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Latah County Oral History Collection

Remembering Latah County and Idaho Life at the turn of the 20th century

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Date: August 19, 1976 Interviewer: Lee Magnuson

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3:00 - Moved to Idaho mansion in 1886; privy; kidnapping

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Segment Synopsis: McConnell family moves from marriage to Idaho. They moved into Mansion on December 24, 1886. A woman upset the "privy in the house." Kidnapping of Mary McConnell as a baby in Portland; the kidnapper had lost her own baby and thought she was hers.

6:00 - Dinner with Theodore Roosevelt; Senator Borah

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Segment Synopsis: Mrs. Borah's first dinner with Theodore Roosevelt at the White House. The dress she bought for the occasion. She called Senator Borah "Billy". Her personalized car. "Little Borah."

10:00 - Senator Borah's death; Mrs. Borah's life in Washington D.C. and Idaho

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Segment Synopsis: Senator Borah's death - he slipped getting out of the bathtub. Mrs. Borah's survival from parrot fever: Senator's prayer for her; her desire for mashed potatoes when she recovered. After his death she returned to Idaho briefly, and then back to Washington, where she visited Idaho servicemen and wrote to their families. Her injury in a revolving door, which could well have been fatal.

16:00 - Mrs. Borah in Oregon; Richard Nixon; 100th birthday

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Segment Synopsis: Mrs. Borah came to Portland to live with her sister, and came to Maryville in 1966. In 1968 Richard Nixon called her a loudspeaker hookup. Mrs. Borah's hundredth birthday. Her wonderful character.

23:00 - Mrs. Borah worked with mentally ill men

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Segment Synopsis: Mrs. Borah's ability to handle institutionalized, mentally ill men. The Idaho legislature supported her in her last years, keeping it secret. Her special dishes when sick.

29:00 - Mrs. Borah's precious possessions

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Segment Synopsis: Some of her precious possessions.

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