And yet, lest some of my young readers may be inclined to think that William McKinley, the boy, was too goody-goody to suit them, let me add that such was far from being the case. He came from hard-working and fighting stock, and lived in a community where disputes were often settled with the fists. As a small boy, those who still remember him say he was a sturdy little fellow, not very tall, but broad of shoulder, and one who did not hesitate to take his own part if imposed upon. There is no recollection of his having sought a quarrel, but a number of stories are told of his having been in them and come off the victor. But in the majority of cases William tried to act the peacemaker, just as he often acted the peacemaker in later life.
In his boyhood days William McKinley loved to fish, and the story is told that he was very patient and would wait for hours for a bite, sitting on the old wooden bridge which spanned a nearby stream. Once he sat there until dark, and when he got home his mother wanted to know where he had been.