| U.S. Senator |
March 20, 1916 –November 7, 1916
|Appointed by||Samuel M. Ralston|
|Preceded by||Benjamin F. Shively|
|Succeeded by||James Eli Watson|
|Chair of the Democratic National Committee|
|Preceded by||James Kimbrough Jones|
|Succeeded by||Norman E. Mack|
|18th Mayor of Indianapolis|
January 1, 1895 –December 31, 1901
|Preceded by||Caleb S. Denny|
|Succeeded by||Charles A. Bookwalter|
|Born||November 17, 1856|
Emyvale, County Monaghan, Ireland
|Died||March 6, 1929 (aged 72)|
|Spouse(s)||Eva Bryant Taggart (1853–1937)|
Nora (b. 1881),
Irene (b. 1883),
Emily (b. 1888), and
Thomas D. (b. 1886)
French Lick, Indiana;
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
|Occupation||Politician, hotelier, and financier|
Thomas Taggart (November 17, 1856 –March 6, 1929) was the political boss of the Democratic Party in Indiana for the first quarter of the twentieth century and remained an influential political figure in local, state, and national politics until his death. Taggart was elected auditor of Marion County, Indiana (1886–1894) and mayor of Indianapolis (1895 to 1901). His mayoral administration supported public improvements, most notably the formation of the city's park and boulevard system. He also served as a member of the Democratic National Committee (1900–1916) and as its chairman (1904–1908). Taggart was appointed to the U.S. Senate in March 1916, but lost the seat in the November election.
Taggart, an Irish-born immigrant, came to the United States in 1861 at the age of five, grew up in Xenia, Ohio, and moved to Indiana as a teenager. After relocating to Indianapolis in 1877, he began a successful career as an hotelier, financier, and politician. As the party's county chairman during Grover Cleveland's 1888 presidential campaign, Taggart helped him carry Marion County over Republican Benjamin Harrison, the hometown candidate. As state chairman in 1892, Taggart helped Cleveland carry Indiana in opposition to Harrison's bid for reelection. In 1908 Taggart assisted in securing the Democratic nomination of John W. Kern for U.S. vice president and Thomas R. Marshall for governor of Indiana. He was also involved in securing the nomination of Woodrow Wilson for U.S. president and Marshall for vice president in 1912, as well as James M. Cox's nomination in the 1920 presidential election. In addition to his political activities, Taggart was the owner and developer of the French Lick Springs Hotel in Orange County, Indiana; he also maintained a summer home at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
Thomas Taggart was born on November 17, 1856, to Thomas and Martha Kingsbury Taggart in Emyvale, County Monaghan, Ireland, and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1861 at the age of five. The Taggarts settled in Xenia, Ohio, where Thomas senior worked at a local railroad depot. Young Taggart left high school early to work full-time at the depot's hotel and restaurant. In 1875, when young Thomas was 18, his employer, the N. and G. Ohmer Company, sent him to Garrett, Indiana, to work in the restaurant at DeKalb House, a depot hotel. Thomas remained at Garrett until 1877, when he was transferred to Indianapolis, Indiana, to work as a clerk for the Ohmer company's dining hall/restaurant at the city's Union Depot. Known as a hard worker, Taggart became the depot restaurant's manager and eventually its sole owner in the new Union Station.
In 1878, a year after his move to Indianapolis, Taggart married Eva Dora Bryant (1853–1937),whom he met while living in Garrett. Thomas and his wife were the parents of six children, five daughters and one son. Florence Eva (1878–1899) died tragically in a yachting accident in the Gulf of Mexico; Lucy Martha (1880–1960) became an accomplished artist and art educator at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis; Nora (born 1881), a Vassar College graduate, married David L. Chambers, who became president and chairman of the Bobbs-Merrill Company; Irene Mary (born 1883) married a physician from Louisville, Kentucky; Emily Letitia (born 1888) married William R. Sinclair, an executive with Kingan and Company, an Indianapolis-based meatpacker; and Thomas Douglas (born 1886) graduated from Yale University and in 1912 assumed management of the French Lick Springs Hotel. Thomas and Eva Taggart also had nine grandchildren.
