Biography of Daniel R. Taylor
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

DANIEL R. TAYLOR. In the development and growth of many of Cleveland's most important business enterprises a leading part for many years has been borne by Daniel R. Taylor, president of the Manufacturers Realty Company, and one of the solid, substantial men of this city, whose close association with real estate interests covers more than a half century.

Daniel R. Taylor was born at Twinsburg, Summit County, Ohio, March 28, 1838, coming of Revolutionary stock and of old pioneer Western Reserve ancestry. His parents were Royal and Sarah A. (Richardson) Taylor, his grandfather was Samuel Taylor, and his great grandfather, also Samuel Taylor, spent his entire life in Massachusetts, where his direct ancestors, the Taylors from Suffolk, England, had settled in the early Colonial days. Four of his sons were soldiers in the American Revolution and also took part in many of the early Indian campaigns.

The Taylor family was founded in Ohio by Samuel Taylor, the grandfather, a native of Massachusetts, who came to the Western Reserve with his wife and eight children and in 1807 established a home at Aurora, in Portage County, where his death occurred shortly after the close of the War of 1812. Of this long overland journey it is related in the family records that Samuel Taylor rode across the Ohio line in probably the first carriage or old time chaise that ever entered the state, but the discovery was soon made that this Massachusetts vehicle had not been constructed strong enough to contend with the difficulties of the roadless, trackless frontier country encountered, and upon finally reaching Youngstown the symbol of luxury was traded for a cow, a transaction spoken of facetiously by Daniel R. Taylor as "probably the best trade the Taylor family ever made." The travelers finally reached Aurora, their destination, but at that time there were absolutely no public roads through Warren County.

Royal Taylor was born at Middlefield, Massachusetts, and accompanied his parents when they removed to Ohio, of which state he became a man of worth and prOminence. At the time of his death he was a resident of Ravenna, Ohio, and among the tributes paid to his memory the following is worthy of preservation as family history. "Royal Taylor was a vigorous man, physically and mentally. With the active men of his generation he did much toward developing the Western Reserve in every way. He took an active part in organizing the free soil and republican parties, and in aiding Governors Tod and Brough in caring for veterans of the Civil war. In early days he was of great assistance to his widowed mother, in the meantime taking advantage of every opportunity, limited at the time, to obtain an education, even acquiring a more or less familiar acquaintance with Latin and other higher branches of study, including a fair knowledge of law. As a young man he passed two years as a teacher in Kentucky, where he became a friend of the Marshall and other representative families, and there married his first wife. All of their five children are deceased. After his return to Ohio, Royal Taylor became associated with his brother and another man in the business of transporting cheese to points down the Ohio River by means of flatboats and other primitive means, thus virtually opening the first transport trade to the South from Northern Ohio. After the financial depression of 1837 he was appointed assignee for several merchants who failed in business, and because of his success in handling these affairs he continued in this line of work for several years."

Royal Taylor was married, second, in 1837 to Miss Sarah A. Richardson, whose parents had come to Ohio from Barkhamstead, Connecticut, in 1824 and settled at Twinsburg, her father in all probability having been a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Of the seven children of this marriage Daniel R. was the first born. He has one brother, seven years his junior, William G. Taylor, who is engaged in the real estate business at Cleveland, a lawyer by profession, but never active at the bar.

Daniel Richardson Taylor attended school in boyhood at Chagrin Falls and Bissell Academy at Twinsburg, and early made himself very useful in his father's office, his fine, legible penmanship being utilized in copying deeds, contracts, mortgages and other important legal documents, at the same time giving him a little business experience. In 1856, when the Cleveland & Mahoning Railroad was opened, Mr. Taylor was appointed station agent at Solon, Ohio, and later served at Aurora in the same capacity, continuing with the railroad for about four years, when he returned to his father's office and took charge of the latter's real estate interests in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, these business matters being of unusual importance at that time on account of the impending war.

In 1862 Mr. Taylor enlisted for military service, entering the Eighty fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, of which he was made quartermaster, and served as such during the term of his regiment's enlistment, after which he became military agent at Louisville, Kentucky, and then at Nashville, Tennessee. Of this important period of his life Mr: Taylor has written: "Here I did the best work of my life, and I remained until we got virtually all of the Union soldiers out of the South."

For about eighteen months after the close of the Civil war Mr. Taylor was associated with his father, who at that time was commissioner of soldiers' claims at Columbus, Ohio, but in November, 1867, he came to Cleveland, and this city has been his home ever since, his business activities having been largely and notably along the line of real estate dealing. In pleasurably looking back over a long and active business life Mr. Taylor has had the following to say: "In the early days my. business was of a general commission order, in the opening and selling of allotments; later I became concerned in owning and handling railroad frontage for manufacturing purposes, with several kinds of railroad fronts in Cleveland, and my business has since continued along that line to a considerable extent. I was purchasing agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad f or many years, in the acquiring of real estate in Cleveland and vicinity. Though I have now measurably retired from the vigorous activities that formerly engaged my attention, I still have my own business and am interested in certain other concerns that place no little demand upon my time." Mr. Taylor might have added that in the opinion of his fellow citizens few men of his years are so clear visioned, encouraging and optimistic in attitude in relation to the beautiful city he has helped to build, and few so unselfishly ready to still lend a helping hand wherever the city's present or future welfare is concerned.

In 1892 Mr. Taylor was largely instrumental in organizing the Cleveland Real Estate Board, which has become a flourishing and important body. He is president of the Manufacturers Realty Company and of theĽ Harbor View Company, owners of a large amount of valuable real estate, and has been a director and executive officer of a number of local concerns, including the Adams Bagnell Electric Company. For a half century he has been a member of the Old Stone Church. He is one of the original members of the Union Club and has belonged to others. He has never accepted a political office, but has always been active in the republican party.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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