(The True Story of President William McKinley)
-Elected President in 1896-

The spry little woman of 87 smiled proudly at her neighbors. It was Sunday and she was walking to church with her son. He was President of the United States but she was proud of him as if he had been a preacher. Everybody knew that William McKinley was devoted to his mother. Everybody knew that he was a devoted Christian, taught in a Bible class and was superintendent of a Methodist Sunday school. What everybody does not know is that everyday of his mother's life, as lawyer, congressman, governor of Ohio and United States President, when William McKinley did not see his mother he either wrote or telegraphed her.

In Mid-October 1897 McKinley slipped out of the White House and took a train for Canton just to walk to church with his mother. He wanted to walk to church with her like his brothers and sisters had when "Mother McKinley" carried her brood to church as soon as they were old enough to toddle.

Nancy Allison McKinley was fond of all her five girls and four boys but she seemed to lean slightly to her husband's namesake. "William is going to be a preacher someday," she once said proudly. But when William became United States President instead it was all right with her. He would conduct himself befitting to the Christian gentlemen she had raised, whether he is preacher or President.

When President McKinley took the oath of office as president of the United States, he placed his lips on these words: "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, that is so great". Though advanced to the highest honor possible, yet he was deeply conscious of his responsibility; and also felt his need of divine assistance.

William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States. Under his leadership the United States became a world power. McKinley was one of the most honest, gentle, kind, and considerate of men.

When President McKinley's mother became ill the winter of 1897, he had her home in Canton connected with the White House by special wire. And he kept a train standing by under full steam 24 hours a day. One night when mother McKinley called for William attendants wired. "Mr. President, we think you had better come." The answer flashed back. "Tell Mother I'll be there."

On Sunday afternoon, December 12,1897, Nancy McKinley breathed her last in the arms of her 54 year-old son. For fully an hour after she died he didn't move from her bedside.

Less than four years later, while making a speech in Buffalo, McKinley was cut down, by a bullet from the gun of an anarchist. With no bitterness even for his assassin the dying President said, "God's will be done." Then he called for a hymn his mother had taught him: "Nearer, My God, To Thee." His body was brought back to Canton and laid to rest beside his mother. Hymn-writer Charles M. Fillmore wrote a song that was inspired by William McKinley's telegram.


When I was but a child how well I recollect,
How I would grieve my mother with my folly and neglect;
And now that she has gone to Heaven I miss her tender care,
O Saviour, tell my mother I'll be there.

One day a message came to me, it bade me quickly come,
If I would see my mother ere the Saviour took her home;
I promised her before she died, for Heaven to prepare;
O Saviour, tell my mother I'll be there.

Tell mother I'll be there, in answer to her prayer,
This message, Blessed Saviour, to her bear!
Tell mother Iíll be there, Heavenís joys with her to share,
Yes, tell my darling mother Iíll be there.