Sunday, November 3, 1912

by Elizabeth

There was very little that caught my interest in the Daily Illini today. Congressman M’Kinley did take out a large advertisement there to promote his campaign, and since it does not fit my little journal, I will copy it out instead:

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS, November 1, 1912.


My parents brought me to Champaign fifty-four years ago. My father became the Presbyterian Minister here. Champaign then was a small village. Our income was very small; I was a poor boy. When I was sixteen years old I went to work in drug stores in Champaign and Springfield. Three years later I came to Champaign and worked as a clerk for my Uncle James B. McKinley. In a few years he made me a partner in his farm loan business. When I was 25 years old I installed the water works system in Champaign. I lost most of the money I had in this venture. In 1890 I bought the Horse Car Line between Champaign and Urbana and changed it to electricity. It was one of the first electric lines in the United States. On account of the undeveloped state of electrical appartus [sic] we had much trouble in keeping our cars going. People said that the new system was not the thing and we would lose our money. I knew it would succeed.

I sold the street car line and electric light business here in 1892 and bought it back in 1899. When I bought back the property the price of gas was $1.50 per thousand cubic feet. I have reduced the price of gas to $1.00 and the price of electricity to the merchants of Champaign and Urbana from fifteen cents per Kilowatt hour to six cents per Kilowatt hour.

In 1903 I became interested in building interurban roads. I have built 600 miles of interurban roads in Illinois, and have induced my associates to put into these roads $20,000,000.00. I think that this is a good thing for Champaign County and for the State of Illinois.

In 1904 I was elected to Congress. I have tried to vote for all of the bills that have been beneficial to the people of my district. I have been in Washington long enough to know how to do things for my people. I know I can accomplish more for my people in Washington than a new man could.

In my campaign this fall I have slandered no one. I have called my opponents no hard names—said nothing against their characters. I requested the speakers who spoke in my behalf to follow this same practice.

I have been vilified and misrepresented beyond measure by the speakers of the Progressive Party, who have tried to make this a campaign of personalities rather than one of principles.

The people of Champaign County know me. I stand on my record.

I will appreciate their votes.

Sincerely yours,

Wm. B. McKinley