McKinley Memorial Library, National McKinley Birthplace Memorial and McKinley Birthplace Home and Research Center

7/26/13 Friday at Jefferson, OH (Kenisee Lake-TT)

I spent much of my morning posting the blog (photos take so much time with slow Internet) and reading my email. John watched TV.

For the afternoon, we took a drive to Niles, OH. John remembered it to be short – about 30 miles. Not so. It was more like 54 miles, the route our GPS took us, about an hour. We went there to see the National Memorial of William McKinley’s Birthplace. It took less than an hour to see everything. John chose the shorter route for our GPS directions home and that ride also took about an hour. Thus, we concluded that we would not have gone this far (costs vs benefits) if we’d realized how far Niles is from Jefferson.

IMG_1132 McKinley Memorial IMG_1131 IMG_1115 IMG_1116National McKinley Birthplace Memorial

Although he was born in Niles, OH, he spent most of his political career in Canton, OH. According to one signer of the guest book, the memorial in Canton is much bigger (7 stories), but there are far more artifacts from his life here in Niles.















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Desk from his law office in Canton and the chair on the left is the one he used as President in Cabinet meetings.









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McKinley Ancestral home in Ireland (lovely watercolor in library). William McKinley Birthplace. The original house was made into two homes, which were moved apart, then later put together, then it burned down. So this is a replica, but on the same spot as the original stood. He was born 1/29/1843.








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The McKinleys moved to Poland, OH in 1852 where he attended school. He went to college in Pennsylvania, then served in the Civil War, where he became a major. After the war he became a lawyer in Canton, then served in Congress, then was the governor of Ohio, then the 25th President of the US. His campaign for his first term was for “sound money” (keep the gold standard) and “protection” (high tariffs). Garrett was his running mate. They won handily (for prosperity – after the Panic of 1893 economic depression), but Garrett died not long after. He won his second term (running mate this time was Theodore Roosevelt) also. Unfortunately, he was assassinated while give a speech, the first President of the 20th century to be assassinated. Before him were Lincoln and Garfield.


IMG_1121The library, which is the town’s public library, occupies the entire south wing of the Memorial. Great idea, to give the town a nice library, using funds raised for the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial, largely from Henry Clay Frick, a Pittsburgh steel magnate. The north wing is the town auditorium (again, what a great idea) on the first floor with McKinley artifacts on the second floor.

So we learned a lot about McKinley that we’d totally forgotten!

Back at home we just enjoyed the lovely weather, in our own ways: John watched TV in the RV while I read outside. I must admit, after supper and our walk around the campground, we both read outside until it got too dark.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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