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Posts Tagged ‘Leon Czolgosz’

McKinley Parkway is one of the Frederick Law Olmsted designed parkways.  The parkway system Olmsted designed allows the greenspace of the park system to radiate out into the neighborhoods.  McKinley Parkway runs from the main entrance of South Park past McKinley and McClellan Circles to Heacock Place.  During the 1890s, much of the land for the parkway was donated by residents of South Buffalo who wanted to have the benefit of having a parkway in front of their homes.  McKinley Parkway was often referred to as the Delaware Avenue of South Buffalo, as it was a street of stately homes occupied by prominent Buffalonians.  During the 1930s, a portion of McKinley was extended north across Abbott Road to connect to Bailey Avenue.  The parkway was originally known as South Side Parkway.  The name was changed in December 1915, to honor McKinley.  South Side Parkway’s name was selected as the street name to change because many residents about their mail delivery – residents living on South Park and South Side Parkway often got each others mail.  At this time, they also changed the name of Woodside Circle to McClellan circle, for a similar reason.  The traffic circle at McKinley and Dorrance Avenue is known as McKinley Circle, but was also originally known as South Side Circle.   When South Park Avenue was created from various South Buffalo Streets in 1939, they renamed a portion of the former South Park Avenue, reusing the Southside Parkway name.

Heacock Place – the start of the South Buffalo Olmsted Parks and Parks system and where McKinley Parkway originates

The South Buffalo Olmsted parks and parkways system was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  The system consists of the following:  Heacock Place, McKinley Parkway, McClellan Circle (formerly Woodside Circle), Red Jacket Parkway, Cazenovia Park, McKinley Circle and South Park.  The South Park-Cazenovia Parks and Parkways were created later than the Delaware Park-Front Park-Humboldt Park system.  Fillmore Parkway was originally designated to be a link between Humboldt Park (now Martin Luther King Jr Park) to South Park.  Olmsted originally proposed the plans for South Park in 1887.  South Park was built on a smaller scale than originally planned, as by 1893 when the park was approved by Common Council, industrial development had begun to take over the lakefront area originally designated for the park.  Planning for Cazenovia Park coincided with the development of South Park, and Olmsted planned for the South  Side Parkways to link the two parks.  Fillmore Avenue was partially laid out, but the full vision was never completed to connect the southern parks with the older parkway system in the northern part of town.

President McKinley on Cayuga Island, 1897.
Source: Niagara Gazette, March 26 1931, pg 8

President McKinley enjoyed world’s fairs, and referred to them as “the timekeepers of progress” and said that “they record the world’s advancement”.  He attended the Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta in 1895.  He was involved in the Pan American Exposition as well.  He came to Western New York to celebrate the choice of Cayuga Island in Niagara Falls as an exposition location in 1897.  This fair was to happen in 1899 but was pushed back by a few years due to the Spanish-American War.  After a selection committee examined a slate of 20 different potential fair locations,  the Pan American Exposition committee selected Mr. Rumsey’s land in North Buffalo.

The original Cayuga Island plan for the Pan American Exposition of 1898

The McKinleys had hoped to be in town for the Pan American’s opening day in May of 1901, but Mrs. McKinley fell ill.  The President sent Vice President Theodore Roosevelt in his place.  Vice President Roosevelt talked to the President about how impressed he was with fair and particularly the electric tower, increasing President McKinley’s desire to come to see it for himself.  On September 4th, the McKinleys made it to Buffalo.  The following is a link to Thomas Edison footage of McKinley’s speech at the Exposition.

The gun that shot McKinley, in the collection of the Buffalo History Museum

The rest, as they say, is history.  On September 6, 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot President William McKinley.  President McKinley held on for a few days, but died on the 14th.  Vice President Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated as President at the Wilcox Mansion on Delaware Avenue here in Buffalo.  Following the closure of the Pan American Exposition, the fair was torn down and the land was subdivided for residential development.  The location where McKinley was shot is marked by a boulder with a plaque on it on one of these residential streets.

Front page of the Buffalo Courier following McKinley’s shooting.
From the Collection of the Newseum in Washington, DC

McKinley Monument in Niagara Square

The McKinley monument in Niagara Square was dedicated in 1907.  Daniel Burnham was called in to Buffalo to consult about the design of the monument.  The monument was designed by Carrere and Hastings, who also designed the Pan American Exposition and had worked with Daniel Burnham on the Chicago Exposition in 1893.   The sleeping lion and turtles sculptures were designed by A. Phimister Proctor.  The lions represent strength and the turtles represent eternal life.

The McKinley Monument was restored this summer, the monument’s first full restoration in 110 years.  The work was coordinated by the City of Buffalo, Buffalo Arts Commission and Flynn Battaglia Architects.  The monument should be completed on September 6, 2017, the 116th anniversary of McKinley’s shooting.

Want to learn about other streets?  Check out the street index here.

