The Monument to McKinley – Reading, PA (1906)

The 1901 assassination of William McKinley at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY shocked the nation.

This was a time of optimism in American politics; the end of the Spanish-American War had made the nation an imperial power and demonstrated her increasing industrial growth.

McKinley was the third American President to be assassinated, and his death occurred only twenty years after the assassination of Garfield in 1881.

Memorials to McKinley were raised in prosperous cities across the country, and the thriving city of Reading, PA was no exception.

Edward L.A. Pausch, a Danish sculptor who had made the death mask of McKinley, was hired to design a monumental sculpture for Penns Commons, now Reading City Park.

The massive statue, which cost $10,000 (almost $250,000 in contemporary dollars), was dedicated in 1905.

In 1906, Sallie sent a postcard photograph of the McKinley Monument to Mrs. Theodore Schweitzer.

Mrs. Schweitzer received her mail at “Hummels Store”, PA.

Hummels Store was a small populated place in southern Berks County, between Knaurs and Plowville.

Unfortunately, there is no record of a Post Office at that location.

Until 1913, there was a post office at “Hummels Store” in Mercer County, PA.

I cannot determine if there was a Post Office at Hummels Store in Berks County that somehow was omitted from historical post offices, or if Mrs. Schweitzer lived in Mercer County – in western Pennsylvania.

The postcard photograph, published by A. C. Bosselman & Co. of New York, was printed in Germany.


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