[graphic] Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
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Saxton House
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Saxton House
Photo courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photo by Jeff Winstel

The Saxton House is the only remaining residence directly associated with the lives of President and Mrs. William McKinley in their home town of Canton, Ohio. It was the family home of McKinley’s wife Ida Saxton, daughter of James A. Saxton, who founded the Stark County Bank. Ida and William McKinley lived in the house between 1873 and 1892.

Following William McKinley’s first political experience as Stark County Prosecutor, he was elected to Congress and served for six terms. In Congress he became renowned as a proponent of protectionism and a high tariff. McKinley served as president from 1897 until his assassination in 1901. As president, McKinley passed high tariffs and his administration saw the emergence of “American Imperialism,” a consequence of the Spanish–American War of 1898.

[photo] Historic view of the Saxton House
Photo courtesy of National First Ladies’ Library

The Saxton House was originally constructed in 1841; a three-story brick Second Empire addition was built in 1865. The house exhibits a wrap-around porch and two bays on the south elevation. The projecting porch has a decorative balustrade on top and heavily bracketed posts. Behind the porch are tall windows that flank the double door entrance.

Second floor windows have rounded stone hood molds. The slate shingled Mansard roof caps the building and is interrupted by several arched dormers. Six chimney stacks pierce the lower slope of the mansard or the top hipped slope. The house now serves as the First Ladies National Historic Site and has period room exhibits representing the late 19th century. President McKinley’s study in the house has been preserved, restored and decorated with numerous artifacts from the lives of the First Ladies.

The Saxton House, part of the National First Ladies’ Library, is located at 331 S. Market St., in Canton. Tours begin at 205 Market Ave., and are available Tuesday- Saturday, at 9:30am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm, and in the summer on Sundays as well at 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm; there is a fee. For further information call 330-452-0876, visit the National First Ladies’ Library website or the National Park Service’s website for the property.

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