CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TAFT, KINGSLEY ARTER

TAFT, KINGSLEY ARTER

TAFT, KINGSLEY ARTER (19 July 1903-28 March 1970) was a Justice on the Ohio Supreme Court between 1948-1962, and Chief Justice, between 1963-1970. An astute student of the law, Taft's judicial career was marked by the establishment of the Ohio Judicial Conference, and the adoption of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure in 1970.

Born in Cleveland to Frederick and Mary Arter Taft, Taft attended Bolton School and Cleveland Heights High School, graduating in 1921. He received the A.B. degree from Amherst College in 1925. In 1928 he received the LL.B. from Harvard Law School and was admitted to the Ohio bar.  Taft began his career in 1928 when he joined the firm of Dustin, McKeehan, Merrick, Arter & Stewart, (Arter & Hadden). He became a partner in 1940 and continued with the firm until 1948, interrupting practice from 1942-1946 to serve as a major in the U.S. Army's Cleveland Ordinance Department.

Taft was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, serving from 1933-1934. Taft served on the Shaker Height School Board from 1940-1942, serving as president in 1942. In 1946 Taft was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the unexpired term of Harold Burton.  Taft won election to the Ohio Supreme Court in 1948, winning re-election in 1954 and 1960. Taft became the first Ohio associate justice to challenge an incumbent Chief Justice, defeating Carl Weygandt in 1962. While on the Court Taft wrote 609 opinions.

Taft married Louise Dakin on 14 Sept. 1927. They had four sons: Charles, Kingsley, Sheldon, and David. A Methodist, Taft is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


In Memoriam: Kingsley A. Taft 1903-1970. Memorial committee, the Supreme Court of Ohio. Arter & Hadden archive.

O'Hara, Janet. Arter & Hadden: 1843-1993 150th Anniversary History, 1993.