Aug 12

1901 McKinley Train


May 10, 1901

1901-mc-2.jpg5-10-01-mc.jpgTribune librarian Sharon Morem has uncovered a stack of old prints from our files. Some of them are from before the paper published photos but they were printed on our pages at a later date so that is good enough to include in the blog.

The election season is here, this is a photo of the only first President, to my knowledge, to have a public appearance in the county, William McKinley.
According to one website McKinley traveled more miles than any other president to his time. The steam engine pulled into town covered with red white and blue bunting and a photograph of the president on the front. The photo caption written on the negative says Santa Barbara; the newspaper says the train arrived at 7 p.m. in San Luis Obispo.
Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon (and Pat Pemberton reminds me George W. Bush) all visited the county before they were elected president.
Editor Benjamin Brooks pulled out all the stops with front-page stories the day of McKinley’s arrival and the day after. It was a significant commitment for the four-page paper though the event did not push the advertising off of the front page.
Sandercock’s express wagon toured San Luis Obispo picking up flowers for a reception at the posh Ramona Hotel near the corner of Johnson and Marsh Streets.
I won’t bore you with all the political blathering.
McKinley concluded with, “This nation was founded 124 years ago in conscience; it is our business to keep it in conscience, to preserve it for those who shall come after and pass it along to our successors as the beaconlight of civilization everywhere. I thank you and good bye. (Wild cheers and applause.)
Though no hard numbers were given the article said that people from all over the county found a reason to have business in the town this day and that the streets were jammed.He was the president William Randolph Hearst goaded into the Spanish-American War.
Four months after his visit to San Luis Obispo, while attending the Pan-American exposition in Buffalo N.Y., McKinley was shot by an anarchist and died 8 days after the shooting.patent-medecine.jpg
Some compare politicians to snake oil salesmen and there was no shortage of patent medicine advertising in the paper during this era. Often the ads were more interesting to look at than the news sections.
Dr. R.V. Pierce, coincidentally of Buffalo N.Y., had a standing advertisement in the early 1900’s with his Favorite Prescription, Golden Medical Discovery and Pleasant Pellets.
What do the pills do you ask?
Why they make women happy, old people strong, tranquilize nerves, build firm flesh instead of flabby fat.

“It prepares the womanly organism for maternity and makes the birth hour practically painless.”
“This great blood purifying medicine eliminates the poisons which cause the disease. It increases the activity of the blood-making glands, and so increases the purity and abundance of the blood supply, thus giving vigor and vitality to all organs of the body which depend for their health on plenty of pure blood.”

Constipation, indigestion, irritability, vertigo, womanly health, sick headache, rheumatism are no match for these magic pills.
Who needs a health care system when you have these wonder medicines?
They don’t make them anymore?

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  1. 1965 Last Mail Train