Ida Saxton McKinley

Better known in 1901 as "Mrs. William McKinley" or "The First Lady," 60 year-old Ida Saxton McKinley had reason to remember Buffalo for the remaining 6 six years of her life. On September 6, while she was resting at the home of Exposition President Milburn on Delaware Avenue, her husband was shot by Leon Czolgosz shortly after 4 p.m. while shaking hands in the Temple of Music. He died 8 days later in the Milburn home, his wife at his side.

During the months prior to the Presidential visit to the Exposition, the newspapers followed the chronically "delicate health" of Mrs. McKinley because her husband, who loved her greatly and doted on her, would not make the trip unless she was in good health. At the last minute, she seemed well enough to accompany him.

The Board of Women Managers of the Exposition planned a special luncheon in her honor on September 5. She chose to return to the Milburn home without notifying the hosts who were left to discover this fact and communicate it to the 65 assembled guests in the Women's Building on the Exposition grounds.


After President McKinley died, the new widow accompanied his body to their home in Canton, Ohio and rarely left her home until her death 6 years later.

For more information, read the concise biography of Ida Saxton McKinley on the White House First Ladies page:







Back to Pan-American Women

Back to Documents & Stories

Back to Doing the Pan Home