Ida McKinley: Congressional Invalid

Presidential History Blog

Ida McKinley had suffered through one of the worst years anyone could imagine. The trauma would be permanent.

anniversary photo William and Ida McKinley were a devoted, loving couple, despite Ida’s serious – and severe – health issues.

The McKinleys Move to Washington

little katie-mckinley Little Katie McKinley. The child died before her fourth birthday, and her picture was never far from Ida’s view.

Losing both their small children, and having his young wife’s health permanently impaired by phlebitis and “unnameable” epileptic seizures all in the space of a year was traumatic to William McKinley (1843-1901). Ida’s profound depression combined with uncontrollable fears and hysterical outbreaks was difficult to bear for a man who dearly loved his increasingly frail wife.

Believing that a change of scenery would be beneficial, McKinley ran for a Congressional seat in 1876 – and won. He sold their dear house, with its sad, sad memories. Since housekeeping was much…

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