William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, in 1843. He served in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War attaining the rank of Captain and Brevet Major, originally enlisting as a private in 1861. His legal training was taken at Albany Law School in New York State, and his primary law practice later in life was located in Canton, Ohio. In 1869 he became the Prosecuting Attorney in Stark County, and gained the Republican nomination for a seat in Congress in 1876. He was successful in the general election and served for three terms before being defeated in a bid for reelection in 1891. During his terms in the Congress, McKinley was instrumental in securing the passage of the Tariff Act of 1890. Returning to Ohio, he received the support of Marcus Alonzo Hanna and the Ohio Democratic party in a bid for the Governorship of the State. He was elected Governor in 1891. In 1896 McKinley was elected to the office of President of the United States. He had faced off against William Jennings Bryan for the post and faced him again in the election of 1900. He gained re-election in that race only to be struck down by an assassin's bullet in 1901 in Buffalo, New York, where he was attending the Pan-American Exposition. During his term of service, McKinley saw the nation through the Spanish-American War and the American ascendancy to a position of world prominence. McKinley also presided over the annexation of Hawaii and supported the Open Door Policy in China.
Fauley was a student of Bourguereau and Blanc in Paris. He was also a teacher at the Columbus Art School for many years. Fauley was a very accomplished portraitist who traveled and painted with Alice Schille in Europe for many years.