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Governor William McKinley

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Office Dates:  Jan 11, 1892 - Jan 13, 1896

Born:  Jan 29, 1843

Passed:  Sep 14, 1901

Birth State:  Ohio

Party:  Republican

Family:  Married Ida Saxton; two children

School(s):  Poland Academy; Allegheny College

National Office(s) Served:  Representative, President

Military Service:  Army

WILLIAM MCKINLEY, JR., the thirty-ninth governor of Ohio and the twenty-fifth president of the United States, was born in Niles, Ohio on January 29, 1843. His education was attained at Poland Academy and at Allegheny College. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in the Union Army, and rose to the rank of major by the time of his discharge in 1865. After the war, he resumed his education, studying law in Albany, New York. McKinley first entered public service in 1869, serving as the prosecuting attorney of Stark County, a position he held two years. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1877 to 1883, 1883 to 1884, and 1885 to 1891; and was a delegate to the 1884, 1888, and 1892 Republican National Conventions. McKinley next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor in the 1891 general election. He went on to win reelection to a second term in 1893. During his tenure, the tax system was improved; a railroad safety law was sanctioned; a state board of arbitration was established; and a coal miners' strike was dealt with. After leaving the governorship, McKinley won the 1896 presidential nomination. He then served as the twenty-fifth president of the United States. On September 6, 1901 President McKinley was attending the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, when Leon Czolgosz shot him twice. Eight days later he died from his wounds. President William McKinley, Jr. was buried in the McKinley Monument in Canton, Ohio.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

The Ohio Historical Center

The White House