Source: New York Times
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Mrs. M’Kinley Dies in Canton Cottage”
City of publication: New York, New York
Date of publication: 27 May 1907
Volume number: 56
Issue number: 18020
|“Mrs. M’Kinley Dies in Canton Cottage.” New York Times 27 May 1907 v56n18020: p. 1.|
|Ida McKinley (death); Ida McKinley (personal history).|
|Mabel McKinley Baer; Marshall Barber; Mary C. Barber (Ida McKinley sister); E. O. Buxton; George B. Cortelyou; Ellen Barnes Day; Mary Schaefer Day; William R. Day; Sarah Elizabeth Duncan (McKinley sister); Charles W. Fairbanks; James R. Garfield; Joseph Jefferson; William Loeb; Abner McKinley; Helen McKinley; Ida McKinley; Ida McKinley (daughter); Katie McKinley; William McKinley; William C. Portmann; Presley M. Rixey; Theodore Roosevelt; Elihu Root; James A. Saxton; James Wilson.|
Mrs. M’Kinley Dies in Canton Cottage
Widow of the Assassinated President Passed Away Peacefully Yesterday
AN INVALID MANY YEARS
After the Death of Two Daughters Her Health Was Shattered—Devoted to Her Husband.
CANTON, Ohio, May 26.—Mrs. Ida McKinley, widow
of President William McKinley, died at 1:05 o’clock this afternoon at the famous
McKinley cottage here. The transition from life to death was so peaceful and
gradual that it was with difficulty that the physicians and attendants noted
when dissolution came. Mrs. McKinley did not know of the efforts made for days
to prolong her life.
Mrs. McKinley’s last words before she became unconscious showed that death would not be unwelcome. An attendant said to-night:
“Mrs. McKinley would say: ‘Why should I linger? Please God, if it is Thy will, why defer it?’ She would also say: ‘He is gone, and life is dark to me now.’ Other kindred expressions would fall from her lips.”
At the house when death came were Secretary of the Treasury Cortelyou, Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Barber, Mrs. Sarah Duncan, Mrs. Luther Day, Justice and Mrs. William R. Day, Drs. Portmann and Rixey, and the nurses.
“Mrs. McKinley lasted hours longer than we expected,” said the Secretary.
“Her vitality was wonderful,” said Dr. Portmann.
It was by Secretary Cortelyou that the announcement of death was given to the public. At this moment William McKinley Post and George D. Harter Post, G. A. R., were forming in line to march to the First Methodist Episcopal Church to listen to the annual memorial address, which was given by Dr. Buxton, Mrs. McKinley’s pastor.
Dr. Buxton will have charge of the funeral services, which are to be simple. They will be held at the McKinley home at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. Secretary Cortelyou is directing the arrangements, and will remain here till after the funeral. It was announced to-night that President Roosevelt and Secretary Loeb would arrive in Canton Wednesday morning to attend the services. Vice President Fairbanks, who was often a house guest of the McKinleys, is expected also to be here.
The body of Mrs. McKinley will be placed in the vault in Westlawn Cemetery which holds the body of her husband until the completion of the National mausoleum on Monument Hill.
From numerous friends Mrs. Barber this evening received telegrams of condolence on the death of her sister. Among them were messages from President Roosevelt and Mr. Fairbanks.
Life of Mrs. McKinley.
Mrs. McKinley’s life of almost 60 years has been
made familiar to the Nation. For twenty-five years she shared with her husband
the strain of a political life in spite of a physical weakness which would have
daunted any but a woman of the strongest character. To grow old together with
no lessening of affection was the ideal which William and Ida McKinley set before
themselves on the day of their marriage, and until the President was struck
down by the assassin it was carried out.
Mrs. McKinley was born in 1847, the daughter of James A. Saxton, a banker of Canton, Ohio. She was reared in a home of comfort and ease. After attending Canton school she was a pupil at a private school at Delhi, N. Y. Later she went to a Cleveland academy, and finished her education at Brook Hill Seminary, Media, Penn., where she spent three years.
She was the belle of her native town, but her father, believing that all girls should be taught to work, found her a place in the Stark County Bank, which he owned. There for some time she acted as cashier, and at times she had charge of that institution.
While she was so employed she fell in love with Major McKinley, a rising young lawyer. He was Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school and she taught in the Presbyterian Sunday school. It is said that one day as they came to the point when they must separate to go to their classes, he said:
“I don’t like these partings. I think we ought not to part after this.”
“So do I,” she replied.
They were married in 1870, and on Christmas Day, 1871, a daughter, Katie, was born to them. Thirteen months later a second child, Ida, was born, but in a few weeks she fell ill and died. Katie only survived six months longer, and from the double loss Mrs. McKinley never recovered. Her health was shattered, and although the doctors could not name her illness, she was never again a strong woman. She never again walked without assistance.
Shared Her Husband’s Career.
Yet when her husband was drawn toward political
life, she never stood in his way. She shared all his ambitions and believed
in his future, helped to entertain all his friends, and did much by her social
charm to smooth his way for him. Only she insisted that they must never be parted
for long. For this she gave up her home life and contentedly lived for years
in hotels and traveled thousands of miles in sleeping cars to be near the husband
whom she loved.
After President McKinley’s assassination she returned to Canton. At first she expressed a desire to join her husband, and prayed daily that she might die. Later she frequently told friends she desired to live until the completion of the McKinley mausoleum, the gift of the nation, which is to be dedicated on Monument Hill, September 30 next. For several years she enjoyed better health than usual. Her final decline began a few months ago.
Mrs. McKinley was fond of the drama. She and her husband numbered as one of their most intimate friends the late Joseph Jefferson.
Among her diversions was the crocheting of slippers, which she bestowed as keepsakes to friends, handed to needy, or gave to bazaars. More than 3,500 pairs of slippers were knitted by her and given away. She was fond of flowers, the rose being her favorite, until the President’s carnation took first place in her admiration.
The estate which was left by the President was appraised at $215,000 when the inventory was made. It has increased in value since that time. By the terms of the will of Mr. McKinley the estate at the death of his widow was to be divided equally among his brother, Abner McKinley, now deceased, and sisters, Mrs. Duncan and Miss Helen McKinley of Cleveland. Mrs. Hermanus Baer, formerly Mabel McKinley, is the daughter and heir of Abner McKinley.
WASHINGTON, May 26.—The news of the death of
Mrs. McKinley caused sorrow in the National capital, where she so long made
her home while her husband was a member of Congress, and later President.
President Roosevelt learned of her death shortly after 2 o’clock, when he received a telegram from Secretary Cortelyou. He immediately announced that he would leave for Canton Tuesday night to attend the funeral. He will be accompanied by Secretaries Root, Garfield, and Wilson, Admiral Rixey, and Secretary Loeb.