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Helen "Nellie" Herron Taft
Birth: Jun. 2, 1861
Cincinnati
Hamilton County
Ohio, USA
Death: May 22, 1943
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Presidential First Lady. She was born Helen Herron in Cincinnati to a father who was a successful lawyer. Helen attended Miami University and graduated from the University of Cincinnati. She was even a guest of President Hayes a former law partner of her father, at the White House. She met the future President William Howard Taft while on a casual sledding party in Cincinnati. He having little money, Helen defrayed his courting expenses by insisting on dutch treat dates. He labeled her with the nickname "Nellie" and was a form of identity the rest of her life. After their marriage, the new Mr's Taft welcomed each step in her husband's career: state judge, Solicitor General of the United States, federal circuit judge and then an appointment to the Philippines as head of the American civil government. Helen and their children joined him. William was appointed Secretary of War and she traveled with him. Taft was well qualified for the Presidency when they moved into the White House. However, barely two months after the inauguration, she suffered a severe stroke. Within a year, she regained her speech and mobility and able to resume her duties. The White House barn was torn down and the Taft cow, Pauline Wayne was sent to a local farm marking the end of farm animals on the mansion grounds. Helen was instrumental in bringing the famous Japanese Cherry Trees to Washington although the first shipment arrived infected with a virus and had to be destroyed. The four year term was famous for its social events, the most outstanding was an evening garden party for several thousand guests on their silver wedding anniversary. Upon leaving the White House, the ex-president began teaching law at Yale University, while Nellie traveled. With his appointment as Chief Justice, the family was back in Washington and would never leave. She was the first First Lady to publish her autobiography "Recollections of Full Years". When William died, he was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Helen's son Robert came to live in the City as the Senator from Ohio. Upon her own death she became the first presidential wife to be buried at Arlington. The famous Japanese cherry trees, planted around the Tidal Basin at her request form a notable, enduring, living memorial to First Lady Helen Herron Taft.  (bio by: Donald Greyfield (inactive)) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  William Howard Taft (1857 - 1930)*
 
 Children:
  Robert Alphonso Taft (1889 - 1953)*
  Helen Taft Manning (1891 - 1987)*
  Charles Phelps Taft (1897 - 1983)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 30, Lot S-14, Grid Y/Z-39.5
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 30, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 7396
Helen Nellie <i>Herron</i> Taft
Added by: ronald deavy (Inactive)
 
Helen Nellie <i>Herron</i> Taft
Added by: Mr. Ed
 
Helen Nellie <i>Herron</i> Taft
Added by: Screwtape
 
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REST IN PEACE MADAM FIRST LADY...
- MIKE ROUW
 Added: Apr. 11, 2014

- Doug Lind
 Added: Nov. 19, 2013

- Evette Dingle-Smith
 Added: Nov. 16, 2013
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