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Ida Saxton McKinley

U.S. First Lady

Born: 8 June 1847
Died: 26 May 1907
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio
Best known as:

First Lady of the United States, 1897-1901

Ida Saxton McKinley was the wife of U.S. President William McKinley and served as First Lady from 1897 until her husband's assassination in 1901. From a well-to-do family, she began her relationship with McKinley while working in her father's bank in Canton, Ohio. The McKinleys married on 25 January 1871 and by the end of the year had their first child, Katherine (b. 25 December). But things weren't rosy for long: Ida's mother died in 1873 and their second child died in infancy that same year. Their child Katherine died in 1875, and Ida began having seizures (attributed to epilepsy) that would plague her for the rest of her life. The McKinleys were famously devoted to each other, and Ida kept up with her husband's political career despite being in ill health, performing the duties of hostess at the White House during his years as president. After her husband's assassination Ida McKinley returned to Canton and lived another six years, dying just as her husband's mausoleum was completed.

Extra credit:

Ida McKinley was First Lady of the United States from 4 March 1897 until 14 September 1901; in those days, presidents were inaugurated in March rather than January.

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