Jay P. Taggart was born on July 8, 1886, near Summerfield, Ohio. He married Winifred Rutter of Ada, Ohio, on October 12, 1909, and they had no children.
Mr. Taggart attended public schools in Monroe County, and then attended Ohio Northern University. He taught school in Monroe and Belmont counties and received an LL.B. degree from Ohio Northern University in 1908. In 1914, he became Dean and Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University, College of Law.
In 1917, Taggart left the University to practice law in Ashland in partnership with the Honorable Charles C. Chapman under the firm name of Chapman & Taggart. He then practiced alone in Akron until April of 1918. He then became associated with the firm White, Johnson, Cannon & Neff in Cleveland. Three years later he became a partner. He practiced there under the names of White, Johnson, Cannon & Spieth; Cannon, Spieth, Taggart, Spring & Annat; and Spieth, Taggart, Spring & Anna, until 1944.
Taggart was awarded an LL.D. degree by Ohio Northern University in 1941. He served as chairman of the Committee on Grievances and the Committee on Professional Ethics of the Cleveland Bar Association, and for three years as a member of its Executive Committee.
He was a member of the Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct of the Ohio State Bar Association from 1936 to 1941, and for the last two years of that period, chairman of that committee. Taggart was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association from 1941 to 1944 and re-nominated without opposition for re-election to a second term. For several years he served as chairman of the Committee on State Legislation of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.
He served as editor of Ohio Corporation Desk Book (1940); associate editor (Corporation chapters) of Page’s Ohio General Code Annotated, and the corporation chapter of Couse’s Ohio Forms and Precedents, 4th edition (1940).
In politics, Mr. Taggart was a Republican. He earned the title of a 32nd degree Mason, member of Lake Erie Consistory, and a member of Al Koran Shrine. Other memberships include Cleveland, Ohio State and American Bar Associations, Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights, the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Hermit, Mid-Day and Rawfant Clubs, and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Mr. Taggert died November 18, 1949, but had donated a large sum of money to the College of Law’s library, and the library was named for him in 1953.