Margaret Cobb Ailshie

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Margaret Ailshie (Cobb)

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Illinois, United States
Death: August 26, 1959 (76)
Place of Burial: Boise, Idaho, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Calvin Cobb and Fanny Howes Cobb
Ex-wife of James Franklin Ailshie, Jr.
Sister of Lyon Cobb

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Margaret Cobb Ailshie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Cobb_Ailshie

Margaret Cobb Ailshie (March 27, 1883 – August 26, 1959) was a social belle, publisher, and social activist in Boise and Chicago.

Early years

Born in Chicago in 1883, she lived in Chicago for only six years before her father Calvin Cobb bought the Idaho Statesman and moved the family to Boise. Ailshie was raised as a socialite and went to Miss Porter's Boarding School in Farmington, Connecticut. She traveled among a wealthy elite. She traveled abroad to serve in France in World War I as a member of the Red Cross.

Ailshie went to New York City to help with the Spanish flu pandemic and then ran a canteen in France. She returned at the age of 36 in the year 1919. Nine years later her father died. Her family lived at 212 W. Idaho Street, where after her father's death she carried on his mission of making Boise a better place.

Publisher of the Statesman

Ailshie was the first woman publisher of the Idaho Statesman, and the paper described her as fearless. As publisher of the Statesman she followed the policies provided by her father, Calvin Cobb. Ailshie held the post from 1928 to 1959 and guided the newspaper to greater growth.

Ailshie became publisher when her father died in 1928. A year later she married attorney James F. Ailshie Jr., son of Idaho Supreme Court Justice James F. Ailshie and former United States District Attorney. The marriage ended in divorce in 1937, and the Ailshies had no children.

When Calvin Cobb purchased the paper, it was only a tri-weekly. In 1942 Ailshie led the Statesman to produce an evening paper. Ailshie led the paper to reach a circulation goal of 50,000 for the Sunday edition.[8] She founded a new site for the Statesman building. At the time it faced Steunenberg park, and surrounded the Ada County courthouse.

The newspaper achieved a daily circulation of 30,000 in the early 1940s under her leadership. Writing in 1947, American journalist John Gunther described Ailshie as "an extreme reactionary–something to the right of Louis XIV or Boies Penrose say–and a genuine patrician."

Other projects

Ailshie's favorite projects were the Julia Davis Park restoration of a pioneer village and the construction of Bronco Stadium. The Idaho Statesman provided nearly the entire cost of the stadium.

Ailshie belonged to no clubs in Boise, though she entertained numerous guests at her home from her travels around the globe. She endowed the Margaret Cobb Ailshie Trust, which benefited many public institutions over the years.

She closely watched the Harry Orchard case in the assassination of Gov. Frank Steunenberg. Her papers elucidate documentation regarding this historical case, including the confession of Harry Orchard.

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Although born in Chicago in 1883, Margaret moved to Idaho at the age of six when her father, Calvin Cobb, bought the Idaho Statesman. Margaret was raised a socialite and went to Miss Porter's Boarding School in Farmington, Connecticut. She also travelled abroad to France in World War I as a member of the Red Cross. She returned to Idaho at the age of 36, in 1919. After her father died in 1928, she took over her father's duties and remained the publisher of the Idaho Statesman until 1959.

Margaret was the first female publisher for the Idaho Statesman. In 1942, she led the Statesman to produce and evening paper, and led the paper to reach a circulation goal of 50,000 for the Sunday edition. The newspaper achieved a daily circulation of 30,000 in the early 1940s under her leadership and became one of the premier newspapers in the Northwest.

In addition to following her father's footsteps with the newspaper, Margaret also continued his civil campaigns and focus on Boise. Her father had campaigned for civic improvements to Boise, and the Statesman is credited with bringing the telegraph and telephone to Boise as well as the Union Pacific Railroad. Margaret supported many civic enterprises and contributed to numerous Boise charitable, religious, and educational organizations. She also often supported and attended the annual Boise Basque Ball held during the holiday season.

Margaret was a driving force behind the construction of Bronco Stadium at Boise Junior College (now Boise State University). The Statesman, under Margaret's direction, advanced almost the entire cost of building the stadium. Another project Margaret felt deeply about was the restoration of pioneer cabins and early vehicles on display in Julia Davis Park. Margaret planned and supervised the restoration of the buildings and vehicles. Near the end of her life, she incorporated the Margaret Cobb Ailshie Trust, with the hope of creating a perpetual source of funding for Boise charities and educational institutions. The first distribution of funds from her trust was made in 1961, providing $25,000 to Idaho hospitals, orphanages, colleges, and the Boise chapter of the American Red Cross.

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Margaret Cobb Ailshie's Timeline

1883
March 27, 1883
Illinois, United States
1959
August 26, 1959
Age 76
????
Morris Hill Cemetery, Boise, Idaho, United States