Miller Center

American President

William McKinley (1843–1901)

Portrait of William McKinley

Facts at a Glance

25th President of the United States (1897–1901)
January 29, 1843, Niles, Ohio
“Idol of Ohio”
Allegheny College
January 25, 1871, to Ida Saxton (1847–1907)
Katherine (1871–1875), Ida (1873)
Political Party
The Tariff in the Days of Henry Clay and Since (1896)
September 14, 1901, Buffalo, New York
Canton, Ohio (adjacent to Westlawn Cemetery)
A Life in Brief
For a long time, William McKinley was considered a mediocre President, a chief executive who was controlled by his political cronies and who was pressured into war with Spain by the press. Recent historians have been kinder to McKinley, seeing him instead as a decisive President who put America on the road to world power. More »
War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed; peace is preferable to war in almost every contingency.
March 4, 1897

Essays on William McKinley and His Administration

William McKinley
A Life in Brief
Life Before the Presidency
Campaigns and Elections
Domestic Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Death of the President
Family Life
The American Franchise
Impact and Legacy
Key Events
First Lady
Ida McKinley
Vice President
Garret A. Hobart (1897–1899)
Theodore Roosevelt (1901)
Secretary of State
John Sherman (1897–1898)
John M. Hay (1898–1901)
William Day (1898–1898)
Secretary of War
Russell Alger (1897–1899)
Elihu Root (1899–1901)
Postmaster General
James A. Gary (1897–1898)
Charles Emory Smith (1898–1901)
Secretary of the Interior
Cornelius N. Bliss (1897–1899)
Ethan A. Hitchcock (1899–1901)
Secretary of the Treasury
Lyman J. Gage (1897–1901)
Attorney General
Joseph McKenna (1897–1898)
John W. Griggs (1898–1901)
Philander C. Knox (1901–1901)
Secretary of the Navy
John D. Long (1897–1901)
Secretary of Agriculture
James Wilson (1897–1901)

Consulting Editor: Lewis L. Gould

Professor Gould is the Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor Emeritus in American History at the University of Texas. His writings include:

The Modern American Presidency (University Press of Kansas, 2003)

The Spanish-American War and President McKinley (University Press of Kansas, 1982)

The Presidency of William McKinley (University Press of Kansas, 1981)