Royal C. Taft

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Royal C. Taft.

Royal Chapin Taft (February 14, 1823 – June 4, 1912) was a US politician and businessman, whose most distinguished post was that as the 39th Governor of Rhode Island, an office he held from 1888–1889. He was a member of the Taft political family; he shared a great-great-great-great-grandfather (Robert Taft, Sr.) with President of the United States William Howard Taft.

He was born in Northbridge, Massachusetts, on February 14, 1823, and was educated at Worcester Academy, where he graduated in 1872. His parents were Orsmus Taft and Margaret (Smith) Taft; on October 31, 1850, he married Mary Frances Aimington.[1]

He belonged to the Republican Party, and was an elected member of Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1880-84 before his term as governor.

He was also president of Merchants' National Bank from 1868[2] president of the Boston & Providence Railroad, and a director of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (which took control of the B&P in 1893). He died June 4, 1912, and is interred at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence.[3]

He was a patron of the arts, with a large private collection; parts of his collection are now part of various institutions such as the Rhode Island School of Design.[4]

Taft Hall at the University of Rhode Island is named after him,[5] as well as the Royal C. Taft Outpatient Building (1891) at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.[6]


  1. ^ According to [1], he was at that time resident in New York.
  2. ^ See [2], which claims to be a transcript of "Industries and Wealth of the Principal Points in Rhode Island, being the city of Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, Newport, Narragansett Pier, Bristol & Westerly." from 1892
  3. ^ "ROYAL CHAPIN TAFT". Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ See footnote 4 on [3], which describes Mrs. Taft giving the school 169 prints from his collection in 1945.
  5. ^ "URI History and Timeline". University of Rhode Island. Retrieved 18 Jul 2010. 
  6. ^ Mentioned in [4], which is otherwise irrelevant

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John W. Davis
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Herbert W. Ladd