Article Category: Funereal Friday

President McKinley Funeral Train Souvenir Coins

Posted Friday, Jun 19

The desire for souvenirs upon the part of the large crowds lined along the railroad tracks at every point was a distinctive feature of the McKinley funeral train, says the Pittsburgh Post.

The most popular of all the methods adopted was the placing of coins on the track so that the train might pass over them, smashing flat the pieces of money as a mark of identification in years to come. The practice was not confined to any particular point or crowd, but was indulged in generally all along the route.  The mutilated coins were afterwards gathered up by their owners and displayed with much pride.

At some stations, according to the train conductors, so many coins were placed on the rails that it caused a slight jar to the cars as they passed over them. Coins of different denominations aggregating at least several hundred dollars were strewn along the track at Union Station. Even these relic-hunters seemed to appreciate the occasion and surroundings, and instead of making a rush for their property as soon as the train had passed, waited until it was out of sight before picking up the crushed coins, and by common mute consent each was allowed to have his or her own without the least quibbling among them.

At Roup station a prominent and wealthy resident of Shadyside district placed a $10 gold piece upon the rail. The approach of the train started to shake it off, but it managed to remain long enough to have just a small portion of it nipped off as if done by a knife. The owner is quite a collector of souvenirs and oddities, and when he picked up his coin he stated it would occupy the most prominent and conspicuous place in his large collection.

The Leavenworth Weekly Times
Leavenworth, Kansas
October 3, 1901

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