Biography of Truman B. Taylor
Erie County, OH Biographies





TRUMAN BENJAMIN TAYLOR. Among the old families of Erie County the Taylors have had a prominent place from the time when the State of Ohio was on the western frontier. Fully a century has elapsed since the company of Connecticut colonists journeyed westward and established themselves in the wilderness of Perkins Township. Of the several distinctive families in that party the Taylors were of special prominence. A fact of pioneer history which has often been little mentioned is that the first settlers of any community, through their leadership, their relations in family or friendly ties with later commerce, and through their public spirit in guarding the moral integrity of the community, often exercise a far reaching and invaluable influence on the social and economic welfare and give a vital direction to the subsequent destiny of their locality. The Taylors and their associates in pioneer settlement were all people of substantial New England stock, moral and upright and thrifty, and in many ways the influences and results of their lives can be traced in the history of Erie County.

In 1815 a colony was organized at Glastonbury, Connecticut, for the purpose of making settlement in the Ohio wilderness. This colony comprised the following heads of families: Joseph Taylor, Sr., his sons Joseph and Jesse Taylor, Eleazur Bell, Julius House, Pliny Johnson, Haney Corelle, Roswell Eddy, Roswell Hubbard, Halsey Aikens and Dr. Richard Christopher. It will be recalled that the date was ten years before the opening of the Erie Canal, and right at the beginning of the great westward movement which in a few years peopled all the country west of the Alleghenies up to the Mississippi. The means of transportation were of the most primitive nature. America at that time had no railroads, and there were no canals across the mountains. The colony from Connecticut therefore made the entire journey with wagons and teams. To some of the wagons were attached two pair of oxen and a horse, and to others one pair of oxen and a horse. In the wagons were carried the household goods, provisions and farm implements, and everything not needed was sacrificed and left behind, including many comforts to which these families had been accustomed in the East. Along the way they camped out at night, and spent forty nine days in travel. This brought them to what was then Huron County, now Perkins Township of Erie County.

Arriving in this wilderness, Joseph Taylor, at that time the head of the Taylor family, bought land, improved a farm, and spent the rest of his days in Erie County. Both he and his wife are buried in one of the old cemeteries in Perkins Township. He was twice married and had children by both wives. In the next generation special attention is called to Jesse Taylor, one of the sons of Joseph. Jesse Taylor was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, March 14, 1783, and was about thirty two years of age when he came to Northern Ohio. He also bought land, situated about seventy rods east of the brick church in Perkins township, and there built a log house which continued to be the home of the Taylor family for a number of years. He improved his land, was an industrious worker, a prosperous citizen, and did his share in the moral and civic upbuilding of the community. His death occurred October 26, 1852. Jesse Taylor married Julia House, a twin sister of Julius House, who was a prominent pioneer and whose name is mentioned in the above list of early settlers in Perkins Township. She died October 28, 1867, having reared three sons and two daughters: Ellery, Julius, Dennis, Maria and Eliza.

Dennis G. Taylor, who was in the third generation of the Taylor family in Erie County, was born in Perkins Township May 4, 1821. As a boy he attended one of the pioneer schools of the county, and early learned lessons of industry while helping subdue the wilderness and in cultivating the farm. He afterwards succeeded to the ownership of the old Jesse Taylor homestead, and was not only energetic and active but was possessed of unusual business ability. Besides farming, he dealt in farm implements and live stock and was a highly influential member of the community. He added to the improvements of the old home, and left it with a good set of frame buildings at the time of his death on November 3, 1896. Dennis Taylor was married in 1844 to Phebe Ann Wright, who was born in Galen Township, of Wayne County, New York, November 24, 1822 Her father, Benjamin Belden Wright, was born on a farm near Cold Springs, a few miles below Poughkeepsie on the Hudson River, and about 1820 removed to Wayne County, where he was an early settler, lived there until 1834, and then came to Ohio and settled in what is now Berlin Township of Erie County. There he improved a farm and lived until his death. He was a man of unusual education for his time, and among other influences by which he impressed his individuality on the community was as local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Benjamin Wright married Nancy Baker. Mrs. Dennis Taylor was educated in the Norwalk Seminary in Ohio. One of her instructors in that institution was Edward S. Thompson, who subsequently became a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and whoa officiated at the ceremony which united her in wedlock with Dennis Taylor. She died March 19, 1895.

Of these last named parents the only son and child was Truman Benjamin Taylor, who was born in Perkins Township February 10, 1846, and has for many years been prominent in Erie County as a farmer and stock man and also as a banker at Sandusky. As a boy he had the advantages of a good home, with surroundings of culture and moral and uplifting influences, and through his own career has lived up to the standards set him by his forebears. He attended the rural schools, and in 1865 was graduated from the Sandusky High School. He then took a course in the Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie, New York, and on graduating from that institution returned home and took up the life of a farmer. He also sold farm implements and farm produce, and eventually succeeded to the ownership of the splendid old estate on which his grandfather had settled a century ago. That was his home, though in the meantime his interests had extended to the City of Sandusky, until 1909. Having built a beautiful residence on Wayne Street, he then removed to the city, and now enjoys the comforts and luxuries of a city home.

Mr. Taylor was married December 5, 1872, to Mary Jane Eddy, who is likewise of the old pioneer stock that settled Perkins Township 100 years ago. She was born in Perkins Township, October 11, 1849, a daughter of Joseph and Caroline (Akins) Eddy, and is a granddaughter of Roswell and Hannah (Taylor) Eddy, her grandfather's name appearing in the list of pioneers above given. Mrs. Taylor died April 6, 1914. There were three children: Carrie Edith, born January 8, 1874, died January 13, 1876; Bert Eddy, and Nellie. Bert married Belle Vernon Jones, while Nellie is the wife of Cary W. Hord and has a son, Burton Taylor.

Mr. T. B. Taylor was one of the organizers of the Citizens' Banking Company of Sandusky, and is one of the three charter members still living. He served as president of the institution twenty two years, resigning on account of ill health, and now officiating as chairman of the board of directors. He was also one of the promoters and was treasurer of the company that built the Sandusky Short Line Railroad, and was one of the builders of the Sandusky, Milan & Norwalk Electric Railroad, the first interurban electric line in Ohio. He was president of the company until the property was consolidated with other electric lines in Northern Ohio. Mr. Taylor was one of the charter members of Perkins Grange, No. 637, Patrons of Husbandry, and was its first secretary. He has long been identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was married and of which his wife was a devout and consistent member.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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