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William Mc Kinley, the twenty-fifth President of the United States, was born in Niles, Trumbull Country, Ohio, on Jan. His father, William Mc Kinley, Sr., came to Ohio from Pennsylvania.The family was Scotch-Irish, and the President's forefathers came to America 150 years ago.Authentic records trace the Mc Kinlays in Scotland back to 1547, and it has been claimed by those who have made a study of the President's lineage that James Mc Kinlay, "the trooper," was one of his ancestors.Major Mc Kinley, at a gathering of the Mc Kinlay Clan, an association embracing fully 300 people, at the Columbian World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, explained to one who claimed a common lineage with him, despite the difference in the spelling of their names, how the "a" in the name of his ancestors became an "e" in his.At that time he was a clerk in the Poland Post Office. At the close of a patriotic speech by an eloquent speaker a call was made for volunteers.
Mc Kinley was in charge of the commissary department of his brigade, and, necessarily, his post of duty was with the supplies, about two miles from where his famished comrades were battling with the enemy. Mc Kinley filled two wagons with cans containing hot coffee and other supplies, and hurried them to the front. Mc Kinley's hand every man in the regiment was served with hot coffee and warm meats, a thing which had never occurred under similar circumstances in any other army in the world. He was on the extreme right, and was soon attacked with such fury that he was obliged to fall back toward Winchester.He went with the recruits to Columbus and was there enlisted as a private in Company E of the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The life of a soldier was beneficial to young Mc Kinley's health.This regiment numbered among its field and staff officers William S. During the fourteen months he served as a private he developed from a slip of a boy to a robust young man.As Mc Kinley came back with the regiment he was cheered by the whole brigade. It was a most dangerous piece of work, gallantly accomplished. Soon after the battle of Fisher's Hill his regiment was detailed as a train guard to Martinsburg. Mc Kinley was with Sheridan at the battle of Winchester. It is a commission as a Major by brevet in the volunteer army of the United States, "for gallant and meritorious services at the battles of Opequan, Cedar Creek, and Fisher's Hill," signed, "A Lincoln." Major Mc Kinley participated in the final act of the great war drama, the Grand Review in Washington.The next day, July 25, 1864 at the age of twenty-one, Mc Kinley was promoted to be a Captain. At the close of the war, although a military career was open to him, he decided to leave the army.