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John W. Taylor, Page 516
JOHN W. TAYLOR (deceased) was a well-known pioneer of Sheboygan County. He was born in the town of Byron, Genesee County, N. Y., October 12, 1816. His father, Elisha Taylor, was a native of Connecticut, born in 1784. The family are of English origin, and were early settlers of the Colony of Connecticut.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in his native county, receiving such education as the common schools of western New York then afforded. He was married August 11, 1839, to Miss Caroline Coleman, daughter of Dr. Noah H. Coleman, an early settler of the Genesee Valley and a pioneer physician. In 1846, Mr. Taylor came to Wisconsin with a view to securing a desirable location for settlement. He was so favorably impressed with the beauty of the country, its future prospects, and especially by the fine spring water that abounded on the site of the present city of Plymouth, that he determined there to locate. There was then but one family living in what is now the city of Plymouth, and only one residence, and that a log house owned by H. I. Davidson, which was occupied by himself and family, the latter consisting of his wife, two sons and two daughters. Mr. Taylor purchased of Mr. Davidson the property including the log house and the site on which the city of Plymouth now stands. The cabin was located in the western part of the city, near the present Taylor family residence, and was built by Mr. Davidson in the fall of 1845. Our subject at once enlarged the cabin and it became a station for the traveling public. Being on the stage route between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, it was well patronized and its importance in this respect continued until the building of the railroad. For a number of years Mr. Taylor kept hotel, and assisted in locating the settlers who were searching for new homes. As he was employed as Land Agent, operating in connection with the Land Office at Green Bay, he traveled extensively and became widely known.
Soon after Mr. Taylor became permanently settled, he returned to the State of New York and brought back with him his parents. The father built a part of the tome where the family now reside, which was the first frame house in the city. This was largely added to afterward by John Taylor. The latter employed a surveyor to lay out the town plat of Plymouth, and wished to call it Springfield, from the number of cold springs that abound, but Mr. Davidson preferring the name of Plymouth, it was so called. Soon after the laying out of the town, Mr. Taylor was instrumental in establishing a post-office, and Mr. Davidson became the first Postmaster, and later Mr. Taylor also held that office. However, his chief occupation was that of farming. He was very successful, and accumulated valuable property as the result of the rise in the value of his land, as well as of industry and good business management.
Mr. Taylor was a man of large public spirit and of generous impulses. He possessed in a high degree the virtue of benevolence, and was ever liberal in the support of whatever tended to advance the interests of the community in which he lived. Politically, he was a Republican and took an active interest in promoting the principles of that party. He was a member of the Congregational Society, of Plymouth, and its Secretary for many years.
Our subject's death occurred at the old homestead on December 10, 1889, at the age of seventy-three years. His estimable wife survived her husband but a few months, her death occurring March 31, 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were the parents of three daughters. The eldest, Helen, married James A. Ehle, and settled in the town of Greenbush, Sheboygan County. On the night of February 16, 1886, their residence took fire from some unknown cause, and the husband, wife, and their three children perished in the flames. The names of the children were Flora, Abram and Mary. They were aged respectively nine, eight and five years, and were uncommonly bright and interesting children. This sad calamity cast a feeling of gloom over the community that time has not effaced. The other children of John W. Taylor are the sisters Frances and Mary, who reside at the beautiful homestead in Plymouth.
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