Before he was President: Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889 and 1893-1897 sheriff
Grover Cleveland did not feel compelled to join the Union Army during the Civil War. Arguing that he need to stay behind and look after his mother and sisters, he paid a substitute solider to serve in his place. The price for substitution was $150.00.

While working in Buffalo, New York, his favorite dinner was a plate of pickled herring, Swiss cheese, chops, and a quart of beer served a local saloons. In 1863 Cleveland was 32 years old and received a well paying sheriff's position in Buffalo County, where he personally hanged two convicted murderers. He had the option to hire someone else to do the physical work of hanging the individual convicts, but both times chose to do the deed himself. Source

Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893 court decisions reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court, journalist
Harrison also had electricity installed in the White House for the first time by Edison General Electric Company, but he and his wife would not touch the light switches for fear of electrocution and would often go to sleep with the lights on.

William McKinley, 1897-1901 teacher, soldier
In 1861 McKinley had to drop out of college due to illness and shortage of money. He took a job at the post office and then a job as a teacher making $25.00 a month. However, he would go back to college after the Civil War and complete a law degree.

In June of 1861 he joined the Army. He was given a $400.00 signing bonus (over a year’s salary for him) and $13.00 a month as a private.

From 1869 to 1871 he was making $1,000.00 per year as a prosecuting attorney in Canton, Ohio. According to the Census he lived with his parents in 1870; he would move out in 1871 when he married Ida Saxton, who worked as the head teller at her father’s bank.

More stories: Duncan Hines   George Washington   Thomas Jefferson   Benjamin Franklin   James Garfield   Harry Truman   Henry Ford

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