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Zachary Taylor, U.S. President

Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States, grew up in Louisville and returned periodically throughout his life. His boyhood home was a frontier plantation called Springfield, where he was married, and he later owned a farm on Beargrass Creek.

Taylor served 40 years in the military and was a hero of the Mexican War. He was elected president in 1848 largely on the strength of his notoriety in that conflict.

Unfortunately, Taylor died in office of a sudden illness, just 16 months after his election. Though he was first buried in Washington, DC, his body was later moved to the Taylor family plot in Louisville. In 1883, the state of Kentucky erected a 50-foot granite monument, topped with a life-size statue, of the former president. That gravesite is now part of the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.

Established in 1928, the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery is located at 4701 Brownsboro Road. The 16-acre site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the final resting place for veterans of six wars, from the Spanish-American War to the Persian Gulf War.

More Zachary Taylor facts:

  • Zachary Taylor National Cemetery is the only site commemorating President Taylor that is open to the public.
  • Taylor is one of three presidents known to have visited Historic Locust Grove. The others are James Monroe and Andrew Jackson.
  • Both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis are connected to Zachary Taylor. The former campaigned for him; the latter married one of his daughters.
  • In 1917, a World War I training camp named for Taylor opened in Louisville. It closed in 1920.
  • Each year on November 24, Taylorís birthday, military personnnel from Fort Knox conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Taylor family mausoleum.
Program 106
The Kentucky Nurses Association, Actors Theatre of Louisville scenic designer Paul Owen, the Portland Museum, and community leader Christopher 2X. (#106)