The James Taylor Family Story
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The Children of James and Sarah
(McCart) Taylor

From Pennsylvania to Ohio to Iowa to Kansas

James Taylor was born in Beaver County, PA, to Thomas and Agnes (McClelland) Taylor on October 4, 1811. Beaver County is just northwest of the metropolitan area of Pittsurgh, PA today, in the far western part of the state. (See Map). This, no doubt was rural country back then, however. See the biography of James Taylor. This biography goes on to say the parents of James were natives of Pennsylvania.

The biography of James Taylor says that the parents of Sarah McCart were Jesse and Mary (Tombleson) McCart, and that they were natives of Ohio. She was born on March 12, 1817. See the stories of her parents and her siblings. I now believe that her parents were known as Henry and Mary McCart of Richland County, OH. I have found a Henry and Mary McCart of Richland County that had a daughter named Sarah. They lived within 10 miles of the Taylor place. I have not found a Jesse in the whole state, except for Sarah's brother, who is too young to be her father.

On December 12, 1843, James and Sarah (McCart) Taylor married and setup their home in Richland County, Ohio, where James and Sarah grew up. The 1850 census shows he and his family in consecutive entries with the families of his brothers, Robert and Thomas W., showing they were next-door neighbors, or more likely living on the same farm in separate homes. Even though his biography says he was a carpenter in his early years, by at least 1850 he is a farmer, according to the 1850 census.

James' biography indicated the family moved from Richland Co, Ohio to Washington Co, Iowa, in May, 1856, just before the Civil War. At that time, James would have been 45, Sarah 39 and the kids 12, 10, 8, 6, 3, and Alex just born, as the Iowa 1860 census says he was born in Ohio. See histories of Dutch Creek and Franklin Townships of Washington Co, Iowa. William, the youngest, would be born in Iowa in 1860.

Washington County is in the southeast part of the state, about 50 miles west of the Mississippi and in the second row of counties above Missouri. For the Taylor's to get here, they had to cross Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. I'm not sure if they might have travelled by train or by wagon. Washington County had a train in 1856.

Their farm was on the extreme west side of the county in Dutch Creek Township, just 2 miles south of Keota. They considered Keota, just over the county line in Keokuk County, as their post office. But, that town wasn't formed until the 1870's, so it wasn't there for a large part of the time they were there. See the Washington County GenWeb Page. (see map)

James died on June 29, 1889, at age 77. There was some "discontent" by at least the "unworthy sister" (Agnes) about the how the kids who didn't get the farm were to be compensated. See the Taylor/Beaty letters.

At the last count, I have identified 194 descendants of James and Sarah (McCart) Taylor. I estimate the actual number is closer to 300, after accounting for updates since the last information I have on various family groups.

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The Family of James and Sarah (McCart) Taylor:
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William Smith and Mary (Taylor) Snodgrass

Mary was the first of James' and Sarah' children to be born, in 1844. She later married William Smith Snodgrass in Iowa and settled in southeast Kansas, near Sedan, somewhere around 1870. In the 1880 census, they are in Neosho County, KS. In the 1900 census, they are in Cowley County, KS. We have a wedding announcement of their daughter, Sarah (Etta), marrying a Levi Williams in 1898, showing Sedan, Kansas as their home, which is in Chautauqua County. All three of these counties are next to each other in the southeast part of the state. William and Mary had Samuel, b 1866 in Iowa, Sarah A. (Etta), b 1874 in Kansas, William F, b 1876 in Kansas, Carrie Minta, b 1879 in Kansas, Mary b 1881 in Kansas, and Roy, b 1883 in Kansas. We have found living descendants of this couple. See a letter written by Mary (Taylor) Snodgrass to the Ed & Hulda Taylor family in 1889. Here is an excerpt from that letter:
"Melvin is running a hay press so he is not home much this winter. He gets more than he can do. We built a new house this fall: 24 foot square, story and a half high. Smith bought a lot of cattle last fall so that we are tied at home about as much as ever. Bought 40 head of calves and some cows and heifers milking 7 cows this winter. Expect to milk 10 next summer."
We have established contact with a living descendant of Mary (Taylor) Snodgrass.

