Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

During the time of the Republican convention this summer many were comparing the situation with that of 1912. In both 1912 and 1952 two men battled it out for the Republican nomination for president. Senator Robert A. Taft's father, William H. Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt were the contenders in 1912. William Howard Taft received the nomination but Roosevelt became the nominee of a hastily organized third party, the progressives.

On April 2, 1912, a Republican convention was held in the Opera House at Warsaw for the purpose of electing delegates from the Thirteenth Congressional district to the Republican convention to be held in Chicago in June. It was obvious by this time that the party would have a difficult time nominating a ticket which would satisfy all factions because of the growing cleavage between Taft and Roosevelt.

Sentiment for Roosevelt was strong in Kosciusko county, but the Taft supporters controlled the district Opera House meeting. In a long drawn-out session lasting about four hours Taft delegates were selected. The Roosevelt backers were furious and kept up loud talking in the Opera House so that few heard what was going on.

This split between Taft and Roosevelt, which set the stage for the victory of Democrat Woodrow Wilson in the fall election, did not affect the local county ticket. When the Republicans met at Winona Lake in June to select the county ticket, the decision was reached that either Taft nor Roosevelt would be satisfactory to Kosciusko Republicans. Progressives organized locally but they did not oppose the Republicans except on the presidental level. The Kosciusko county vote was: Wilson, Democrat, 2,817; Roosevelt, Progressive, 2,096; Taft, Republican, 1,767. Aside from the office of Prosecuting attorney, the county Republican ticket was victorious.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Sept. 2, 1952