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The Biography of:
Edwin and Hulda
(Beaty) Taylor
Kansas Pioneers in the 1870's

The Roots of Edwin and Hulda

Edwin's paternal grandparents, Thomas and Agnes/Nancy (McClelland) Taylor were from Pennsylvania and moved to Richland County, OH around 1825. His maternal grandparents were Henry and Mary (Tombleson) McCart, who were in Ohio by 1809, possibly earlier. Edwin was born in Franklin Twp, Richland Co, OH, a bit north of Mansfield, OH in 1848.

Hulda's paternal grandparents are a bit of mystery. Her paternal grandfather was Robert Beaty, of whom we have scant information on. We're not sure who the grandmother was. Two names have surfaced as possible candidates.. Sarah Ross or Mary Polly Hoke. They are descended from Irish immigrants and were in Virginia (now West Virginia) in the early 1800's. Her maternal grandparents were Jacob and Mary (Connoly) Feather. Jacob was a German immigrant, who migrated the year before the Revolutionary War at age 16, and participated in that struggle, almost from the moment he got off the boat. We don't know much about Mary Connoly. We can only assume she is of Irish stock because of her name. Hulda was born near Kingwood, West Virginia in 1844.

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The Move to Iowa and Growing Up There

Both sets of parents of our couple migrated to Richland County, IA, in 1856. James Taylor farmed on a rental basis (ie sharecropper) for his first four years, but was living on the "Taylor Place" by 1860, when he started acquiring the pieces of his farm. This was on the northwest side of Dutch Creek Township.

The Beaty's, meanwhile, had setup home on a parcel which was in Dutch Creek Township, but in the southeast corner, just adjacent to the Grace Hill church and community.

So, it's unlikely they were in the same school, but they were neighbors. The distance from the Taylor farm to the Beaty farm would have been about 5 miles south and 5 miles east.

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A Word on Grace Hill - the Church and Community

When I visited Washington County, Iowa in the summer of 1997, and went to visit the southeast corner of Dutch Creek Township, where the Beaty's were from, I had on my agenda to check out the cemetery at Grace Hill, the small community right next door to the Beaty property, where James & Sarah Beaty are buried.

Much to my surprise, as I drove over a bridge, which kind of heralded an entrance into the town of maybe 4 buildings.. there is a glistening, white church, with a sign in front: Grace Hill Moravian Church - National Register of Historic Places. Well, I hadn't anticipated this church even still existing so wasn't even looking for it, but this was the church that Edwin and Hulda were marred in, in 1874. So, many thanks to the local folks who have gone to the trouble of getting this church on the National Register, and restoring it. There obviously has been some hard work done here. They still have services in the church once a year.

Grace Hill was a Moravian community. The Moravians have their roots in Germany in the same movement away from Catholicism as Lutheranism. The Moravians believed in communal living. The land was owned by the church and all the folks farmed it and shared in the crops. The Beaty's were not Moravians, (as evidenced by the known religious preferences of their children, as well their obituaries which talk about them being such good Methodists) but their property was adjacent to the Grace Hill community and they probably made good friends with their Moravian neighbors over the years, as they are both buried in the Moravian Cemetery and Hulda was married in the Moravian church (but, she was a Methodist all her life.)

Ed and Hulda may very well have gotten married in that church for the same reason that some folks go to Las Vegas or Eureka Springs, Arkansas... it was, and still is, a neat church, especially for that period of time.

(See the Moravian History Page.)

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To Kansas!!

We are always intrigued about what motivated our ancestors to move west, away from the "creature" comforts of where they grew up. Sam and Ed, the two oldest brothers went west to Kansas. As I go back through the old newspapers, I see quite a few ads for how wonderful Kansas is, and to write to such and such place for a brochure on Kansas and its soil, etc.

I suspect the younger brothers were getting old enough to help on the farm and Sam and Ed were itching to get their own place and saw the possibilities of homesteading. They were only 23 and 25, respectively, in 1871, when they came to Kansas.

At any rate, Sam and Edwin came to the Cloud County area in 1871. I have wondered how they would go about selecting property, since fences were not in existence and roads not plentiful. I have discovered that there were folks who, wanting to make a buck, became familiar with the area and the government surveys and the goings-on at the courthouse or the land office. These folks would act as "guides" to the immigrants to escort them to pieces of available land and lead them through the process of getting it recorded at the land office. The Cloud County Land Office was established in 1871.

