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IHS Press

Thomas Taggart: Public Servant, Political Boss, 1856-1929

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Hoosier Democratic party boss and businessman Thomas Taggart is the subject of this biography, written by James Philip Fadely, an Indianapolis educator and writer. The book examines Taggart's skills and success in both business and politics. Coming from a humble immigrant background, Taggart worked his way up from clerk at the dining hall at the old Union Depot in Indianapolis to proprietor of two hotels in the capital city. He also was widely known as the man responsible for developing French Lick Springs Hotel in southern Indiana into a world-class spa for the rich and famous. With his hotels and far-flung business interests, Taggart became one of the state's wealthiest men. For a third of a century he also was the undisputed boss of the Democratic machine in Indiana. He made governors, congressmen, senators, vice presidents, and even presidents.

Paperback, 267 pages.  1997; revised 2023, Indiana Historical Society Press.  By James Philip Fadely.