President McKinley in Adams

William McKinley was a friend of the Plunkett family who owned the Berkshire Cotton Mfg. Co, better known as the Berkshire Mills. During his presidency from 1897 to 1901 he supported legislation and tariffs which were favorable to the cotton industry in the U.S., and which helped make the Berkshire Cotton Mfg. Co. mill complex in Adams one of the largest in the country.

McKinley visited Adams on 3 occasions during his presidency, and much fanfare and celebration was dedicated to these visits to the town. The photo reproductions give a rare glimpse of Adams decked out in red, white and blue flags and buntings for these presidential visits.

Unfortunately, McKinley's second term, which had begun auspiciously, came to a tragic end in September 1901. He was standing in a receiving line at the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition when a deranged anarchist shot him twice. He died eight days later.

Shortly after his death, Adams commissioned a well known sculptor, Augustus Lukeman, to create a statue to commemorate McKinley's kinship to Adams. Among his works are Manu, the Law Giver of India (Appellate Court) and the fountain in memory of Isidore and Ida Straus (both: New York City), and equestrian statues of Francis Asbury (Washington, D.C.) and Kit Carson (Trinidad, Colo.). In 1925 he took over the completion of the colossal sculptures on Stone Mt. in Georgia, started by Gutzon Borglum.

One of the largest events in Adams history was the October 10, 1903 unveiling ceremony of the McKinley statue at McKinley Square.

On Saturday October 11, 2003, one of numerous Columbus Day weekend "Celebrate Adams" activities was the 100th anniversary rededication ceremony of the McKinley Statue. The noon ceremony took place at the steps of the Adams Free Library on Park Street where the public witnessed a McKinley impersonator re-enact excerpts of historical speeches from President William McKinley's visits to Adams.


McKinley Square Re-dedication Ceremony