William McKinley National Memorial

Location: Canton, Ohio

Webpage: National Memorial

General Description: The McKinley Monument is the final resting place of the 25th US President, William McKinley following his assassination in 1901.  The monument is located in Canton as this was the town McKinley called home and began his political career, including his front porch campaign for the Presidency in 1896.  Situated on the top of a hill, McKinley had planned on a monument to the soldiers and sailors that served in the Civil War from Stark County.  Following his death the McKinley National Memorial Association was formed and by October, 1901 had set up a fund to raise $600,000 to purchase the site and build a fitting monument.  Construction began in June, 1905 and was completed in September, 1907.  The monument is made from materials from nearly every state in the Union at the time and stands 77 feet tall with an interior diameter of 50 feet at the base.  Within are the twin caskets of William and Ida McKinley, as well as, their two daughters that died in infancy.  The skylight has 45 stars for each of the states in the Union at the time.  Outside the monument stands at the center of a cross or the hilt of a sword, depending upon your interpretation, with the blade a grassy area extending to the south.  At the time of the dedication this grassy area was a reflecting pool that had to be filled in the 1950s due to drainage issues.


1) You can actually see this memorial from the Interstate as it sits prominently on the hill overlooking Canton, Ohio.  It is one of the largest memorials to a past President and is a beautiful granite and marble structure.  Today the 108 steps leading up the memorial is a favorite place for joggers in the mornings, which we got to watch while we waited for the Presidential Library and Museum to open at noon on a Sunday in July.


2) The bronze statue of McKinley leading up to the Monument is larger than life and commands a position of importance as you climb the steps.


3) The interior of the monument is worth the climb up the stairs with inscriptions on the walls and the massive joint tomb for William and Ida McKinley.