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Stark11: 11 Facts About President McKinley You May Not Know Blog RSS

Stark11: 11 Facts About President McKinley You May Not Know

February 2021 - Even if you are a history guru, here are 11 facts about President McKinley that you may not have known!

In honor of our 25th President, visitors to the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum are in for a wonderful experience that includes an interactive, hand-on science center, a presidential museum, a historical library, planetarium and more. We also invite you to experience the solemn memorial to our martyred president, the McKinley National Memorial.  


  1. As a boy, William McKinley enjoyed ice skating, marbles, shooting his bow and arrows, and swimming.
  2. William McKinley was the seventh of nine children born to William McKinley Sr. and Nancy Allison McKinley
  3. William McKinley attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania for a short time before becoming ill and returning home. He never did finish his studies there, but was given an honorary degree when he returned to give a speech as Governor of Ohio.
  4. McKinley taught in a one room schoolhouse, earning $25 per month.
  5. During the Civil War William McKinley fought at the Battle of Antietam. During the battle he drove a wagon full of supplies, including coffee, to the front line. Later during his political career his opponents referred to him as “Coffee Bill.”
  6. McKinley could remember names and faces even after meeting someone for a very brief moment.
  7. William McKinley once spilled a tray of strawberry ice cream on Ida Saxton, who was wearing a white dress. Never-the-less they still got married on January 25, 1871.
  8. McKinley became president of the YMCA in 1868, and in 1869 secured a rent free space for the YMCA in the First National Bank Building.
  9. William McKinley had a pet double yellow-headed Amazon parrot named Washington Post.
  10. Following the Spanish American War, William McKinley’s administration began negotiations for a canal through the Isthmus of Panama.
  11. After William McKinley’s assassination, Ohio made his favorite flower, the scarlet carnation, the official state flower.

Want to learn more about President McKinley? Check out Chris Kenney's book "The McKinley Years: The Life and TImes of our 25th President" available at the Museum Shoppe at the Museum.


Blog was originally wrote by Christopher Kenney in January 2017 and was updated by Allyson Carlson, Director of Education and Membership in February 2021. 

McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

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The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is a hands-on interactive science center, Presidential museum and historical library that takes visitors on a scientific journey through the past, present, and future. The Museum includes the McKinley Gallery, the Street of Shops, the Keller Gallery, Discover World, the Hoover-Price Planetarium, Ramsayer Research Library and permanent exhibit, The Stark County Story. The McKinley National Memorial, burial site of President William McKinley and his family, is also on the Museum grounds. Plan your visit to the Museum today at mckinleymuseum.org.

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