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William McKinley is Born

Today in Masonic History William McKinley is born 1843.

William McKinley was an American politician and 25th President of the United States.

McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio. He would attend one year of college at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, leaving the school in 1860. He would be unable to continue due to financial issues within his family.

In 1861, McKinley would enlist in the army as a private. He would be assigned to the 23rd Ohio infantry. In the unit delays in issuance of uniforms and weapons brought Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States and then a Major, and McKinley together. So impressed with Hayes was McKinley that it began a life long association between the two men, ending with Hayes death in 1893.

In 1865 after the war, McKinley would begin studying law and would attend the Albany Law School in New York. He would be admitted to the Bar in 1867.

Also 1867, McKinley's Army friend, Rutherford B. Hayes, announced his candidacy for Governor. McKinley gave a speech in Stark County where he resided on behalf of Hayes. The speech would be McKinley's first step into politics.

In 1869, McKinley ran for County prosecutor in Stark County, a position typically held by a Democrat. Despite running as a Republican, McKinley was elected and served for a single two year term.

By 1877, McKinley had run for and gotten a seat in Congress. He would serve in Congress until 1890 with a brief break in from 1882 to 1884. So concerned with McKinley that Democrats repeatedly gerrymandered McKinley's district until they were final able to vote him out of Congress in 1890.

In 1891Mckinly would be elected as Governor of Ohio he would serve until 1895. Although the Governor of Ohio had little power at the time, Ohio was a swing state in national elections and McKinley took full advantage of his position.

In 1896, McKinley would receive the Republican nomination for President and would later that year be elected. Even from his days in Congress, McKinley was a pro-business President.

It was during McKinley's first term in 1898 that the Spanish-American war broke out.

In 1901 he would be reelected President. Six months into his second term he would be assassinated by Leon Czolgosz.

McKinley was a member of Hiram Lodge No. 21 in Virgina, joining during the Civil War. He would later demit from lodge in order to become a founding member of Eagle Lodge No. 431, which would later be renamed William McKinley lodge in Ohio.