From the Sept. 27, 1897, edition.
The laying of the corner stone of the new memorial and public building at Adams was an event for the "south village" that has not been equaled in its history. It was also an event for the northend, for hundreds from this city went down to attend the exercises.
The stone was laid by President McKinley, and the exercises were of unusual interest. The president arrived from Lenox early in the afternoon and went to the home of Mr. Plunkett. The hour for the laying of the corner stone was set for 4 o'clock, and punctually the president was on land. He was escorted to the site of the new building by a delegation of the Grand Army and by Company M. Lafayette band furnished music.
The president drove to the site in Mr. Plunkett's carriage. He was received with cheers when he alighted to ascend the platform. Commander Mole of Sayles Post was master of ceremonies. The exercise were begun by the bans rendering a selection, which was followed by prayer by Chaplain Streeter. After the prayer Dr. C. W. Barton made an address for the trustees of the library and F.W. Spalding spoke for the Grand Army. Then came the exercises of laying the stone. President McKinley stepped from the platform to the level of the stone and the laying simply consisted of the placing of the copper box in the stone, the lowering of the stone into place and the drawing of the silver towel over the cement by the president. When the president resumed his seal on the platform the crowd of 5,000 people cheered so long and loudly that he was compelled to make a short address. The president spoke as follows:
"Mr. Commander, my comrades and fellow-citizens: It has given me very great pleasure to participate with the citizens of Adams in this memorial service, a service which will ever be remembered by the people of this town, because it is intended to perpetuate patriots and is their testimony to patriotic devotion. You have authorized by the erection of this statue that you may commemorate the services and sacrifices of the brave men who went out from this community more than 30 years ago, willing to give all they had and the best they had that the Union might be preserved and the flag continue to float in honor. Every memorial building erected to the soldiers of the war is a monument to duty well done and is a lesson in patriotism to the generations that are to follow. I rejoice with you today that the men for whom this monument is to be builded, did not die in vain; that the Union for which they fought and for which they fell is stronger, grandor and more enduring than ever in the past, and it is with you-with the living and those who are to come after-it is with them to carry forward this great government and lift it to still greater achievements and glory. I thank you and bid you good afternoon."
The exercises were concluded by the playing of "America" by the band and benediction by Rev. O. I. Darling, pastor Universalist church. The president drove immediately to the Plunkett residence where he remained for the rest of the day.
Suddenly the president attended the Congregational church. The Misses McKinley attended also. Miss Mabel McKinley sang a solo which was excellently rendered. The solo was "Come ye disconsolate," a familiar hymn. A quartet consisting of Messrs. Fisher, Carnes, Goodnow and Meekens of this city rendered other selections. The music was very fine and was in charge of Casbier Coenan, who was at the organ. The sermon was preached by Rev. A. B. Penniman, pastor of the church. It was on the theme of "The Gospel." The clergy advocated the gospel as the fundamental thing in social and individual reform. The sermon was a very strong one and was spoken highly of by the president.
The Sunday school exercises that followed were of much interest. They were attended by the president and the Misses McKinely, who was seated on the platform. The school room was decorated with flags and flowers. W. B. Plunkett, superintendent of the school, presided. After the regular preliminaries, Mr. Plunkett said he knew how much the president liked little children, but he had forbidden him speaking to them. He was sure, though, that if the little ones came upon the platform that the president would be very glad to shake hands with them and be glad to have them sing him a song afterward.
Immediately a stream of little ones began to follow past the president on the platform, and he was kept very busy shaking hands for several minutes. Some of the little folks did not know whether to trust themselves in his care and others were in very much of a hurry to get near him. Some were so small as not to be able to fully understand what they went upon the platform for, and would walk past the president without paying attention to him. These he arrested and shook their hands. When the hand-shaking was over the children gathered in a class and sang for the president's entertainment, "We are little children, very young, indeed." They sang their song so heartily that every one was pleased and the president evidently had much enjoyment in it. The exercises closed with the singing of "America." The president said that he had enjoyed all of the services very much, and took occasion to say to Rev. Mr. Penniman that he had preached a good sermon. The president was driven back to the Plunkett residence, where he remained the rest of the day with the exception of the time he took a short afternoon drive.
Attorney General and Miss McKenna attended the forenoon mass at St. Thomas church. A two-weeks' mission conducted by Paulist priests was being conducted at that church yesterday, and the sermon was preached by Rev. T. J. Cullen of New York. The sermon was on "Prayer." The preacher spoke of the benefits of prayer in the home and the external life. The attorney general was so well pleased with the sermon that he inquired of Rev. D. C. Moran, pastor of the church, who the preacher was and later congratulated Rev. Mr. Cullen. The attorney general and Miss McKenna accepted the invitation of Rev. D. C. Moran to take luncheon with him at the parsonage after mass. Those who were at the luncheon with the attorney general and Miss McKenna were Revs. D. C. Moran, H.M. Wyman of San Francisco, T. J. Cullen, and M. J. Coyne and Joseph McGrath of Adams.
The president postponed his visit to Williamstown till tomorrow. He wants to get all the rest he can and the opportunity at Adams is excellent for that. Besides Mrs. McKinley is not very well this morning. She is slightly indisposed from a slight cold.
This forenoon the president, Miss Mabel McKinley and W.B. Plunkett went out for a ride behind Mr. Plunkett's blacks and the Misses McKinely and Mrs. W. B. Plunkett enjoyed the ride also. The young women went later to Forest Park and amused themselves bicycle riding. The young ladies went out riding this afternoon with Mrs. C. T. Plunkett.
The president will not return to Washington until Wednesday.
While out driving this morning a slight accident happened to the team driven by the president and party. On Summer Street the collar strap of one of the horses broke letting down the collar. The other horse became frightened and showed a disposition to run but was promptly checked by the driver. Mr. McKinley stepped out, another carriage was sent for to the Plunkett residence and the drive was continued.