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Thomas Taggart collection

Identifier: L541

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks from Thomas Taggart in Indiana and Washington, D.C. ranging from 1859 to 1958. Included are items related to Taggart's political career, family, and the French Lick Springs Hotel.

Included within Box 3 and 4 is correspondence and miscellaneous documents created by A.C. Sallee regarding a biography he wrote about Thomas Taggart.


  • 1859-1958


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Thomas T. Taggart was born in County Monyhan [Monaghan], Ireland on November 17, 1856 to Thomas and Martha (Kingsbury) Taggart; he was one of five children. They immigrated to Xenia, Ohio in 1861, moved to Garrett, Indiana in 1871 and to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1877. He worked in various railroad restaurants, including the Indianapolis Union Station restaurant. Taggart married Eva D. Bryant on June 16, 1877, with whom he had five children. He was proprietor and part owner of the Dennison Hotel at Pennsylvania and Ohio Streets and was once owner of the Grand Hotel.

Taggart was a member of the board and manager of the French Lick Springs Hotel Company from 1901 to 1929, chairman from 1924 to 1929. During that time, he enlarged and modernized the hotel including building a spa, convinced Monon Railroad to lay a spur from Chicago, installed electricity, had bottled water from the spring distributed nationally, had a championship golf course designed and built, and gave the Democratic National Committee an unofficial headquarters at the hotel.

His career in politics spanned the years 1886-1924. Taggart was elected auditor of Marion County in 1886 and re-elected in 1890, also serving as city and county Democratic chairman. He served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1892 to 1924; chairman of the Indiana Democratic State Committee from 1892 to 1894; and district chairman of the 7th Congressional District for 12 years. Taggart was elected as mayor of Indianapolis for consecutive 3 terms, 1895-1901. During that time, he annexed Brightwood, Haughville, Mt. Jackson and West Indianapolis and adopted the city park plan, turning Garfield Park into a showplace. Taggart was a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1900 to 1916 (chairman 1904-1908), and was appointed U.S. senator March 20, 1906, filling Benjamin F. Shively's unexpired term. He was defeated in his bid for election to a term. Taggart was chairman of the board of directors for Fletcher American National Bank, a director of the Indianapolis Light, Heat and Power Company, treasurer of the Indiana Lincoln Union, and a member of the George Rogers Clark Memorial Commission.

There is a monument to him in Riverside Park in Indianapolis, Indiana, built during or after his terms as mayor. Thomas Taggart died March 6, 1929 and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Sources: "Thomas Taggart." 1900 United States Federal Census. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Taggart, Thomas T." RetroIndy. Accessed August 20, 2014.

Fadely, James P. "Taggart, Thomas." In The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, p. 1316-1317. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994. "Thomas Taggart." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed August 20, 2014.

French Lick Resort. "French Lick Resort." Accessed August 20, 2014.

"Taggart, Thomas T." Who Was Who in America. (1897-1956), vol. 1. Chicago, IL: Marquis.

"Thomas Taggart Memorial." Hidden Gems: Indiana Landmarks. Accessed August 20, 2014.


18.6 Cubic Feet (5 manuscript boxes, 2 medium oversize boxes, 31 custom boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Democratic National Committee on 1932/03/07, Lucy Taggart on 1956/06/07, and ACFTWHS on 1962/08/27.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/12/20 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid created 2016/12/20 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid updated 2017/11/29 by Lauren Patton.
Thomas Taggart collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.