My sister, Juanita "Nita" Biffle, has enclosed Pop's violin in a glass-top table, along with other objects, similar to the image at the top of this page. An appraiser thought the violin was made in Germany sometime in mid to late 19th century.
The violin was passed down to Pop from his father, William Alpheus "Pa-Pa" McKinley, born June 16, 1856, died June 7, 1929. Pa-Pa, who had a beautiful and melodious voice, belonged to the Powellton Methodist Church in Powellton, Georgia where he played the violin and led singing in church and in camp meetings.
In addition to the violin, Pop played the piano by ear ... never had a music lesson in his life. During the last few weeks of his life, his mental confusion was so bad that, most of the time, he did not know anyone or even know where he was. Also, he had not played the piano in a very long time. But when Nita and Beyer (the oldest son) visited him at the nursing home, the three of them walked down the hall to the reception area where there was a piano. Beyer asked Pop to play the piano but, knowing the situation as she did, Nita thought "No way!" To her amazement, Pop sat down and played When I Take My Vacation In Heaven without missing a note. Two weeks later, Pop took his vacation in heaven. Truly, It Is No Secret what God can do! (Pop's favorite song)