visited the Ramsayer Research Library yesterday. They received a tour of the archives, learned about our two missions; The Life of the 25th President, William McKinley and His family, and Stark County History.
The class was introduced to three industries from Canton, Ohio; Bucher & Gibbs Co., Aultman & Taylor Co., and Diebold Safe & Lock Co.
Using our new 1884 View of Canton, Ohio mural, I was able to show them renderings of the three companies, and their locations.
Thank you Dr. Will Cooley, for taking the time to allow your students to explore a little of what the Ramsayer Research Library has to offer.
Our hope is that each student will consider using this Archive when they are researching their current project, and future work.
If It Is Meant To Be,
It Will Come To You… – J.C. Pocock
We as Americans live with a “crick in our necks”, from looking back at our history. Paraphrased from George Will
Lakeside, Ohio has always been a very special place for me. My mother was introduced to this place when she was in the Canton Junior Symphony, now Canton Youth Symphony, and played her violin on Hoover Auditorium’s Stage. She brought me here, along with my two nieces when we took a grand tour of Ohio. William McKinley spoke here when he was Governor of the state of Ohio. Chautauqua is a philosophy that includes four pillars: religion, education, cultural arts and recreation. More later…