East Liverpool Historical Society

History of Columbiana County, Ohio - Harold B. Barth, Chapter XXIV, MISCELLANEOUS, Historical Publishing Company 1926

Initial Tribute to Martyred Garfield.

East Liverpool residents have the distinction of being the first people of his native state to greet officially as a community the remains of the martyred President James A. Garfield as they, following his succumbing to an assassin’s bullet at Elbernon, N. J., passed through the city en route to Cleveland for subsequent burial on Saturday morning, Sept. 24, 1881.

Arches had been hurriedly constructed over the C. & P. railway tracks at the foot of Broadway, Walnut and Union streets under which the train passed. Ropes were stretched at certain points to keep the crowds back. Country people began to arrive in the city at daylight in order to witness the passing of the cortege. School children, led by Haines’ band, marched to the railway. Crowds lined the way from the Flint mill in the East End to Jethro. More than 8,000 persons, it is estimated, were out to view the spectacle. Just as the train left Smith Ferry, Pa., a telegram was sent to the East Liverpool office apprizing it of the fact. The people thus caught a view of the engine as it turned the curve near Thompson’s pottery. Heads were bared, women wept, the band played a dirge. The engineer, Thomas Carlisle, slowed down so that the people could see through the window the white flowers that had been ordered placed over the catafalque after they had been sent by Queen Victoria of England.

The train had three special cars. On, “The Paris” was occupied by Generals W. T. Sherman, Phillip H. Sheridan and Meigs and Col. Henry Corbin; “The Gallitzin” contained Secretary of State James G. Blaine and the other members of the cabinet with their families and the third, “No. 120,” President Roberts’, of the Pennsylvania Railway, own car, by Mrs. Garfield and her family.


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