The Taggart family's primary residence was in Indianapolis, where they built a new home at 1331 North Delaware Street in 1913. The large home included a Georgian Colonial exterior and an Italian-style interior. It was selected as one of House Beautiful's three best homes in Indianapolis in 1920.The Taggarts were members of Saint Paul Episcopal Church in Indianapolis.
In 1901, after Taggart and a group of investors purchased the French Lick Springs Hotel in Orange County, Indiana, the Taggart family frequently visited the hotel. Its seven-story deluxe wing, completed in 1915, provided accommodations for the family when they were in residence.
The family also had a summer home built in 1915–16 at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The home was called Amyvale, in honor of Taggart's Irish birthplace. In 1928 Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy acquired property adjacent to the Taggarts' Hyannis Port home to establish the Kennedy compound. The Taggarts' Hyannis Port home was sold after Eva's death, in 1937.
After his move to Indianapolis in 1877, Taggart began a successful career as an Indiana hotelier, financier, and politician.Taggart became the owner of the restaurant at the Indianapolis Union Station, but sold his restaurant business and began other ventures that included acquisition of two hotels in Indianapolis and the French Lick Springs Hotel in Orange County, Indiana, among other investments. Taggart also became a "powerful Democratic boss of the state," often referred to by his initials, T. T., or called "the Easy Boss" because of his congenial nature.
Taggart was elected auditor of Marion County, Indiana (1886–1894) and mayor of Indianapolis (1895–1901). As the Democratic Party's boss in Indiana, a member of Democratic National Committee (1900–1916), and the party's national chairman (1904–1908), Taggart also became an influential political figure in state and national politics. In 1916 Taggart was appointed U.S. Senator, but he was defeated later that year in a special election.
After Taggart sold his restaurant business at the Indianapolis Union Station, his investments expanded to include controlling interests in the Grand and Denison hotels in Indianapolis and investments in the copper, gas, and oil industries.
In 1901 Taggart began his most ambitious and famous project when he organized a small group of investors that acquired and developed the French Lick Springs Hotel in Orange County, Indiana.In addition to Taggart, the group included William McDoel, president of the Monon Railroad; Crawford Fairbanks, a Terre Haute brewery owner; and Colonel Livingston T. Dickson, owner of "quarry and mineral interests in Indiana and Illinois."
Around 1905 Taggart bought his partners' interests in the mineral springs hotel to become its sole owner. Under Taggart's direction, the property was transformed into a first-class spa and a renowned gambling resort. Taggart made improvements and additions to the hotel, its mineral springs, and the resort's grounds. He also modernized the facilities, established trolley service to French Lick, and convinced the Monon Railroad to lay a spur track to the hotel's grounds and run daily passenger service to Chicago.At the height of the resort's popularity in the early decades of the 20th century, the hotel provided more than $2 million in annual profits.
Although casino gambling was illegal under Indiana law, it flourished the Orange County area from the early 1900s until the mid-1940s, during the time the Taggart family managed the French Lick Springs Hotel, and contributed to the resort's popularity. Several casinos were in operation within Orange County, but Taggart disassociated himself with any connection to these local gambling establishments and denied any involvement in illegal gambling operations.
Taggart, who was a Democrat, became active in local politics in Indianapolis in the 1880s. He was elected auditor of heavily Republican Marion County in 1886, reelected in 1890, and served in that capacity until 1894. During that time Taggart also served as the Democratic Party chairman at the city, county, and state levels. As the county chairman during the presidential campaign of 1888, his efforts helped Grover Cleveland carry Marion County over native son Benjamin Harrison, the first time the county had voted Democratic in a Presidential election. As state chairman in 1892, Taggart helped Cleveland carry Indiana to challenge Harrison's bid for reelection.
