Biography of Douglas W. Taylor
Oregon Biographies





The name of Douglas W. Taylor has been closely associated with the history of public service in Portland and Oregon and when death called him his life record should have been concluded with the words: 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Again and again he had been elected to positions of public honor and trust, the duties of which he discharged with marked promptness, capability and fidelity. He had become a resident of Oregon in 1854 at which time his parents removed with their family to the Pacific coast from Muscatine, Iowa, where his birth had occurred January 23, 1851. His father, Peter Taylor, was a native of Perth, Scotland, and had come to the new world in 1847. For five years he remained a resident of Iowa and then in 1852 traveled over the long stretches of hot sand and through the mountain passes to the northwest. The following year he sent for his family and they sailed from New York, making the trip by way of the Isthmus of Panama and arriving at Portland on the 8th of January, 1854.

Douglas W. Taylor, then but three years of age, was reared to manhood in Portland and acquired his education in the common schools of this city and in the Portland Academy. In early youth he became interested in surveying and when his school days were over took up work of that character, being employed to considerable extent in that connection by the railroad companies. By the time he had reached the age of twenty three he had gained a most creditable reputation for efficiency in surveying and this led to his election to the office of city surveyor of Portland. No higher testimonial of his worth in office could be given than the statement that he was reelected in 1875, 1876, 1877, and again in 1881. The greater part of his life was devoted to public service. He remained almost continuously in office and over the record of his official career there falls no shadow of wrong nor suspicion of evil. In June, 1886, he was elected to represent Multnomah county in the state legislature but before the general assembly convened he was appointed in July of that year to the office of United States surveyor for Oregon, by President Cleveland. He then resigned his legislative position and filled the office of surveyor general until August, 1890. In June, 1891, he was elected superintendent of streets in Portland and continued to discharge the duties of that position for some time, manifesting the same capability and efficiency which had marked his former discharge of official duties.

On June 4, 1879, Mr. Taylor was united in marriage to Miss Alice Carr, a native of California and to them were born three sons, Douglas W., Jr., and Richard B., both deceased; and Henry, a resident of Portland. He found his greatest happiness in promoting the welfare of his family and his pleasantest hours were those spent at his own fireside. He was a faithful follower of Masonic teachings and was identified with both branches of masonry. Politically he was a democrat from the time that age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He passed away December 12, 1918, leaving his widow and two sons. All who knew him, and he had a wide acquaintance, bear testimony to the sterling worth of his character, to his efficiency in public office and to his well spent life.

From:
History of Oregon Illistrated
Vol. 3
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922


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