Last week, we looked at early Welsh emigrant George Taylor and his family, who settled along the Mayo River in what would eventually become Patrick County. The first county seat of Patrick was named Taylorsville in honor of George Taylor. Several of George Taylor’s children went out west, while a couple became successful businessmen in Stokes and Surry counties in North Carolina. The youngest two children of George and Elizabeth Anyon Taylor, William and Reuben, settled in Patrick County and raised successful and productive citizens of the community.
Today, we will take a look at the sixth child of William Anderson Taylor and his wife, Catherine Ann “Kitty” Hill; Dr. William Frederick Brown Taylor. Dr. Taylor was born on the 17th of February 1828 in the Horsepasture community. Family history states that Dr. Taylor attended medical school in Philadelphia and then returned to Elamsville in Patrick County to set up his practice.
Dr. William F. B. Taylor married Miss Frances Morton “Fannie” Bishop on the 27th of April 1858 in Patrick County. Fannie was a recent graduate of Greensboro Female College, now Greensboro College. Fannie was the daughter of Dr. Joseph Monroe Bishop and Elizabeth Terrill Bishop, who were originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, but had moved to Patrick County in 1844. Dr. Bishop hung out his shingle in Stuart in 1845 and was highly respected in the community. In the census records for the last half of the 19th century, there are quite a few men named in honor of Dr. Bishop, including Joseph Bishop Blackard (1859-1949) and Joseph Bishop Dalton (1860-1920).
Dr. William F. B. Taylor and Fannie’s first child, Lucy Elizabeth was born on the 17th of December 1859, but sadly, died of scarlet fever on the 9th of December 1861, eight days short of her second birthday. The couple’s second child, Mildred “Minnie” Ann, was born on the 23rd of January 1861. Minnie would grow up to marry Staunton Richard West and they would raise a large family in Patrick Springs.
In what used to be quite a common practice, Dr. Taylor and wife, Fannie named their third child in memory of their first child. Lucy Elizabeth, the second, was born on the second of December 1864 in Elamsville. Lucy married Asa Howard Aldredge from Floyd County. Around the turn of the 20th century, Lucy and Asa moved their twelve children to a farm in Dayton, Ohio where they remained the rest of their lives.
Dr. William and Fannie Taylor’s fourth child, Mary Catherine, was born on Christmas Eve 1865. Mary Catherine would grow up and marry Robert Martin Wood of Patrick Springs in 1893; they would have five children. The couple’s fifth child, another daughter, Emma Morton, was born on the 18th of January 1868. Emma would also marry a young man from Patrick Springs, John Robert Martin and they would raise eight children near where the Springs of Life camp (old hotel) is located. After John passed away in 1938, Emma married again to John Wesley Atkins, of Buffalo Ridge. Emma lived to the age of ninety-one.
The sixth child of Dr. William and Fannie Taylor was a son, William Joseph “Joe” Taylor, born on the 15th of February 1870. Tragically, Joe suffered a stroke many years before his passing. The stroke left him without the ability to speak and the use of one arm. Joe worked as a painter before his illness and never married. Fannie Jane “Beadie” Taylor was born only 14 months after her brother Joe, on the 10th of April 1871. Beadie married William H. Martin of the Hollow section of Patrick County, which we usually now call Ararat. Beadie and William must have moved out to Kansas City, Missouri immediately after their January 3, 1899, wedding in Stuart because their first child, William Bernard, was born on the 7th of December 1899 in Kansas City. William H. Martin was the son of John Henry Martin and Martha Patsy King of the Hollow section of Patrick County. Martin served in the Missouri state legislature for two terms, was the city license inspector, and the commissioner of parks for many years. When William and Beadie’s son, Raymond was born on the 5th of March 1906, the following announcement appeared in the daily newspaper…”Born, this morning, to Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Martin, 721 Coy Street, a full-fledged Jeffersonian Democrat.”
The youngest child of Dr. William F. B. and Fannie Taylor, John Samuel Taylor, was born in Elamsville on the 24th of September 1872. After John’s birth, his mother, Fannie never quite seemed to recover and died less than two years later. After Fannie’s passing, young John Samuel was raised by his maternal grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Bishop. Fannie was laid to rest at the Bishop family burying ground at the Bishop home in Stuart. Many years later, her remains and those of other members of the Bishop family were moved to the Stuart Cemetery.
John Samuel Taylor held his first public office in 1896, when he became a member of the Stuart Town Council; he represented Patrick County in the House of Delegates for 1897-1898, following in his father, Dr. William F. B. Taylor’s footsteps. Dr. Taylor had served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1865-1871, participating in the drafting of the Underwood Constitution in 1869 that would govern Virginia until 1902. The first post-Civil War legislature, it was dominated by old-line Whigs, the forerunner to the Republican party. Both Dr. William F. B. Taylor and his son, John Samuel were Republicans.
John Samuel Taylor was elected clerk of court, serving from 1906 until 1920, when he resigned to become cashier of the First National Bank of Stuart. In 1927, he was again elected Clerk of Patrick Circuit Court and served until ill health forced him to retire in September 1945. John Samuel married Miss Elizabeth Ruth Davis in 1906 and they had three sons, John Davis, William Clay, and James Spotswood and two daughters, Frances Pannill and Catherine Langhorne.
Next week, we will look at what happens to Dr. William F. B. Taylor after his wife, Fannie’s passing in 1874. I could not have written this article without all the detailed facts and information provided by Dr. Taylor’s 2x great granddaughter, Terry Trefry.
Woody may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (276) 692-9626.