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Samuel Walker Taylor

Sam was born in 1846 on the family farm in Richland Co, Ohio, and moved with his folks to Washington Co, Iowa, in 1856, when he was 10. He joined the Civil War in its late stages, Co C, 19th Iowa Infantry, when he was 18 years old, in the same unit Andrew Campbell, his future brother-in-law, was in.

Sam came to Kansas with his brother, Edwin, in 1871, to setup a homestead, and then returned to Iowa to marry his Iowa sweetheart, Mary Jane Wolf in 1872. They came back to Cloud County, Kansas, but didn't stay too long. Within ten years, they moved to Phillips county, just a tad to the west and north of Cloud County. It does seem that he acquired a homestead or bought a farm there, but he was also involved in merchandising. See more on the story of Sam and his life and family, and letters written by Sam to Ed & Hulda Taylor.

Here is an excerpt of a letter from Sam to Ed, Hulda and their family, in Concordia, dated in 1889:

"Well, boys, why can't you come and see Uncle Sam? I have got some fine young mares and horses I would like to have rode. Fred come out and stay with me. I have got a spotted Arabian mare for you. She is wild as a deer and hansome as one. Robby, I have some big Normans. You come out and have one of them. And George, come out and run my big farm for me - a wild horse here for you too. And those big girls come to (too) and you can help herd the boys while they are breaking their horses."
I have located the living descendants of this Phillips County, Kansas pioneer.

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Edwin Maxwell Taylor

This is my branch. Edwin was born in 1844 in Richland Co, Ohio and was 8 years old when his folks moved to Washington Co, Iowa. He went to Kansas to homestead in 1871, returning to marry Hulda Sarah Beaty in 1874. They were married in the Moravian Church at Grace Hill, Iowa, (They weren't Moravians, they were Methodists. They married there because the church was so near where Hulda lived.) which is now a Registered Landmark. I have been to see the church and it has been impressively restored. See the Story of Edwin and Hulda (Beaty) Taylor. Three of his grandchildren are still living today and we have accounted for 158 descendants, but are missing a few here and there.

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Andrew and Agnes (Taylor) McCampbell

Agnes Taylor was born in 1850 in Richland Co, Ohio, and was 6 years old when the family moved to Washington Co, Iowa. Agnes married Andrew McCampbell, who had been in the same Civil War unit with Samuel Taylor. Since Andrew was a bit older than Sam, he had considerable more military service. This is his war record, from a published McCampbell genealogy:
"Andrew enlisted in Company C, 19th Iowa Infantry on August 18,1862. After participating in the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, he was captured near Morganza, La on September 29, 1863, in the same action in which his cousin, Samuel Porter Beard was killed. He was sent to a Confederate camp in Tx. Prisoners were exchanged and the Nineteenth was reunited at New Orleans in August 1864. They participated in scouts and forays near Pensacola, Fl and the campaign of Mobile. He was discharged at Fort Gaines, Alabama on June 14, 1865. " Per published McCampbell Genealogy.
This family setup home on the McCampbell homestead near Talleyrand, Keokuk County, Iowa. This is just a few miles south and west of the Taylor place, just over the county line. They had three children: John, Amanda, and Charles, but only one grandchild, who is still living on the original homestead, today in 1997. See a letter written by Agnes (Taylor) McCampbell in 1889.

We have established contact with the living descendants of this branch.

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James Brainard Taylor

James, known in the family by his middle name Brainard, and the outside world as J. B., was born in Richland Co, Ohio in 1853 and was only three years old when the family moved to Washington Co, Iowa in 1856. He married Nannie J. J. Jackson, from Sigourney, IA, in 1889. They had no children. He grew up on the original Taylor Iowa farm and stayed there, farming his half of his inheritance until he sold it in 1920. He and William inherited the farm and he and William split the farm in two, James taking the west half and William the east half. Then, James Brainard (J. B.) and Nannie retired to Indianola, Iowa in 1915, and spent the rest of their lives there.