 

Sources:

  1. “Change Street Names to Avoid Confusion”.  Buffalo Courier.  December 19, 1915, pg. 82.
  2. Goldman, Mark.  City on the Edge.  Amherst:  Prometheus Books.  2007.
  3. Kowski, Francis, et.a.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, 1981.
  4. Sommer, Mark.  First Restoration of McKinley Monument in 110 Years Begins.  Buffalo News.  June 12, 2017.
  5. Williams, Deirdre.  City Hallways (August 31):  Rehab work at McKinley Monument wrapping up.  Buffalo News.  August 31, 2017.
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titusgoodyearkoonsTitus Avenue is a street running between Broadway and Walden in the Emerson Neighborhood of the East Side of Buffalo. The street was named for Judge Robert Titus.  Judge Titus went into a partnership with Charles Goodyear, Frank Goodyear, Edward Koons and Henry Koons to subdivide and develop the land on these streets.  You can read about the Goodyear brothers by clicking here.

Robert Cyrus Titus was born in Eden, New York  in October 1839.  His parents came from Otsego County, New York to the “far west”, as the Holland Purchasewas called in 1817.  At the time, there were no roads through the countryside surrounding the small Village of Buffalo.  Guideposts along the way were blazed trees along the lines most frequently traveled by the occasional settler.  By 1831, they had plowed fields and built a house with a large fireplace and dutch oven.  In this house, Robert Titus grew up, the youngest of six siblings.

judgetitusRobert Titus was educated in a one-room school-house and then attended Oberlin College.  He taught school during the winter term to help finance his own education.  He studied law and set up a practice with Horace Boies in Hamburg, New York.  He opened a practice in Hamburg, New York.  In 1863, Mr. Titus organized a company, which became part of the 98th Regiment of the National Guard of New York State.  The regiment was in service from August 10, 1864 to December 22, 1864.  After he returned home, he was admitted to the bar.  Shortly thereafter  he was appointed Special Deputy Clerk of Erie County and held the office until 1864.  In 1867, he was a candidate for the New York State Assembly, but was defeated.  His first public office was Supervisor of Hamburg from 1868-1871.

In 1873, Mr. Titus moved to Buffalo with his wife Arvilla  to enter into a partnership with Joel Walker.  In 1878, he was elected district attorney.  In 1879, Mr. Titus was made a partner in the firm of Osgoodby, Titus & Moot and practiced with them until 1883, when he formed a partnership with B.S. Farrington.   In 1881   he went to Albany as a State Senator.  During his term in Albany, there was a great opposition to the Erie Canal, however Robert was a strong supporter to keeping the canal open.

In 1885, Mr. Titus was elected Judge of the Superior Court of Buffalo.   He was made Chief Judge in 1891.  When the Court was abolished in 1895, the judges were transferred to the New York Supreme Court.

An Artist's Depiction of President McKinley's Assassination.

An Artist’s Depiction of President McKinley’s Assassination.

Robert Titus was considered to be one of the state’s leading trial lawyers before he ascended to the bench. He was chosen by the state Bar Association to defend  President William McKinley’s assassin in 1901.  The trial of Czolgosz was notorious for how quickly it was completed.  President McKinley died on Saturday, September 14th, Czolgosz was indicted on Monday September 16th.    The jury for the trial was selected in two hours and twelve minutes.  The trial began on September 23rd, as soon as the final juror was named.  By the following afternoon, it was over.  Judge Titus had been in Milwaukee attending a masonic convention when he heard he was assigned to the case.

While the judges were highly respected, neither he nor his partner on the case, Judge Loran Lewis, had worked as a trial lawyer in years.  Judge Titus and Judge Lewis had not wanted to represent the assassin; however, they took the side of justice to ensure that he was given a fair trial.  The public outrage over the murder of the President was demanding a speedy trial and at the time, there was fear that it might not be a fair one.  It was a credit to the both of theirs honor that they ensured that Czolgosz was dignified with a fair trial and not disposed of by “lynch or mob law”.  Czolgosz assisted with the trial’s speed by refusing to cooperating with his legal counsel.  Czolgosz tried to enter a plea of guilty; however, due to the magnitude of the trail, he was not allowed. The jury took only 30 minutes to determine that Czolgosz was guilty and he was sentenced to death on September 26th.   One month later, Czolgosz was electrocuted in Auburn Prison.

Judge Titus' House on Columbus Parkway

Judge Titus lived on Seventh Street.  The portion of 7th Seventh Street on which he lived later became Columbus Parkway.  Mr. Titus died on April 28, 1918 at the age of 79.  He was survived by his son, Lieutenant Allan S. Titus, and daughter, Amy Titus Worthington.  Judge Titus is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Hamburg, New York.

Don’t forget to check out the Street Index to find out about other streets!

Sources:

  1. Contemporary American Biography:  Biographical Sketches of Representative Men of the Day.  Volume 1, Part 2.  Atlantic Publishing and Engraving Co:  New York, 1895.
  2. Lord, Walter.  The Good Years:  From 1900 to the First World War.  Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007.
  3. Our County and its people:  A descriptive work on Erie County, New York.  Edited by: Truman C. White.  The Boston History Company, 1898
  4. Miller, Scott.  The President and the Assassin.  Random House Publishing Group:  New York, 2011.
  5. “Assassin Czolgosz Refuses to Plead:  His Lawyer Enters a Provisional Plea of Not Guilty”.  New York Times, September 18, 1901.
  6. Obituary of the Honorable Robert C. Titus.  Buffalo Morning Express, Sunday April 28, 1918.

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