Horace Dutton Taft

Horace Dutton Taft (December 28, 1861 - January 28, 1943) was an American educator, and the founder of The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, United States.

He was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, the younger brother of William Howard Taft of the powerful Taft family. He graduated from Yale University in 1883, where he was a member of Skull and Bones and won the Townsend Prize.[1]:14-15

He went on to Cincinnati Law School, but passed the bar after his second year and practiced law briefly at a firm with his father Alphonso Taft. Knowing he preferred education, he returned to Yale to tutor Latin.

In 1890 he opened a college preparatory school for boys in Pelham Manor, New York.

On 29 June 1892 he married Winifred Shepard Thompson, an art teacher at a New Haven high school. She died of cancer in 1909. There were no children of the marriage.

In 1893 he moved his school to Watertown, Connecticut, purchasing the Warren House, a Civil War-era hotel, and adopting the name The Taft School in 1898.

Taft retired as headmaster in 1936 but continued to teach a course in Civics until his death.


  1. "OBITUARY RECORD OF GRADUATES OF YALE UNIVERSITY DECEASED DURING THE YEAR 1942-1943" (PDF). Yale University. January 1, 1944. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
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