Groundbreaking!

1995.1.88

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO TODAY (September 9, 1915) ground was broken for the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial. Local authorities present at the groundbreaking included (from left) Chief Rounds, Director of Services Julius Cowdery, Clerk of Works Lindsay Watson, Mayor Bryon, Councilman Joby Price,and Superintendent Woods. According to the Niles Daily News of September 10, 1915, no elaborate groundbreaking ceremony occurred. Members of the board of trustees had thought of having ceremony on Labor Day, but it was not possible. They also had thought of it being more ceremonious and more thoroughly photographed. Again this was not possible. Even Joseph G. Butler, entrepreneur and life-long friend of McKinley who first conceived of the notion of a Memorial to McKinley in his birthplace, could not be present. So it was not generally known that ground would be broken that day. The article further stated that ceremonies would occur at an unknown later date, dependent on the speed of the contractors. The contractors, the John H. Parker Co. were set to begin work the following Monday, September 13.

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