Biography of James Taylor
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Taylor, James, is one of the best known men in this section, a result of a service of over fifty years in the New Bedford custom house. His father, born in Newport. R. I., was also a well known and prominent citizen of New Bedford. He was, when a young man, clerk in the Newport custom house; in 1821 was appointed deputy collector of customs at Bristol, R. I., and in 1899 was appointed deputy collector of customs at New Bedford. In 1843 he resigned this position to take the secretaryship of the Mutual Marine Insurance Company, an office which he filled for twenty years. Soon after, the Ocean Insurance Company was formed, and he held the office of president and secretary until it closed business in 1878. He served on the Board of Aldermen, was for fourteen years a member of the School Committee, several years as chairman, and chief engineer of the fire department in 1844. He was a man of the greatest exactness and integrity, true and faithful in all relations of life. He was a charter member of the New Bedford Port Society and for many years its secretary; he was also president of the Bristol County Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He died in New Bedford, September 13, 1880, having attained the age of eightyeight. James Taylor, son of William H. and Eliza A. (Pitman) Taylor, was born in Providence, R. I., October 20, 1825. The family removed to New Bedford when he was five years old, and he was graduated from the High School in 1840. For a short time he worked as a clerk in the hardware store of F. & I. C. Taber, and was then appointed to a clerkship in the post office; in 1843 he was appointed to a similar position in the custom house, and served in that capacity until 1853, when he was appointed deputy collector. This office he held for a period of thirty seven years, or until 1890, and was then appointed collector of customs for the port and district of New Bedford, holding this commission until 1895, and thus completing a service of over half a century in the New Bedford custom house. In 1881 he succeeded his father as president of the Bristol County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and still holds the office. He has been clerk of the trustees of the Five Cents Savings Bank since the death of Charles Almy. Like his father he has been active in the work of the New Bedford Port Society, and has served as secretary for some years. He is a past master of Star in the East Lodge of Masons, a member of the Chapter, Council and Commandery, and past senior grand warden of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Since 1841 he has been a member of Acushnet Lodge of Odd Fellows. For many years he has served as trustee, and is now treasurer of the County Street M. E. Church. The only city office Mr. Taylor ever held was as overseer of the poor one term. Although in the seventy fourth year of his age he is still active and vigorous; a man of most pleasing social qualities, and possessed of many warm friends. Mr. Taylor. married, in 1849, Elizabeth. daughter of David Stoddard of Scituate, Mass., and they had five children: Annie H., wife of J. G. Bassett of Bridgewater, Mass.; William H., a young physician of promising ability who died in New Bedford, July 20, 1891; James A., now assistant postmaster of New Bedford; Frank T., a practicing dentist of South Boston, and Mary Loring. The Taylor family comes of old Rhode Island stock, James Taylor being a direct descendant and seventh of the line of Robert Taylor, a resident of Newport in 1655; Robert,2 Peter,3 a preacher of the Friends; Robert,4 a Friend who was tax collector in Newport; James,5 a graduate M. D. and well known pharmacist of Newport; William H.,6; and James,7.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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