From 1895 to 1901, Taggart served three two-year terms as the mayor of Indianapolis. 900 acres (360 hectares) along the White River to establish the city's park and boulevard system. Although the city's then-growing African American population generally supported Republicans until the New Deal, Indianapolis lawyers Alexander E. Manning (who became president of the National League of Negro Democrats in 1896) and James T.V. Hill were Taggart's liaisons with their community, which helped elect and re-elect Taggart.He defeated Republican Preston C. Trusler in 1895, William M. Harding in 1897 and Charles A. Bookwalter in 1899. During his mayoralty, Taggart's administration emphasized efficient use of the city's funds and civic improvements that included acquisition of more than
Taggart remained active in national and state politics until his death in 1929. He served on the Democratic National Committee from 1900 to 1916 and as its chairman from 1904 to 1908.As the party's national chairman, Taggart ran Judge Alton B. Parker's campaign in the presidential election in 1904, but Parker lost to Theodore Roosevelt. Taggart played a key role in securing John W. Kern's Democratic nomination for U.S. vice president and Thomas R. Marshall's nomination for governor of Indiana in 1908, as well as Woodrow Wilson's nomination for U.S. president and Marshall's vice presidential nomination in 1912 at the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.
On March 20, 1916, Indiana governor Samuel M. Ralston appointed Taggart, his political ally, to the U.S. Senate to fill a seat left vacant by the death of Benjamin F. Shively. Taggart advocated efficient use of federal funds and opposed wasteful spending, although his time in the Senate was brief. That November proved a Republican sweep and Taggart lost the Senate seat to James E. Watson. In 1920 Taggart helped James M. Cox win the Democratic nomination in the presidential election. Cox reciprocated by supporting Taggart's challenge to regain the Senate seat from Watson, but again Republicans swept in the November general election: Warren G. Harding defeated Cox and Taggart lost to Watson .
In 1924 Taggart had nearly secured Samuel Ralston's nomination as the Democratic candidate in the presidential election before Ralston withdrew from the race for health reasons.In Indiana's gubernatorial campaign that year, Taggart endorsed Carleton B. McCulloch, but McCulloch lost the election to Edward L. Jackson, who enjoyed strong Ku Klux Klan support and carried all but two of Indiana's 92 counties.
Taggart's health declined in the 1920s, but he remained active in national and state politics and civil affairs until his death in Indianapolis in 1929.He served as chairman of the board of directors of American Fletcher National Bank (1925–1929); as a director of the Indianapolis, Light, Heat, and Power Company; and treasurer of the Indiana Lincoln Union. He was also a member of the George Rogers Clark Memorial Commission.
Taggart died on March 6, 1929. After a brief funeral service in the dining room of his North Delaware Street home in Indianapolis, he was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery. His gravesite is near those of his wife, Eva, and four of their children (Florence, Lucy, Irene, and Thomas). The Taggart family burial plot is in Section Three of the cemetery and marked with a tall, gray obelisk.Following his death in 1929, Taggart's son, Thomas Douglas, became owner of the French Lick Springs Hotel property and buildings valued at nearly $2 million.
Taggart is considered the "undisputed boss of the Democratic machine for the first quarter of the twentieth century"and "one of Indiana’s most dominant political figures." He is also remembered for his support of public improvements as mayor of Indianapolis, most notably the formation of city's public park and boulevard system. Taggart's efforts in this area made him "a leader in the movement to conserve urban natural resources for public use."
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Lambdin Purdy Milligan was a lawyer and farmer who was known for his extreme opinions on states' rights and his opposition to the Lincoln administration's conduct of the American Civil War. Believing that the Confederate states of the South had the power under the U.S. Constitution to secede from the Union, he opposed the war to reunite the nation. Milligan became a leader of the secret Order of American Knights and advocated violent revolution against the U.S. government. U.S. Army forces arrested him at his home and tried him and other conspirators by military commission for disloyalty and conspiracy. Found guilty, he was sentenced to death. A habeas corpus appeal made its way from the federal circuit court in Indianapolis to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1866 ruled that the application of military tribunals to citizens when civil courts are open and operating was unconstitutional. See Ex parte Milligan 71 U.S. 2 (1866). Following the Court's ruling on April 3, 1866, Milligan and the others were released from custody. He returned home and practiced law in Huntington, Indiana, where he later filed a civil suit claiming damages for the military arrest and trial. On May 30, 1871, the jury found in Milligan's favor, but federal and state statutes limited the award for damages to five dollars plus court costs.
