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Ida McKinley

Front of the Ida McKinley gold coin with her portrait.

Ida Saxton McKinley served as First Lady from 1897 to 1901.  She was born in Canton, Ohio, on June 8, 1846.  While working at her father's bank, she met her future husband, William McKinley.  They married in 1871.

Despite her health problems, including phlebitis and epilepsy, first lady Mrs.  McKinley still received guests at formal receptions.  As guests arrived, she remained seated in a blue velvet chair while holding a fragrant bouquet.  From this position, the guests understood that she would not be shaking hands.

President McKinley was assassinated in 1901.  Afterward, Mrs. McKinley moved back to Canton, where her younger sister looked after her until Mrs. McKinley died in 1907.

Design on Reverse

Back of the Ida McKinley gold coin

Ill health restricted Mrs. McKinley's activities outside her home.  She was able to crochet, however, and chose to spend much of her time making bedroom slippers for charity.

The image on the coin's reverse depicts two hands crocheting.  The thousands of slippers that Mrs. McKinley crocheted were auctioned off to raise money for people in need.


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