Ed settled on 160 acres about 8 miles west of Concordia, or 5 miles south and about 2 miles east of Jamestown. I have been to this area and it is surprisingly similar to the farm they left in Iowa. There is a creek running through the property, like there was in Iowa and it is gently rolling country. Probably not quite as steep as Iowa, but close. This property is described in Homestead Certificate 6663, Application 829. (It wasn't recorded until 1879, which is kind of strange, as they sold it in 1878.) This property is described as: SW 1/4 of NE 1/4 and the West 1/2 of the SE 1/4 of Sec 33 in Twp 5 south of Range 4 west.

Ed then went to Iowa in 1874, and married Hulda and brought her out to Kansas in a horse drawn wagon. One of my goals is to re-trace the trail they followed. They had their first child, James William, in 1875. He only lived into his second year. They then had Aurie in 1876 on that farm.

Then, in 1878, Ed and Hulda sold this 160 acres for $1,200. (Vol F 532) And, in the same year, they then purchased 160 acres about one mile south and two miles west of the first farm for $1,200 (Vol F-533). Then, in 1887, he purchased 40 more acres for $210 (Vol 4-3), and 40 more acres in 1901 for $400, for a total of 240 acres he owned when he died in 1906. He had paid $1,810 for this 240 acres. As near as we can tell there was no estate probated on his death. On the death of his wife, Hulda, in 1911, however, the farm was valued at $15,000 in her probate.

Finally, in 1918, the four brothers and sisters of Robert filed a mortgage against the property for $12,000 (which would be 4/5 of the total $15,000 1911 value). Five days later, Robert took out a mortgage for $9,000 from an Andrew Montgomery, presumably to pay off Aurie, Pim, and Fred. Then, on March 28th, 1918, George recorded a $2,000 mortgage against the property. (Robert probably had a thousand dollars saved up and gave it to George to total to his $3,000.) Then, it appears that Robert owned the property and was obligated to pay both mortgages.

Robert must have had a rough time of it, though. A year later, in March 1919, Robert sold the farm to Jacob Fulmer for $16,000. From which he probably paid the mortgages to Montgomery and George Taylor off, which amounted to $11,000, and had $5,000 left over for himself. According to his stepson, Robert Blachley, Robert Taylor continued to farm this farm until the 1930's as a sharecropper. My speculation is that the interest on the mortgage was simply too much. The Montgomery mortgage was 6%, or $540 per year. In other words, in order for all the kids to cash out of the farm it had to be sold, as the income from the farm couldn't pay the interest on the note. That's only my speculation.

Ever wondered how you might get along out on a farm in 1883, when you need to get before sunup... but have no clock or watch?? Read about an experience on the Taylor farm in 1883 here. This experience is from the Jamestown Optimist from a fellow who had worked at the Taylor farm in the fall of 1883.

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Obituaries Top of Page

Their Children

Aurie (Taylor) and Ethan McBride

Aurie married Ethan McBride and they had eight children. They lived and farmed in Cloud County their whole lives. I have lost contact with any living McBride descendants and would sure like to re-establish contact.

George and Ida Mae (Henderson) Taylor

George married Ida Mae Henderson, a widow who already had some children from a previous marriage. George and Ida had Aurie Maxine Taylor, from whom there is a nice size set of descendants. George and Ida lived in or around Cloud County all their lives and were farmers. We have contact with their descendants.

Sara Myrtle (Taylor) and James William McRae

Sara Myrtle (known as Aunt Pim) married James William McRae and they had Taylor McRae. Taylor has a nice bunch of descendants. They lived near Plainesville, KS. We are in contact with this bunch.

Robert and Dorothy (Clark) Taylor

Robert married Dorothy nee Clark Blatchley, who had one son from a previous marriage. Robert and Dorothy didn't have any kids together. They lived and farmed around Cloud County their whole lives.

Fred and Anna Laura (Millirons) Taylor

Fred married Anna Laura Millirons and they have probably the biggest family to date, about 103 living at present, and I am in contact with most. They lived in and around Cloud County their whole lives, although Anna went to California to live with children and grandchildren after Fred died in 1960. They were primarily farmers, but did live in town some, where Fred worked for the Ice Plant and Mom cooked and ran a rooming house for awhile. See the Biography of Fred and Anna (Millirons) Taylor.

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