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French Lick Resort is a resort complex in the central United States, located in the towns of West Baden Springs and French Lick, Indiana. The 3,000-acre (12 km2) complex includes two historic resort spa hotels, stables, a casino, and three golf courses that are all part of a $500 million restoration and development project.
The West Baden Springs Hotel, part of the French Lick Resort Casino, is a national historic landmark hotel in West Baden Springs, Orange County, Indiana. It is known for the 200-foot (61 m) dome covering its atrium. Prior to the completion of the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1955, the hotel had the largest free-spanning dome in the United States. From 1902 to 1913 it had the largest in the world. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the hotel became a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and one of the hotels in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America program.
Andrew Humphreys was a U.S. Representative from Bloomfield, Greene County, Indiana, who served in the Forty-fourth Congress. Prior to the American Civil War, Humphreys was as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, and an Indian agent for Utah. In 1864 Humphreys was a defendant in a controversial trial by a military commission that convened on October 21 at Indianapolis, where he and three others were convicted of treason. Humphreys was sentenced to hard labor for the remainder of the war, but the sentence was modified three weeks later to allow for his release. At the end of the war, Humphreys resumed a career in politics, which included terms in Forty-fourth Congress and the Indiana Senate.
Indiana, a state in the Midwest, played an important role in supporting the Union during the American Civil War. Despite anti-war activity within the state, and southern Indiana's ancestral ties to the South, Indiana was a strong supporter of the Union. Indiana contributed approximately 210,000 Union soldiers, sailors, and marines. Indiana's soldiers served in 308 military engagements during the war; the majority of them in the western theater, between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains. Indiana's war-related deaths reached 25,028. Its state government provided funds to purchase equipment, food, and supplies for troops in the field. Indiana, an agriculturally rich state containing the fifth-highest population in the Union, was critical to the North's success due to its geographical location, large population, and agricultural production. Indiana residents, also known as Hoosiers, supplied the Union with manpower for the war effort, a railroad network and access to the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, and agricultural products such as grain and livestock. The state experienced two minor raids by Confederate forces, and one major raid in 1863, which caused a brief panic in southern portions of the state and its capital city, Indianapolis.
During the American Civil War, Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiana, was a major base of supplies for the Union. Governor Oliver P. Morton, a major supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, quickly made Indianapolis a gathering place to organize and train troops for the Union army. The city became a major railroad hub for troop transport to Confederate lands, and therefore had military importance. Twenty-four military camps were established in the vicinity of Indianapolis. Camp Morton, the initial mustering ground to organize and train the state's Union volunteers in 1861, was designated as a major prisoner-of-war camp for captured Confederate soldiers in 1862. In addition to military camps, a state-owned arsenal was established in the city in 1861, and a federal arsenal in 1862. A Soldiers' Home and a Ladies' Home were established in Indianapolis to house and feed Union soldiers and their families as they passed through the city. Indianapolis residents also supported the Union cause by providing soldiers with food, clothing, equipment, and supplies, despite rising prices and wartime hardships, such as food and clothing shortages. Local doctors aided the sick, some area women provided nursing care, and Indianapolis City Hospital tended to wounded soldiers. Indianapolis sent an estimated 4,000 men into military service; an estimated 700 died during the war. Indianapolis's Crown Hill National Cemetery was established as one of two national military cemeteries established in Indiana in 1866.
