Side A:One of seven native Ohioans to serve as president of the United States, William McKinley (1843-1901) was born at this site. The original house was moved from this site and ultimately destroyed by fire. The McKinleys lived here until 1852 when they moved to Poland, Ohio, where William attended the Poland Seminary. He briefly attended Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, but poor health and family financial strain forced him to return to Ohio. As an enlistee in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, McKinley rose to the rank of major. After the war, he settled in Canton and practiced law. Elected to Congress in 1876, McKinley favored high protective tariffs, a policy he continued to support as President.
Side B:As governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896, he introduced a comprehensive tax system that levied excise tax on corporations, improved state roadways, and enacted a law establishing a state board of arbitration. McKinley won the presidential election of 1896 convincingly. During his first term the nation was adopting imperialistic policies. The U.S. took possession of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Phillipines following the Spanish-American War (1898), and McKinley encouraged American interest in China and suggested the possibility of a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In part due to his economic policy and support of the gold standard, McKinley was elected to a second term. Six months after his inauguration in 1901, he was shot by an assassin at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. He died on September 14 from complications of the gunshot wounds.