Jump to content

Ida Saxton McKinley

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ida McKinley
First Lady of the United States
In role
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
PresidentWilliam McKinley
Preceded byFrances Folsom Cleveland Preston
Succeeded byEdith Roosevelt
Personal details
Born(1847-06-08)June 8, 1847
Canton, Ohio
DiedMay 26, 1907(1907-05-26) (aged 59)
Canton, Ohio
Spouse(s)William McKinley
ChildrenKatherine, Ida
Occupation25th First Lady of the United States

Ida Saxton McKinley (June 8, 1847 – May 26, 1907), wife of William McKinley, was First Lady of the United States from 1897 to 1901.

Early life

[change | change source]

Ida Saxton was born on June 8, 1847 in Canton, Ohio. Her father was James A. Saxton, who was a rich banker. Her mother was Katherine "Kate" Saxton (neé DeWalt). She was the oldest child in her family. She had a younger sister named Mary and a younger brother named George. The Saxton family believed that women should have a good education.[1] Ida Saxton went to many boarding schools. The last school she went to was Brook Hall Seminary and she graduated in 1868. After their schooling, Ida and Mary went to Europe on a tour.[2]

Marriage & family

[change | change source]

She started to work as a cashier in a bank. This was a very unusual job for a woman.[1] In 1867, Major William McKinley came to Canton to start his work as a lawyer. Ida and William McKinley came to know each other, and they fell in love. They married each other in 1871.[2] While her husband devoted time to his work and career, Ida devoted time to her home and husband.

She had a daughter on the Christmas Day of 1871. They named their daughter Katherine. She bore a second daughter in April 1873. Right before the daughter was born, Ida's mother died. At her funeral, Ida fell and badly hit her head.[2][3] The second daughter died in August. Their first daughter died in July 1875. By this time, Ida had become very weak.

In 1877, her husband has become a Congressman. He them became a governor of Ohio. He always paid his attention to his wife and cared for her. She spent most of her time in a small Victorian rocking chair. This chair was with her since her childhood.

The First Lady

[change | change source]

When they entered the White House, Ida’s health was very weak. She took the role of the First Lady, but while seated in a blue velvet chair. She sat by the side of her husband during official dinners. The President kept a careful watch on her condition. At that time, very few people know of her bad physical condition. Only in recent years, people came to know of her bad physical condition.

Just after his second term as the President of the United States, an assassin shot William McKinley. McKinley at that time also remembered his wife’s weak condition. He told his secretary: “My wife…be careful, how you tell her; oh, be careful.”

After her husband’s death, Ida Saxton McKinley returned to Canton. Her younger sister cared for her. She visited her husband’s grave almost daily. She died in 1907. She lies buried by the side of her husband and their two daughters in Canton’s McKinley Memorial Mausoleum.


[change | change source]
  1. 1.0 1.1 "Ida McKinley: Perseverance through Hardship". National Park Service. November 10, 2023. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "First Lady Biography: Ida McKinley". National First Ladies' Library. Archived from the original on December 27, 2023. Retrieved December 26, 2023.
  3. Swain, p. 203.

Other websites

[change | change source]