Werts Receiving Vault

1919 7th St NW Canton

A Walk with The President/Werts Receiving Vault
William McKinley Presidential Museum & Library
Written By William McKinley Presidential Museum & Library

The McKinley Presidential Library includes the McKinley National Memorial, the final resting place of the President and his family, and a modern museum building. Inside you will find the McKinley Gallery, Street of Shops, Stark County Story, Keller Gallery, Discover World, Ramsayer Research Library, and the Hoover-Price Planetarium.

The Werts Receiving Vault is located in the southern part of the West Lawn Cemetery, west of the McKinley National Memorial. Enter the cemetery using the 7th Street gates, go to the top of the hill west of the gates and turn left. Follow that drive south until you see the Vault. The 7th Street gates are open from 8:00 am until dusk.

Cover Photo Courtesy of The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum.

While shaking hands at the Temple of Music at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, President McKinley was shot at point-blank range by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. At first, his doctors thought he was going to be all right, but after almost a week of steady improvement, he took a sudden turn for the worse. He died on September 14, 1901. After services locally at the First Methodist Church, the McKinley funeral hearse entered West Lawn from present day 4th Street NW. His body was placed in the Werts Receiving Vault, which had been built in 1893. The Canton Cemetery Association voted to construct the vault to provide a temporary entombment in the winter months when the ground was frozen. After its completion, Mrs. Frank M. Werts offered to pay for it in memory of her husband. An encampment of soldiers grew up on the cemetery grounds at the time McKinley’s body was placed in the vault. An honor guard was posted at the entrance of the Vault and stood watch 24 hours a day for the six years the President’s body was inside. Ida visited the Vault daily until her own death in May 1907. Hundreds of floral arrangements were placed outside the Vault from organizations and individuals from around the world. Beautiful memorials were sent to Ida from every corner of the globe, many of which are preserved today in the collection of the Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum.

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A Walk with The President

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