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President William McKinley statue.
President William McKinley statue.

McKinley and the Flag, Tribute from Knifetown

Field review by the editors.

Walden, New York

As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, years before he became President, William McKinley crafted the McKinley Tariff Bill, which made it more expensive to buy items manufactured overseas. The resulting price inflation helped send the economy into a tailspin, but it was very profitable for the stockholders of companies that made things in America, like the knife factories of Walden, New York, which was known as "Knifetown."

President Grover Cleveland oversaw the lowering of the tariff, but after McKinley became President he boosted it even higher than it had been before.

After McKinley had been assassinated in 1901, Col. Thomas W. Bradley, president of the U.S. Knife Company and a McKinley pal, left money in his will to erect a monument to McKinley. It was unveiled on May 30, 1924 -- a statue of McKinley clutching a pole with a big American flag, stuck in the heart of Knifetown. "Erected by the working men of Walden" is inscribed on its base.

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McKinley and the Flag, Tribute from Knifetown

1 Orange Ave., Walden, NY
Downtown, at the corner of Orange Ave./Hwy 208 and E. Main St./Hwy 52.
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