The first five cards in the 3rd row below show the home at 2038 Auburn where William Howard Taft was born on September 15, 1857. Taft lived here until he left Cincinnati to attend Yale University. His father Alphonso Taft (1810-1891) bought this house in 1851 and added the rear portion. He was president of the Mt. Auburn Street Railway Company, a judge on the Superior Court of Cincinnati. He also served as secretary of war, attorney general, and ambassador to Austria-Hungary and Russia. His first marriage to Fanny Phelps ended in 1852 with her death. This marriage produced two sons Charles Phelps (1843-1929), publisher of the Cincinnati Times-Star, and a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1895 to 1897, and Peter Rawson "Rossy" Taft, a lawyer and author. Alphonso's second wife was Louisa "Louise" Maria Torrey whom he married in December of 1863. They had 5 children, 4 of whom lived to adulthood. The first, Samuel Davenport Torrey Taft, died after 14 months of pertussis (Whooping Cough). The second was William Howard Taft, the third was Henry Waters Taft, who became a lawyer in New York City, the fourth was Horace Dutton Taft, founder of the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, and the last was Frances Louis "Fanny" Taft, who married a surgeon, William A. Edwards.
The non-postcard images above show Alfonso Taft and in the 2nd one his four sons together on November 2, 1925 at the dedication of the Alfonso Taft Law College at the University of Cincinnati. From left to right is New York attorney Henry W. Taft, Chief Justice and 27th President of the United States William Howard Taft, Cincinnati Times-Star owner Charles P. Taft, and Forrest D. Taft, head master of the Taft School at Watertown, Connecticut.
The two non-postcard images above are of Charles P.
Taft and his wife Anna Sinton Taft. Charles bought the Cincinnati Times in
1879 to become its editor and publisher, he then added the Star in 1880 to make
it the Cincinnati Times-Star. He also owned the German-language newspaper
Volksblatt. The Tafts were very active in the life of Cincinnati. They were
active with the May Festival, the Symphony, the Zoo, and the Zoo Opera. The
Tafts gave the city their home, their art collection, and $2,700,000 in cash in
The original Taft home was divided into apartments in the 1920s and suffered from neglect for many years. Finally, in 1960, the William Howard Taft Memorial Association acquired the property. The National Park Service assumed curatorial duties in 1972. It is now a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Site.
Bible used in swearing in.
The last postcard above shows the bible used to swear in the 27th President of the United States. It is on display in the Taft home above.
The first cover above was issued September 17, 1988 for the dedication and opening of The William Howard Taft National Historic Site. The second cover was issued after his death in 1933 cancelled on his Birthday on September 15th. The last cover shows the Taft family home for the White House stamp issued 10/18/08.
The image above is of William Howard Taft as a student at Woodward High School, and a list of his accomplishments up to 1910. After that year any little thing like his being Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is missing.
Whitaker Paper Co.
W. H. Taft W. H. & Chas. P. Taft Taft at Cincinnati Trinity M. E. Church
in front of Taft home Depot in 1908 on 9th Street
I believe the 2nd and 3rd cards above were taken the same day. The only difference is in the 2nd card they are wearing something on their lapels which are not seen in the 3rd card. Of course they could have removed them for some reason or the publisher could have just edited them out which, I believe, is what happened. The 4th card shows Taft and James Schoolcraft Sherman meeting at the railroad depot on June 20th, 1908 the day after they had both been nominated by the Republican National Convention in Chicago to run for President and Vice-President. They were in Cincinnati to discuss plans for the campaign ahead and were going to Taft's brothers home for the discussion.
On May 3, 1910 the newly elected President of the United States returned to Cincinnati for the first time since his inauguration. The city named the day Taft Day in his honor, and at his own request the President was treated as an "ordinary" citizen as he renewed acquaintances. Seen in the center of the image above can be seen President Taft with his wife and, I believe, his brother Charles P. Taft. I can not determine where this image was taken but on the left, a postcard shop can be easily seen.
Taft as a Mason
W. H. Taft's family
The Taft family tree
The Taft family tree above was made back in the 50s. To demonstrate the importance of this family to the country, I will expand on just ONE LIMB of this tree. William Howard Taft's father, Alphonso Taft (1810-1891), graduated from Yale with a law degree. His legal practice grew into Taft, Stettinius & Hollistar. He was appointed to the Ohio Superior Court in 1865. He was President Ulysses S. Grant's secretary of war and his attorney general. He later served as the United States minister to Austria and Russia.
William H. Taft's son, Robert Alphonso Taft (1889-1953), also attended Yale but got his degree in law from Harvard. He was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1913. Within 10 years he was elected to the Ohio House where he became speaker and majority leader in 1926. He was then elected to the Ohio Senate. In 1938 he was elected to the U. S. Senate, re-elected in 1944 and 1950, and became majority leader in 1953. He was called "Mr. Republican" and he ran, but failed to get his party's nomination, for president in 1940, 48, and 52. He died in office in 1953.
Robert A. Taft's son, Robert Alphonso Taft Jr. (1917-1993), also, like his father, attended Yale and received his law degree from Harvard graduating in 1942. He joined the Navy and was an officer in WWII. He then began, naturally, practicing law in Cincinnati. He was elected to the Ohio House in 1955, 57, 59 and 61. He was then elected to the U. S. House of Representatives where he was re-elected three times before he was elected to the Senate in 1970. He lost the 1976 election to the Senate so he returned to practicing law in Cincinnati and became a lobbyist.
His son, Robert Alphonso Taft II (1942-?) graduated from (where else?) Yale in 1963 but then he received a master's degree from Princeton , after which he joined the Peace Corp and spent two years in Tanzania teaching English, math, geography and art to children. He then entered the law school at the University of Cincinnati where he received his degree in 1976. While in law school he was elected to the Ohio House where he served until 1981. In the 1980s he was Hamilton County Commissioner and in the 1990s as the Ohio Secretary of State. In 1998 he was elected Governor of Ohio where he was re-elected in 2002 and 2005. He left office in 2007 when he was convicted of failing to report gifts to the proper authorities. He is now a research associate in educational excellence at the University of Dayton.
Remember this is only one limb of this family tree.
What is now
the Taft Museum at 316 Pike St. was built in 1819-1820 for Martin Baum
(1765-1831) an early entrepreneur. Financial reverses forced Baum to transfer
title to his own bank in 1826. It was then used by the Belmont School, a female
seminary, until 1830 when Nicholas Longworth, the city's first millionaire,
bought the mansion.
David Sinton was a Pennsylvania iron magnate (see Sinton Hotel on buildings page) he bought the residence in 1871. Two years later his daughter, Anna (1852-1931) married Charles Phelps Taft. Charles and Anna Sinton Taft were dedicated preservationists and on June 2, 1927 the Tafts announced they would give their home, their personal art collection, and a one million dollar endowment for its maintenance if $2.5 million could be raised from the public. This condition was met and the Taft Museum opened in 1932.
Rear of the Museum
The card above is actually a larger Chrome card that I decided to put here. It shows the South End of the Ballroom.
This is a really pitiful postcard! All it has on the back is a stamp box and the words Private Mailing Card, which it's not.
SINTON / TAFT HOME LAYOUT
Front View Rear View South Side North Side
Plot Plan Ground Floor Layout Main Floor Layout
Ground Floor First Floor
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