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ROBERT Jr. TAFT
In about two, or at most three years after Thomas was settled and paid taxes, Robert, Junior, was also settled and came upon the tax list. After the separate organization of Uxbridge, Robert Junior, and both Josephs and Benjamin disappear from the subsequent records of Mendon, and appear upon those of Uxbridge. At the first March meeting of Uxbridge, (1727), Robert Taft, no longer junior, his father being dead, was chosen first selectman. He continued to figure in the town affairs, having undoubted weight and influence for a few years, when he gave up that kind of ambition to his son Captain John, and retired to that otium cum dignitate, which becomes old age. He died April 29, 1748. His oldest son, who remained in Mendon, had large transactions in real estate, and was a man of spirit and enterprise. He was popular, and held every office of trust and honor the town had to give, from fence viewer and tything-man, to selectman and representative in "the Great and General Court." He came upon the stage after Captain Josiah Chapin had passed off, and after his uncle Daniel had become absorbed in the important duties which, at that time, weighed down a colonial justice of the peace. Capt. Robert was elected representative many times. From 1740, he was chosen not less than five or six times in succession. He lived and died in Mendon. He and his cousin, Captain Eleazer Taft, were contemporaries, and each had a lively turn of mind, which, after Uxbridge was cut off, seemed to be needed to keep the old town awake; and if they ever went a little too fast, their uncle Daniel was always ready to check, as well as to sustain them. Meantime, Captain John, who was also animating and popular, competed with his cousin Josiah, in Uxbridge, for the public favor, and both received a large share of it. The descendants of Robert, Junior, are very strong in this region, and are numerous elsewhere. They have laid hold of every kind of business, and made it thrive. They are generally men and women of robust constitutions and good intellects. They have had some enormous families. The competition in that particular, between the tribe of Thomas, and that of Robert, has been fearful. Thomas and Robert, Jr., led off with eleven each. Israel Taft, of Upton, a son of Robert Jr. had nineteen children, and Samuel, one of his sons, had twenty-two, of whom fourteen grew up, and were married. And I am informed by Governor Taft, of Vermont, that Gideon Taft, of that State, another and a late descendant of Robert Jr, was the father of thirty children. Samuel, owned and carried on a farm and a tavern in Uxbridge, on the old turnpike road from Boston to Hartford. It was at his house, that Washington, on his way from Boston to New York, soon after his first election to the Presidency, stopped and was entertained, and so much was he pleased with the family, that he wrote Mr. Taft.