William I. Buchanan

William Insco Buchanan was Director General of the Pan American Exposition, credited with the Pan-Am's construction, operation, and dismantling..

When Buffalo leaders, led by John G. Milburn, planned an exposition with a Latin American theme, they needed someone who knew the South American countries well, as well as the temperament of its citizens. That someone was Buchanan, known as the "Diplomat of the Americas." He served as Presidents McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt's chief troubleshooter during fifteen years in over ten cases of diplomatic disputes among the South American countries, especially Argentina and Chile.

His further qualifications for overseeing the Pan Am Expo of 1901 included organizing a theater, an opera house, and the Sioux City, Iowa, corn palace expositions of 1882. This led to his appointment as overseer of the World's Colombian exposition of 1893.

For six years he resumed his diplomatic career, but just as the establishment of Panama was his chief diplomatic victory, so was his direction of the Buffalo Pan American Exposition his greatest directorial success.

Born in rural Ohio, Buchanan followed lucrative business opportunities, settling finally in the turn-of-the-century prosperous Buffalo, which he considered home. He married the former Lulu Williams.

He lived his last years on Gates Circle, only a block from his burial site in Forest Lawn. Mr. Buchanan died suddenly while on business in London on October 16, 1909. He is buried with his son, Donald I. Buchanan. his grave site is in Section H, Lot 29.

-- Source: "Buchanan, Director of Pan American Exposition, is Forest lawn Tenant," by Marius Risley. Pub. in the Winter 2000 edition of Forest Lawn Cemetery newsletter, "The Gate."

See also: Pan American Exposition

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