Biography of W. H. Taylor
Poweshiek County, IA Biographies





W. H. TAYLOR.
Perhaps no resident of Barnes City, Iowa, occupies a more prominent place among the builders of the town than does W. H. Taylor, whose generous donation of land made possible the establishment of enterprises around which, as a nucleus, the flourishing little village has had its growth. Born in Parke county, Indiana, on the 3d of February, 1845, he is a son of William and Martha (Darland) Taylor, also natives of that state. There the father passed away when the son was but a year old, and subsequently his wife and her mother, Mrs. Alsey (Reynolds) Darland, also a widow, removed to Warren county, Illinois, where they resided until about 1857. They then came to Poweshiek county, Iowa, where both passed away. W. H. Taylor, of this review, was the youngest and is now the only living member of a family of three children, the others being: Amanda, the deceased wife of George Anderson; and John Dudley.

W. H. Taylor was a lad of twelve years when he took up his abode in Poweshiek county, and since the age of twenty three years he has made his home upon his present farm. When twenty one years of age he purchased eighty acres of this farm, to which he later added as he prospered in his agricultural pursuits until he became one of the most extensive landowners in his section of the county, a fact which speaks strongly of a life of industry, perseverance and ambition on the part of one whose start in life was in no way auspicious and whose gradual rise in the business world came as the result of his own well directed efforts. At one time he owned all of section 34, Jackson township, eighty acres of section 33 and eighty acres of section 27, all lying in one body, and constituting one of the finest and most valuable estates in the township. Twenty acres of this property is within the corporation limits of Barnes City and upon this tract Mr. Taylor now makes his home. He has disposed of much of his land to his sons, although the entire tract still remains in the possession of the family. It is equipped with five good sets of buildings, occupied by two sons, a son in law and two tenants, and is a well improved property, all of the up to date conveniences and accessories of a model farm having been introduced by Mr. Taylor. In 1897 he built a large barn, forty eight by ninety six feet, and in the following year erected his present handsome fourteen room dwelling, equipped throughout with all of the latest improvements. In former years he operated this place himself, actively engaged in general farming and stock raising, but during the past few years has rented the land. In 1892 he became identified with the commercial interests of Barnes City as proprietor of a general mercantile business operated under the firm style of W. H. Taylor & Sons. For about seven years this enterprise had a continuous and successful growth under his management, becoming one of the most important business concerns of the town, and then, in 1899, he withdrew from active life, leaving the entire direction and management of the business to his sons, who have since conducted it under the original name of W. H. Taylor & Sons. He is now living retired, enjoying in well earned rest a fortune which is at once substantial and honorable.

Mr. Taylor was married, in 1868, to Miss Martha Ann Fisher, whose death occurred in 1872. For his second wife he chose Miss Martha Jane Lown, whom he wedded on the 17th of April, 1876. She was born in Marion county, Ohio, on the 13th of May, 1847, and in 1856 came to Iowa with her parents, Thomas and Jane (Hodson), both natives of England. Her father had come alone to this county in early manhood, while the mother had been brought to Ohio by her parents when only eight years of age. They were married in Richmond county, Ohio, and both passed away in Iowa county, Iowa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were born five children, as follows: Charles W., a member of the firm of W. H. Taylor & Sons; Martin D., also a member of that firm; James M., a resident of Texas, who has an interest in the firm; Elsie E., the wife of. James Doan, of Barnes City, who is likewise one of the firm; and George F., now operating a part of the home farm. At one time all of these children were connected with their father in the active management of the business of W. H. Taylor & Sons:

Mr. Taylor belongs to the Christian church, whose teachings form the guiding influence in his life, and fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order. A stalwart democrat, he has never been active in politics, however, further than casting his ballot at the polls, but he is nevertheless deeply interested in the welfare of the community, and his name is foremost upon the list of the town's public spirited citizens and benefactors. It was his donation of nine acres of land to the Rock Island Railroad Company for a right of way and a site for a station that decided the location of the town of Barnes City at this point, and thus with its very founding his name is connected. He also gave a tract of three acres as a site for the Barnes City Tile Factory and in this way brought to the village one of its well known and important industries, and he also assisted largely in the erection of all three of the church edifices here. An excellent example of the self made man, he has every reason to be proud of the success which he has achieved and the high place which he has won in the community, for his life has been one of noble purposes and has found its reward in the high regard, respect and goodwill in which he is held by all who know him.

From:
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa
A Record of settlement, organization
progress and achievement
By: Prof. L. F. Parker
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1911


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