Pages 499-500, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JAMES TAYLOR, of Iola, one of the well known and progressive retired farmers of this city, has been a resident of the county since 1879. He came into the county in March of that year from Johnson county, Kansas, and located upon section two, township twenty-four, range twenty, Osage township. This tract was a piece of raw land and Mr. Taylor set about bringing the soil under subjection and making such improvements as were necessary to insure the family comfort. His industry brought him a good degree of prosperity and he increased the area of his original quarter by one-half. In December of 1895 he came to Iola, for the purpose of retiring from further active business.

Mr. Taylor was born in Montgomery county, Missouri, June 12, 1830. His father, Joseph Taylor, was one of the pioneers of that county, having located there in 1826. He opened out a farm near Danville and remained in the vicinity till 1842 when he went into Livingston county where he lived until 1865 when he went to Boone county and remained there until he died in 1885. He was born in the state of Maryland in 1804, went into Kentucky at an early day and removed from Simpson county, that state, to Missouri. His wife, nee Jane Doss, was born in 1806 and died in 1875. Their children were: Mary, wife of James Hicks, resides in Chillicothe, Missouri; Artemicia, married Hampton Livingston, Davis county, Missouri; Susan, wife of William Parks, Boone county; Lucretia, who married George Hubbard, Montgomery county; Martha, deceased, married Thomas Patton, Montgomery county; Catherine, Boone county, Missouri, wife of John Patton, deceased; Wesley, of Kincaid, Anderson county, Kansas, Samuel Taylor, deceased, Thomas Taylor, of Oklahoma; Julean Sharp, of Pattensburg, Davis county, Missouri.

Our subject's early life was that of a farm boy. He attended school only a few months and at the age of twenty years left the farm and learned the carpenter trade. He took on mason work and brick laying about the same time and became quite proficient in all three trades. For thirty years


he followed his trades, making them his chief livelihood, and even some residents of Allen county can testify to his skill in these lines.

"Uncle Jimmy" Taylor, as he is familiarly addressed, is the architect of his own fortune. He was thrown upon the world, as many farmer's sons are, without a dime and he accumulated very little until he deserted his trades. In the fall of 1864 he went to Colorado and located at Black Hawk, in the vicinity of which he prospected for ore and located a few claims but could not develop them. While in the west his wife died, at Canon City, Colorado, and when he returned to this state in 1875 he possessed less resources than when he went away. He located in Johnson county, this state, on a farm near Olathe.

Mr. Taylor has been three times married. His first wife was Polly Ann Brumnitt who died at Utica, Missouri. One of her three children survive: Mrs. Sarah J. Artega, of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mr. Taylor's second wife was Jeraldine M. Dennison. Her heirs are: Samuel G. Taylor, of Canon City, Colorado, and John W. Taylor, who died in Iola March 31, 1901. Mr. Taylor's present wife was Maggie Shuey, whom he married in Johnson county, Kansas. To them was born one son who has been an invalid all his life.

More than thirty years ago our subject joined Canon City, Colorado, Lodge No. 7, of Odd Fellows and he has maintained his membership in the order since. He is a known Democrat, one of positive opinions and only exercises liberality and impartiality as to candidates in local affairs.

Mr. Taylor was prominently identified with the movement to secure cheap gas for fuel in Iola and upon the consolidation of the two gas companies he became connected with the active operation of the consolidated plant. He has done a fair share of the building up of the city, having erected several houses, one of which, his residence, is one of the attractive homes in Iola.

Previous | Home | Next