We have a letter from Brainard's sister, Agnes, to Ed & Hulda (Beaty) Taylor, written in 1889, where Agnes is responding to a question from Hulda about J.B.'s new wife:

"Well, Hulda, you wanted to know to now (know) whether Brainard's wife is good. (apparantly good as in a proper lady, as opposed to as in good health) Well, I don't know whether or not, but think she must be, for she belongs the ME church. I never saw her until after they was married. She taught school in their district last summer and boarded at Pa's part of the time and Pa thought she was a very fine girl. Then, we have no society of any kind in Talleyrand and no preaching except a quaker woman once ever two weeks. We would like to sell if we could and go somewhere to get in better society, but land is dull sail (sale) now."
There is a bit of mystery here involving a statement made in the announcement in the Keota Eagle concerning their marriage. It said: "Once again Jackson's and Taylor's join hands...", indicating there was another marriage between Jackson's and Taylor's. However, I have yet to run across such a marriage. It would sure be interesting to run across a Jackson researcher who might know more about this.

J.B died in Indianola, IA in 1930. Nannie J J died in 1944, also in Indianola, IA. They had no children.

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Alexander Taylor

Alexander was born in 1855 in Ohio, the same year the family moved to Iowa. Census records show he was born in Ohio, indicating he was just a baby when the family moved. Alexander died at age 24 in Cloud County, Kansas and is buried in the family plot in the town cemetery. We don't know what caused his death at such an early age yet.

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William Taylor

William "Willie" Taylor was born in 1860 in Washington County, Iowa. The 1887 biography of James Taylor indicates he was in Minnesota at that time. He inherited the James Taylor farm, along with his brother, James Brainard Taylor. We see from the real estate transactions after James' death that J.B. and William split the farm in two, each taking undivided interest in one-half of the farm. William then sold his half of the farm very shortly after to Agnes and she in turn sold it in very short order to a non-family member (this was in the mid 1890's). We lose track of him after this. A family story is passed down that a Taylor uncle setout for Kansas to visit the Kansas Taylor's, or to Oklahoma, and was "never heard from again". However, we have a photograph of him at an unknown date taken in St. Paul, MN, so are looking for him there. I'm still holding out hope we will eventually know what happened to this brother. The real estate transactions in 1890 indicate he was a single man, but he still would have been young enough to marry and have children and, consequently, descendants.

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Following is a time-line, mixing events of the family with events of our country's history:

1836.. Remember The Alamo. Texas becomes an Independent Republic. Texas remained an independent country for 10 years.
1841.. Col John C. Fremont begins his expeditions of the West. He becomes a figure akin to current day astronauts or Charles Lindbergh in our century. The number of placenames named after him in the west, from parks to schools, to mountains to streets rivals Washington's. He figured prominently in the taking of California from the Mexicans during the Mexican-American war
1843.. James Taylor and Sarah McCart marry.
1844.. James Polk was President from 1844-1848.
1846.. Polk annexes Texas, starting The Mexican-American War where the United States "appropriated"the southwestern states, from Texas to California. The Mexicans objected to President Polk annexing Texas, and ended up losing California and more.
1846-47.. The Donnor Party perished in the California Sierra's in the winter of 46-47.
1847.. Samuel Taylor, Phillipsburg, KS pioneer, born.
1848.. Iowa was admitted as a state in 1848.
1848.. Zachary Taylor, Mexican-American war hero, was elected President in 1848.
1848.. Edwin Maxwell Taylor, Kansas Pioneer, is born.
1849.. The California Gold Rush.
1856.. John C. Fremont is the first candidate for the new Republican party, paving the way for Lincoln to run, and win, as a Republican in 1860. Then, Fremont is one of the many generals Lincoln "fires", as Fremont issued an Emancipation Proclamation of his own in Missouri, not only on his own without Lincoln's approval, but "jumping the gun", as Lincoln considered it.
1856.. The James Taylor family pickup and move from Ohio to a farm near Keota, IA, in Washington County, Iowa.
1860.. The Civil War.. and James Taylor buys his first 40 acres.
1883.. Sarah (McCart) Taylor passes away.
1889.. James Taylor passes away.
1920.. James Brainard sold his half of the original Taylor homestead in Washington County, IA. So, the farm is now out of family hands, after being owned by us for sixty years.

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Continue the story of Ed and Hulda (Beaty) Taylor... The Kansas Pioneers

Or.. go to the story of Hulda's family... The Beaty's and Feather's

Or.. see the biographies of Thomas Taylor (Ohio Pioneer in the 1820's) and James Taylor (Iowa Pioneer of 1856).

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