Born in 1843 in Niles, Ohio, William McKinley, Jr., grew up there,
enrolled and studied briefly at Allegheny College, served for four years
in the Union Army during the Civil War, and then served a year or so as
an apprentice in the office of a Poland, Ohio, judge. In fall 1866,
McKinley, age 25, came to Albany, one of the leading cities in the
United States at the time, to study the science of the law. At Albany
Law School, he attended lectures by its three faculty members and
studied closely the judicial decisions they cited. In spring 1867, he
completed his studies and graduated.
McKinley then returned to Ohio, settling in Canton. After admission
to the bar, he was in private law practice except for two years as
StarkCounty’s prosecuting attorney; he was defeated seeking reelection
to that office after one term. In 1876, McKinley, a Republican, was
elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was reelected numerous
times and served, with one brief interruption, until he was defeated in
1890. In 1891, he was elected Governor of Ohio, and he was reelected
in 1893. In 1896, after another brief period as a private citizen,
McKinley received the Republican Party’s nomination and was elected
President of the United States. He was, with running mate Theodore
Roosevelt, elected again in 1900. In September 1901, President McKinley
was assassinated in Buffalo, N.Y.
An excerpt from Professor John Q. Barrett, St. John’s University
School of Law, to his list-serve on a larger piece about the
intersection of Pres. Mcklinley and Justice Robert Jackson '12.