- Alphonso Taft
Infobox US Cabinet official
United States Secretary of War
March 8, 1876
May 22, 1876
Ulysses S. Grant
William W. Belknap
J. Donald Cameron
United States Attorney General
May 22, 1876
March 4, 1877
Ulysses S. Grant
Townshend, Vermont, U.S.
death_date=death date and age|1891|5|21|1810|11|5
San Diego, California, U.S.
Lawyer, Tutor, Politician
Townshend, Vermont, the son of Peter Rawson Taft I, he graduated from Yale Collegein 1833, where he also was a tutor. At Yale, he and his classmate William Huntington Russellcofounded Skull and Bones, the preeminent undergraduate club. He subsequently studied law at the Yale Law School, was admitted to the Connecticutbar in 1838, moved to Cincinnatiin 1839 where he was a member of the Cincinnati City Council, and became one of the most influential citizens of Ohio. He was a member of the boards of trustees of the University of Cincinnatiand of Yale College.
He made an unsuccessful run for the
United States House of Representativesin 1856. He was a judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati from 1866 to 1872. He was the first president of the Cincinnati Bar Association, serving in 1872. At a famous 1874 Taft family reunion at Elmshade, at Uxbridge, Mass., Alfonso delivered an impassioned speech on his family history and his father's origins in this community, as recorded in his autobiography.cite book|last=Leonard|first=Lewis Alexander|authorlink=|title="The Life of Alphonso Taft" by Google Books|publisher=|location=|ISBN= cite web|title="Life of Alphonso Taft"|publisher=Google Books|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=LCVCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA308&lpg=PA308&dq=%22the+life+of+alphonso+taft%22+by+lewis+alexander+leonard&source=web&ots=oPnSgqCCBA&sig=ItrjVR1tAeXtoOKUMZX4KXjKiy4#PPA230,M1|accessdate=2007-11-25] Taft was appointed Secretary of War by President Grant in March, 1876, and three months later Attorney General of the United States.
After he left office as Attorney General in 1877 he returned to the practice of law. He was an unsuccessful candidate for
Governor of Ohioin 1875 and 1879, first to Rutherford B. Hayesand the second time to Charles Foster. Taft was ambassador to Austria-Hungaryin 1882, and to Imperial Russiafrom 1884 to 1885.
Alphonso Taft died in
San Diego, California, on May 21, 1891.
William Howard Taft, was the 27th President of the United Statesand was a member of Yale's Skull and Boneslike his founder father; another son, Charles Phelps Taft, supported the founding of Wolf's Head Society at Yale; both his grandson and great-grandson, Robert A. Taft I (also Skull and Bones) and Robert Taft Jr., were U.S. Senators; his great-great-grandson, Robert A. Taft II, was the Governor of Ohiofrom 1999 until 2007. William Howard Taft IIIwas ambassador to Ireland; William Howard Taft IVworked in several Republican administrations, most recently that of George W. Bush.
The home of Alphonso Taft and family, in the Mount Auburn area, one mile north of downtown
Cincinnati, has been restored to its original appearance. It is open to the public. It is now called the William Howard Taft National Historic Site. [http://www.nps.gov/wiho/]
* [http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/sw-sa/TaftA.htm Army biography]
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