Located on a triangular piece of land on East South Street, McKinley Park sits at the edge of the historic residential area in Jackson, Ohio. The park is one of several located in Jackson, and despite its small size, the park took 111 years to complete. After the assassination of native Ohioan President William McKinley in Buffalo, New York in 1901, the city of Jackson chose to dedicate a new park in his honor. A small schoolhouse sat on the park's current location in the 1800s, but the small strip of land was vacant by 1901. In 1902, a commission was appointed to oversee the establishment of the park. However, the project was abandoned, and the land set aside for the park was left empty. The park was not completed until 2012 and was dedicated in 2013.
Backstory and Context
Jackson has a long-standing history of public works projects. In line with the city's small-town patriotism for the state of Ohio and the nation, the park was commissioned in 1901 after President McKinley was assassinated. In 1902, a commission was assigned to oversee the development of the park, but the strip of land remained empty until 2012 when the local Garden Lovers Club took over the project. Local historian Robert Ervin, who has written several books on the history of Jackson County, has been credited with the idea of renewing work on the park. The park was dedicated on July 23, 2013.
William McKinley was born on January 29, 1848 in Niles, Ohio and served in the Union army in 1863. Prior to being elected president, McKinley served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and one term as the governor of Ohio. In 1896, McKinley was elected the 25th President of the United States and was re-elected in 1900. He was assassinated in 1901 in Buffalo, New York. McKinley's vice-president and successor was Theodore Roosevelt, a wealthy New Yorker, a self-made frontiersman, and a veteran of the Spanish-American war.
McKinley Park. Remarkable Ohio. . . http://www.remarkableohio.org/index.php?/category/1636.
Keller, Steven P. Jackson's McKinley Park Dedicated Thursday. The Telegram. . . http://www.thetelegramnews.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=142&ArticleID=23511.
Our Town: Jackson. United States of America. WOUB Public Media, 2017. DVD.