Henry Waters Taft

Henry Waters Taft (right) with his wife Julia Walbridge Smith (centre) and their son Walbridge Smith Taft (left) sometime between 1910 and 1915

Henry Waters Taft (right) with his wife Julia Walbridge Smith (centre) and their son Walbridge Smith Taft (left) sometime between 1910 and 1915


  • May 27 1859: Born Cincinnati Ohio
  • Woodward High School, Cincinnati
  • 1880: Graduated Yale with a BA, Orator of the Class 1880
  • 1880 to 1881: Cincinnati Law School
  • 1881 to 1882: Columbia University Law School
  • 1882: Admitted to the bar and began practice of law in Ohio in the office of Thomas Thatcher
  • March 28th 1883: Married Julia Walbridge
  • 1884: Opened office of his own
  • 1884: Opened office of Page & Taft
  • 1889: Joined Strong & Cadwalader, in New York City
  • 1896 to 1900: Member of the New York City Board of Education
  • 1899: Began practicing law alone
  • 1899: Became of a partner in Strong & Cadwalader
  • 1903 to 1905: Trustee of the College of the City of New York
  • 1905: Honorary MA from Yale
  • 1905 to January 1907: Special assistant to Attorneys General William H. Moody and Charles Joseph Bonaparte to investigate and prosecute the Tobacco Trust
  • 1908 to 1919: Trustee of the New York Public Library
  • 1911-1912: Vice President Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • 1914: Strong & Cadwalader renamed Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
  • 1914 to 1918: Vice President – New York County Lawyers’ Association
  • 1917 to 1919: Chairman of the Permanent Legal Advisory Board for Greater New York
  • 1917 to 1919: President of the Council of University Settlement House
  • 1917 to 1920: Chairman of the War Commission
  • 1919 to 1920: President the New York State Bar Association
  • 1919 to 1935: President of the League for Political Education
  • 1920: delegate to the Republican National Convention
  • 1920 to 1940: Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army for New York City
  • 1922 to 1929: President of Japan Society
  • 1923 to 1930: Vice President – New York County Lawyers’ Association
  • 1924: delegate to the Republican National Convention
  • 1925 to 1926: Served on the Commission on Reorganisation of the New York State Government
  • 1926: Appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court
  • 1929: Imperial Order of Meiji
  • 1929: Decorated by the Emperor of Japan with the Order of the Double Rays of the Rising Sun
  • 1930 to 1932: President – New York County Lawyers’ Association
  • 1931: member of the Advisory Committee to investigate public schools of New York City
  • 1933: member of the Committee on Cost of Public Education
  • 1934 to 1941: President of Japan Society
  • 1941: Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service
  • 1942: Julia Taft Died
  • August 11 1945: Died after 14 weeks in St Luke’s Hospital after a hip injury after a fall


  • Brother of President William Howard Taft
  • Renown Antitrust Lawyer
  • Member of Skull and Bones and Psi Upsilon at Yale
  • also the American Bar Association (Chairman of the Committee on Jurisprudence and Law Reform); the New York Law Institute ; the American Law Institute; the International Law Association; and the Maritime Law Association
  • Supporter of the League of Nations
  • Taft wrote for the New York Times and The Times.
  • He was the author of: John Lambert Cadwalder (1915), The Covenanters (1919) Occasional Papers and Addresses of an American Lawyer, (1920); Japan and the Far East Conference, (1921); Law Reform-Papers and Addresses by a Practicing Lawyer, (1926); An Essay on Conversation, (1927); Kindred Arts-Conversation and Public Speaking, (1929); Japan and America-A Journey and a Political Survey, (1932); Witnesses in Court, (1934); Opinions-Literary and Otherwise, (1934); A Century and a Half at the New York Bar, (1938); Legal Miscellanies-Six Decades of Changes and Progress, (1941)
  • He was a member of the Century Association, City Midday Club of New York, Down Town Association, New England Society Ohio Society, Park Avenue Association, Pilgrims of the United States, Psi Upsilon, Skull and Bones and the Sons of the American Revolution.

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