27 - William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft was born on September 15, 1857, and grew up in a two-story brick home on Auburn Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I visited the William Howard Taft National Historic Site in the summer of 1975:

and again exactly 40 years later in the summer of 2015:

From 1874 to 1878, Taft attended Tale University in New Haven, Connecticut.  His room was in Farnum College, which is located at 350 College Street.  I have not visited the site.

After graduating, Taft returned home to Cincinnati, Ohio, marrying his childhood sweetheart in 1886.  The Tafts moved into a house they built and named "The Quarry," at 1763 East McMillan Street.  I visited in the summer of 2015:

Note that this home is privately owned and not open to the public.

In 1890, Taft became US Solicitor General.  I am unsure of the location where he lived for the short time that he served before returning to Cincinnati in 1892.  It may have been during this time when he lived at the home at 5 DuPont Circle, a building which no longer exists.

From 1901 to 1904, Taft served as the Civil Governor of the Philippines.  He lived in the official residence, Malacañan Palace.  I have not visited the site.

In 1904, Taft returned to Washington, DC, to become U.S. Secretary of War.  He moved into a home at 1603 K Street NW, a building that longer exists, and lived there until moving into the White House four years later.

During his tenure as Secretary of War, turmoil in Cuba necessitated a second US occupation of the small country, and President Roosevelt sent Taft to intervene.  He served as the first Provisional Governor of Cuba for a brief period during this 1906 occupation and resided at the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, a building which now serves as the Museum of the City of Havana.  John and I visited this site during our February 2016 trip to Cuba:

From 1913 to 1918, Taft returned to New Haven, Connecticut, as a professor of law.  The Tafts lived at 367 Prospect Street, a home which I believe no longer exists.  Many accounts list the Hotel Taft at 265 College Street as Taft's home during this time period.  The Who's Who in New England during that time period lists his wife, Helen, and indicates Prospect Street as her home.  Yale University catalogues from the era list both addresses and I have surmised from the way the faculty listings are printed that the Hotel Taft may have been the location of Taft's faculty office.  I have not yet visited either site.

In 1918, Taft returned to Washington, DC, as co-chair of the National War Labor Board.  During this time, the Tafts rented an apartment at 2029 Connecticut Ave NW.  I visited the site in 2015:

The National War Labor Board was disbanded after the war ended and the Taft returned to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1919.  The Tafts purchased and resided in a home at 111 Whitney Ave.  I have not yet visited the site.

In 1921, Taft returned to Washington, DC, when he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Tafts bought a home at 2215 Wyoming Ave NW.  Until 2012, when the ambassador was expelled from the US, the building housed the Syrian embassy.  I visited this site with my friend Carol in the summer of 2015:

On March 8, 1930, William Howard Taft died at his residence on Wyoming Avenue.  He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.  I have visited this site many times over the years; the photo below, with my parents, was taken in 1984:

From the summer of 2015, this bust of President Taft is in the memorial on the site of the birthplace of President William McKinley (included with those who had worked closely with President McKinley):


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  1. Hi Steve, nice site. Have you ever seen a picture of Taft's home in the Philippines BEFORE he moved into the Malacañan? I can't find one, but its very likely no such thing exists.

  2. I did not visit the Quarry House when I visited in 2000 and 2003. I can kick myself.

  3. I remember a summer retreat in Conn, that he visited while president on the coast. I just can't member I'll have to look it up.