Discussion of a Coffee Hero, William McKinley

May 03, 2018

Discussion of a Coffee Hero, William McKinley

People love heroes. When I read the hero definition from dictionary.com I think of the common fictional ones, superman, batman and of course people who risk their lives to help others during times of natural disaster, war, or heinous crimes. We’ve all seen these examples on the news, or video clips on social media.  Since Brewtoria is all about coffee, we thought it would be fitting to discuss some coffee heroes. Our nation’s 25th President, William McKinley became a “coffee hero” during the civil war garnering him the nickname “Coffee Bill.” 

Here’s the story, as told by Kim A. O’Donnell, from Civil War Times Magazine, August, 2016. “Somewhere amid the horror and bloodshed of Antietam, a small act of kindness was rendered that would be remembered decades later. The battle had begun before daylight, leaving harried soldiers no time for breakfast. By that afternoon, a 19-year-old commissary sergeant with Company E, 23rd Ohio Infantry, decided to see what he could do to ease the suffering. Exposing himself to fire, he organized a mobile field kitchen, along with several volunteers, to serve warm food and coffee to the men.

civil war cannon

That enterprising young man was William McKinley, who became the 25th president of the United States. Today a monument at Antietam commemorates McKinley’s battlefield service and includes a panel depicting him handing a cup of coffee to another soldier. As much as it is a memorial to the late president, it can also be seen as a monument to coffee, which was held in tremendous esteem during the war. Coffee was, after all, one of the few items in a soldier’s food ration that was both reliable and highly coveted.”

While McKinley dodged bullets in his quest to serve the thirsty and tired troups during the battle; other modern day coffee heroes are passionately serving coffee to their patrons.  In an earlier blog post, we featured Elizabeth Williams, from  Meridian Idaho’s Admiral Coffeehouse.  Elizabeth’s passion for customers and the coffee she prepares for them is hero status in my book.   Do you have a coffee hero?  We would love to hear about them.

 




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