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M'KINLEY DEATH CHAMBER WILL SOON DISAPPEAR.

Buffalo Courier Express
Erie County, New York State
November 23, 1919

Milburn Mansion Becomes Apartment House in Next Few Days. Hundreds Visited it Yearly.

Material of Room Where President Died Being Preserved.

Buffalo will lose a cherished landmark within a few days when the Milburn house will be a sad fond memory of citizens who eighteen years ago the world joined in turning eyes and thoughts toward the spot where President William McKINLEY lay dying.

The John G. MILBURN home at No. 1168 Delaware Avenue became a national shrine when the stricken President was borne there from the Pan-American exposition grounds. Eminent surgeons hurried to the house and streets for blocks in each direction were roped off to keep the anxious public away. His Dying Words.

Today the Milburn mansion is being converted into an apartment house by its present owner, Mrs. P.M. SHANNON. Work has already been begun. The windows raised during the martyr's last hours on earth that he might admire the trees and shrubbery and sunlight have been converted into doors in the addition that is being built.

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President McKINLEY said in a faint whisper to his nurse, "Please raise the windows so that I may see the trees and plants, they are so beautiful. "Thank you; God's will be done," he whispered as the end came. American stood aghast as the news was flashed around the world. The Milburn home was hallowed by a sacred memory in the hearts of America. Hundreds of visitors every year have visited the house in memory of the martyred President.

Many Took Survivors. Leaves from the trees on the lawn have been carried away as souvenirs. Chips have been knocked from the steps leading into the house, twigs broken from the lilac bushes in the front garden and blades of grass plucked and tenderly folded in envelopes.

For eighteen years the rooms occupied by the President remained undisturbed. Now an addition that calls for converting the windows into doors has been started. The rear room, in which the dying President's bed stood, is being changed completely. Within a few days the entire place will have been converted, unless some historical preservation society takes steps to maintain the building intact as Buffalo's own.

The work is being done by the George W. Butler company, whose offices are in Ellicott square. Mr. BUTLER yesterday said that the wood and other material removed from the rooms is being carefully preserved and separated from the new material being used, but that the contract calls for improvements and repairs that will leave the original death chamber but a memory.

Garage Succeeds Barn. The lilac bushes on the lawn, which sheltered newspaper men as they sat day after day anxiously waiting bulletins from the sickroom, have been cut down to make room for the addition. The stately elms still stand, but the barn in the rear of the house where horses were kept harnessed to do service for the dying President, will give way to a garage. At the time of the tragedy automobiles were almost unknown and the President's body was removed from the house in a horse-drawn vehicle. Unless some historical society steps in within a few days the Milburn home as it was eighteen years ago and a landmark visited by thousands every year, will be no more. ***

-Submitted by Linda Schmidt

 

 

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