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Friday, February 9, 2018

T. Roosevelt and W.H. Taft Make a Stop in Defiance - May, 1912

For many years, Lloyd V. Tuttle contributed historic photos and information to the Defiance Crescent-News for his column: "A Backward Glance."  This article was undated, but the story was from 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt and President Taft campaigned for President in Defiance.  The article has one error, according to actual sources of the day.  T. R. visited first and a day later, Taft came to town.  They were not in town on the same day.

"WHEN Teddy Roosevelt ran against William Howard Taft for president of the United States, it just happened that both candidates arrived in Defiance at about the same time.  Teddy spoke from the court house steps and here he is shown mingling with the crowd.  Defiance was a great Bull Moose town.

A FEW MINUTES later Taft spoke from a big truck, owned by the Defiance Truck and Transfer.  This truck, which was equipped with a windlass, was pulled by three horses.

There was a very large crowd present to hear the two candidates and pickpockets got $400 from one of the listeners.

John J. Bridenbaugh, 511 Jefferson Ave., brought the picture in." 


Candidate Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive, visited Defiance on May 16, 1912, where the crowd gathered at the courthouse to hear him.  Edward Bronson was also there to memorialize the event in wonderful panoramic photos which may be
viewed in the Ohio Memory Project
Defiance Daily Crescent News, May 17, 1912


When President Taft, Republican incumbent, came to Defiance on May 17, 1912, a Saturday morning, he was campaigning for a second term.  He chose to speak from the bed of a truck parked on the walkway to the courthouse.  Photos were taken by Bronson and may be found in the Ohio Memory Project here.

Defiance Daily Crescent News, May 18, 1912
Despite their campaign visits, it was a Democratic victory in the 1912 election with Woodrow Wilson accepting the victory.  The Democratic vote in Defiance County was the majority that year with 2,784 votes for Wilson, as opposed to 872 for Taft and 1,912 for Other, including T. R.

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