Lewis J. Taber

From Ohio History Central

Lewis John Taber was Ohio's first Director of Agriculture. The Director of Agriculture served as the head of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Taber was born on September 19, 1878, in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio. Taber's parents were members of the Society of Friends, and Taber, himself, remained dedicated to the Quaker faith throughout his life. In 1900, he graduated from Olney Quaker College and embarked upon a farming career. By the 1920s, Taber had risen to prominence within the Patrons of Husbandry, which was more commonly known as the Grange. He was a Master of the National Grange from 1923 to 1941. Taber also worked for the Farmers and Traders Life Insurance Company of Syracuse, New York from1926 to 1958, including serving as the chairman of the company's board of directors. He also played an active role in the Ohio Council of Churches, serving six terms as president.

Taber also actively participated in government. From 1921 to 1923, he served as Ohio's first Director of Agriculture. In 1932, he sought election to the United States Senate from Ohio, but he lost the election. President Herbert Hoover also nominated Taber as the United States Secretary of Agriculture in 1932, but he failed to attain the position. He opposed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policies during the 1930s.