the Women of the White House
When tragedy struck the White House only two months into the Taft Presidency, Nellie Taft's sisters Secretly rushed to her aid. Four of them took up residence in the mansion and tended to Nellie while entertaining guests to keep the press oblivious to the First Lady's condition.
Miss HELEN HERRON TAFT, The Second CHILD AND ONLY DAUGHTER to the President and Mrs. Taft, PUT HER STUDIEs at BRYN MAWR college ON HOLD SO SHE COULD ASSUME HER MOTHER'S role AS WHITE HOUSE HOSTESS. She met with dignitaries and ambassadors, maintained a prominent public image, and upheld HER MOTHER'S vows to Women's labor all while covertly assisting her aunts in her mother's recovery. Miss Helen was only NINETEEN at the time.
An Agent of Change
When her mother's condition improved, Miss Helen Taft returned to Bryn Mawr and graduated in 1915 with degrees in history, economics, and politics. Two years later at 25, she served as Dean of the college, And two years after that, acting president. She eventually earned a Ph.D. at Yale and became a history professor at Bryn Mawr.