The Murder of Ida McKinley’s Brother

Presidential History Blog

First Lady Ida McKinley

In 1898, First Lady Ida McKinley received shocking news. Her brother had been murdered.

George Saxton, Libertine and Rake

The Saxtons were one of the most prominent and wealthy families in Canton, OH. They had three children, born within three years of each other. Ida the eldest, then Mary (always called Pina) and George. George Saxton (1850-1898) grew up to be charming, good looking and well educated. He entered the family businesses and did well, was considered eminently “eligible,” a very snappy dresser and on every Cantonian’s invitation list.

George Saxton, a ladies-man!

He is reputed to have been engaged at least twice, but while he happily courted and escorted, he assiduously avoided marriage. In fact, he still made his home in the “family” mansion with his married sister Pina Barber and her husband and children, although he maintained a bachelor pad nearby. By that time…

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