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William McKinley was born in Niles Ohio on Jan 29 1843 He taught school then served in the Civil War rising from the ranks to become a major McKinley opened a law office in Canton Ohio and in 1871 married Ida Saxton Elected to Congress in 1876 he served there until 1891 except for 188385 His faithful advocacy of business interests culminated in the passage of the highly protective McKinley Tariff of 1890 With the support of Mark Hanna a shrewd Cleveland businessman interested in safeguarding tariff protection McKinley became governor of Ohio in 1892 and Republican presidential candidate in 1896 The business community alarmed by the progressivism of William Jennings Bryan the Democratic candidate spent considerable money to assure McKinleys victoryThe chief event of McKinleys administration was the war with Spain which resulted in the United States acquisition of the Philippines and other islands Fast Fact Under William McKinley the Nation gained its first overseas possessions wwwmckinleylibohusmusemumbiographyhtmWilliam McKinley was the 25th president of the United States He was born on January 29 1843 in Niles Ohio a town of about 300 people at that time He was the 7th child born to William and Nancy Alison McKinley of Irish and Scotch descent His father leased an iron foundry in Niles William attended a one-room schoolhouse that stood on the site of this memorial The family moved to Poland Ohio when he was nine years old so that the children could attend a private school there called the Poland Academy In school William enjoyed reading debating and public speaking In fact he was the president of the schools first debate clubWhen he was 16 he attended Allegheny College in Meadville Pennsylvania for a short time before illness forced him to return home When he regained his health he did not return to Meadville because of the familys changed financial situation Instead he worked for awhile as a postal clerk When the Civil War broke out
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