President William Howard Taft Monument
Wreath Ceremony at the President Howard Taft Monument
President William Howard Taft was interred in Arlington National Cemetery March 11, 1930. His widow, Helen Herron Taft, was buried beside him May 25, 1943. Following the president's interment, the War Department placed an order for a headstone with the Vermont Marble Company.
Lot Size: 50 feet by 270 feet
Dimensions: Shaft - 14 feet 5 inches overall height; 2 feet 7 1/2 inches wide; 1 foot 1 1/4 inches thick
Base - a rectangle 3 feet 10 1/2 inches by 2 feet 2 1/2 inches by 1 foot 4 inches high
Material: Stoney Greek Granite
Dates: The Commission of Fine Arts submitted plans and request for authority to erect the monument on December 29, 1931. The request was approved by Maj. Gen. John L. DeWitt, the quartermaster general, War Department, the same day. The authority to erect the monument was hand delivered to the Commission of Fine Arts Oct. 30, 1931.
Cost: Erected by the Taft family
Sculptor: James Earl Frazer
The stone was to have a Latin Cross in a rosette at the top and the following inscription:
William Howard Taft
President of the United States 1909 - 1913
Died March 6, 1930
It is not known whether this headstone was ever erected, since soon after President Taft's death, Mrs. Taft arranged with James Earl Frazer, a New York sculptor, to design a private monument for the grave. The design was approved by the Commission of Fine Arts and the secretary of war. It was erected by the Taft family in early 1932.
The monument is in the Greek stele form, surmounted by a carved ornamental device in the acroteric motif. There are two 6-inch rosettes on the shaft, front and rear, 8 feet 3 inches from the base. A bench of the same material as the monument 1 foot 6 1/4 inches by 5 feet by 1 foot 6 inches high is on each side and approximately 15 feet to the right and left rear of the monument.
There is a foot stone 6 inches by 8 inches to mark the foot of each grave.
View the President William Howard Taft history page.