President William Howard Taft’s pet cow, Pauline Wayne, used to graze on the lawn of the White House and the State, War, and Navy Building (now the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building) next door.
In 1910, Taft’s previous cow, Mooly Wooly, died after eating too many oats. Wisconsin senator Isaac Stephenson bought Pauline Wayne for the Tafts. Previous cows served primarily as milk producers at the Executive Mansion. Pauline reportedly could produce 25 pounds of butter a week, and 9 gallons of milk a day. She was also worth around $500. However, Pauline was adored beyond her role as a dairy source. She shared the White House stables with Taft’s presidential carriage horses, as well as the White House’s first fleet of cars.
As the most recognizable cow in the nation, Pauline became the subject of media fascination. “The Washington Post” wrote over 20 stories about her between 1910 and 1912, calling her the “provider-in-chief [of] the finest milk and butter.” The Post even made serious attempts to interview her on more than one occasion. She was the last presidential cow to live at the White House and was considered as much a Taft family pet as she was livestock. When Taft left office, she was shipped back to Wisconsin.
New York Times, “Will take cow to Taft,” September 25, 1910.
New York Times, “White House cow arrives,” November 4, 1910.
New York Times, “Taft cow to retired list,” February 2, 1913.