William A. Bowles was a physician, landowner, and politician from French Lick, Orange County, Indiana. He is best remembered for establishing the first French Lick Springs Hotel, a mineral springs resort hotel in the 1840s, and platting the town of French Lick, Indiana, in 1857. Bowles, a Democrat, served two terms in the Indiana state legislature. During the Mexican–American War he became a colonel in the 2nd Indiana Volunteer Regiment and joined in the Battle of Buena Vista (1847). An outspoken advocate of slavery as an institution, Bowles was sympathetic to the South during the American Civil War. In 1863 Harrison H. Dodd, leader of the Order of Sons of Liberty (OSL) in Indiana, named Bowles a major general for one of four military districts in the state's secret society that opposed the war. Bowles also played a role in the Indianapolis treason trials in 1864, when he and three others were convicted of plotting to overthrow the federal government. Following his release from prison in 1866, Bowles returned to Orange County, Indiana, where his failing health continued to decline in the years prior to his death.
The French Lick Springs Hotel, a part of the French Lick Resort Casino complex, is a major resort hotel in Orange County, Indiana. The historic hotel in the national historic district at French Lick was initially known as a mineral spring health spa and for its trademarked Pluto Water. During the period 1901 to 1946, when Thomas Taggart, a former mayor of Indianapolis, and his son, Thomas D. Taggart, were its owners and operators, the popular hotel attracted many fashionable, wealthy, and notable guests. In the 1920s and into the 1930s, the resort became known for its recreational sports, most notably golf, but the French Lick area also had a reputation for illegal gambling. After a series of subsequent owners and renovations, the hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The restored hotel, with its exteriors of distinctive, buff-colored brick, reopened in 2006.
The Abraham Lincoln commemorative plaque is a work of public art designed by Marie Stewart in 1906, created by Rudolph Schwarz, and dedicated on 12 February 1907.
Lyman Skinner Ayres I was the founder of L. S. Ayres and Company, a regional department store chain whose flagship store and headquarters were located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The L. S. Ayres and Company name remained in use for 132 years.
The Propylaeum, also known as the John W. Schmidt House or as the Schmidt-Schaf House, is a historic home and carriage house located at 1410 North Delaware Street in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. The Propylaeum was named after the Greek word "propýlaion," meaning "gateway to higher culture." The property became the headquarters for the Indianapolis Woman's Club in 1923, as well as the host for several other social and cultural organizations. It was initially built in 1890-1891 as a private residence for John William Schmidt, president of the Indianapolis Brewing Company, and his family. Joseph C. Schaf, president of the American Brewing Company of Indianapolis, and his family were subsequent owners of the home.
Lucy Taggart was an artist and art educator from Indianapolis, Indiana, and the daughter of Thomas Taggart, a successful hotelier and influential Indiana politician. Recognized as a talented and versatile artist during a career that spanned the first three decades of the twentieth century, she studied with several noted artists, such as William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman, Kenyon Cox, William Forsyth, Otto Stark, Charles Webster Hawthorne, Cecilia Beaux, and Harriet Whitney Frishmuth. Taggart, who was especially known for her portraiture, received the John Herron Art Institute's J. Irving Holcomb Prize in 1922, the Hoosier Salon's Merit Award for figure composition in 1925, and the Hoosier Salon's Merit Award in 1926 for best picture painted by a woman. Her work is represented in the collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The 1904 Indiana gubernatorial election was held on November 8, 1904 in all 92 counties in the state of Indiana. Frank Hanly was elected governor over his Democratic opponent, John W. Kern.
The Indianapolis mayoral election of 1967 took place on November 7, 1967. Richard Lugar defeated incumbent Democratic mayor John J. Barton, becoming the first Republican to be elected mayor of Indianapolis in nearly two-decades. Democrats had long dominated mayoral elections before 1967, having won ten of the thirteen mayoral elections since 1930. No Democrat would subsequently recapture the mayoralty until 1999, largely due to the city-county merger that created the Unigov in 1970 adding the votes of suburban Marion County, which shifted the composition the electorate towards the Republicans.
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|Party political offices|
Benjamin F. Shively
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Indiana |
Caleb S. Denny
| Mayor of Indianapolis |
Charles A. Bookwalter
Benjamin F. Shively
| United States Senator (Class 3) from Indiana |
James Eli Watson