Cora Taylor Harvey
Dorado , Kansas 1935
by Marilyn Canfield
Fuller Taylor was born in Oakfield, Geneseo Co. New York February
5, 1838. He died July 31, 1877 while visiting at the home of his
sister, Mrs. Harry Slater, near Elba and was interred at that place,
which was not far from the place of birth. He had grown to manhood
in these communities and had received the major portion of his education-thoí
a part of the more advanced schooling may have been in Batavia,
county seat of Geneseo Co. The valley of the Geneseo River in western
New York is a beautiful portion of the state.
during the autumn part or winter months of 1843 his father (Mark)
had migrated to this part of New York from Alexandria, New Hampshire.
Later when LeRoy, his oldest brother, was eighteen months old and
the sister Elizabeth but three weeks, the mother Elizabeth (Betsy)
Page Taylor, followed her husband, making the trip from New Hampshire
in a sleigh with her fifteen year old brother , Benjamin for driver.
the new home in the then "western" country, James was born in 1828
and Joshua Page , the youngest of the family in 1840.
Mark Taylor Jr. was a cooper by trade and grandmother, Betsy a tailoress.
My father according to the customs of the day, learned his fatherís
"trade". LeRoy was a baker and a candy maker. Joshua (Dot) was a
I was sixteen and visited Aunt Elizabeth, she showed me the old
home-a white frame dwelling standing close to the road that let
to Oakfield. Nearby was a shop, very near the highway, where Grandfather
and my father plied their trade. I think however, that my father
did not follow this to any extent.
appearance my father was of medium height, fair of complexion, hair
auburn in hue, beard-reddish, and large very blue eyes. His hair
was curled , a very great boon, in the fashion of the day and his
hands were slender and finely modeled. He possessed a beautiful
singing voice also, and aunt Elizabeth told me he was a popular
entertainer in that way. She said the young people loved to have
him "sing for their dances." I wish I had asked her what they sang.
still danced to those old tunes sung by some good voice when I went
to York State in 1886 and spent a year with my fatherís people,
attending church and Sunday school at a stone chapel crowing a long
hill and attending the parties of a lively bunch of young Quaker
a very clear remembrance of my father and of his forceful personality,
though I was but seven and a half when he died. I sensed his sensitive
spirit, his reserve and his refinement. Before he left me, he impressed
me with many beautiful ideals, with an ambition to study and with
his desire that I should be wholly honest and sincere. He was careful
of what I ate and I remember how keen I was to please him with my
read good books and enjoyed good poetry . I have a few of his books
and regret losing his pocket edition of Miltonís Paradise Lost
him as affectionate and endearing although his temper was quick
and he could be stern. I think he did not care for many people nor
did he trouble himself to make friends, though he was a loyal
friend to and much loved by the people he took into his heart.
he was never obsessed with what today we call "Money Madness. He
came from a thrifty New England stock-careful of money , ambitious
to provide well for his family, liked the things it took money to
buy-nice clothes , good books and entertainment, travel.
deductions I made, when in his old environment and amongst his people,
I would presume his background and early influences were not deeply
religious. His nearer relatives were either Sprititualists or Unitarian
in faith. He, himself (at least after he came to the West) leaned
to the Methodists.
was but twenty -three when the Civil War broke out. At the time
of his enlistment he must have been working for his brother LeRoy
in Batavia, as he gave his occupation as baker.
war service was from May first-1861 to Mary 17, 1863 when he was
mustered out at Elmira, New York. His discharge paper states that
he was a Sergeant of Charles E. Randallís Company (K), Twelfth Reg.
Of New York Volunteer Infantry. I note it gives his height as five
feet eight and one-half inches, and his age as twenty two- a discrepancy
between that and the birth record, thoí I suppose the "Discharge"
quoted his enlistment paper.As his commission , as such, was not
issued until the 13 th day of July 1861, but cites him as Sergeant
of Co "K" from May 13, 1861- I presume he was so placed by election
of his company in the beginning.
his sisterís possession were letters dated from battlefields, which
she showed me and which I read in 1886. These she burned later in
a fit of despondency- thus depriving his descendants of these rare
and precious mementos. One of these written ( I think) after the
second battle of Bull Run, was penciled on a fly-leaf from a note
book (one side glazy and bright green) and told on one page how
he (my father) had noticed ,in an advance throí a fusilade of exploding
shells that men had twice fallen on either side of "Dot" = his baby
brother- but both of them had come through uninjured. They were
in the "Army of the Potomac" under Gen. Geo. Mcclellandís command.
The Slaters were northern Democrats - not at all in sympathy with
"Lincolnís cause" - and Aunt Elizabeth was always bitter over my
fatherís sacrifice of health to his army service. His discharge
paper bears a stamp showing he had collected an additional bounty
($100) tho a line is drawn throí the amount which might have been
changed under an act of July 28, 1866.
applied for a pension , but here let the matter rest because it
was his belief (Aunt Elizabeth said) that the country should be
helped in that way by its ex-soldiery during the year of recovery.
I collected this pension money in 1926 which with interest amounted
to 1361.73 in July 1877 at the time of his death.
father was a Mason - a member of Batavia Lodge No. 475 and later
of King Solomonís Lodge in Leavenworth Kansas.
were two things in the Slater home which I should liked to have
had after Aunt Libís death - two momentos of war which he sent home
from battle-fields. They were a drawn "shell" which she used as
a door weight, and a handsome volume of Longfellows poems which
he rescued from the burning home of a Confederate.
long after his war service was over, perhaps because his health
was not too robust, he turned to the new state of Kansas the Mecca
of the young men at that time.
he reached Kansas and Leavenworth, where he had at least one cousin
- perhaps others -in the early part of 1865. On August 2nd
of that year he received from C.E. Pondís Commercial College of
Leavenworth "A Certificate of Tuition" to the amount of seventy-five
dollars. "the stipulated price for a Complete
of Instruction in the Science of Accounts, including Book-Keeping,
Lectures, Commercial Calculations and Practical Penmanship." The
seems to have been a receipt of payment and a diploma in one.
boarded at the home of Charles Calvert and married Alice E. Calvert
in December 1866. At the time of his marriage he was a book-keeper
for the "Conservative" a Leavenworth paper and Iíve been told he
remained in that line of work until his health began to fail in
S. Sleeper , a cousin of my father was Surveyor General of Public
Lands in Kansas. My father was commissioned a Notary Public in 1866
by Sam Crawford ,Gov. attached to the Commission is a bond in my
fatherís handwriting signed by himself and H.S. Sleeper on Sept
August of that year he was made Deputy Surveyor to H.S.Sleeper by
appointment. It must have been during that summer of 1871 that my
father returned to York State for a visit - probably especially
to see his mother who had reached her 70th year and was
not in the best of health and died in 1872.
County claimed the attention of Grandfather Calvert, Uncle James
Calvert and my father. They (" the boys chose their land in 1871
)and in 1872 the young men and their families came to this county,
Grandmother and Grandfather Calvert came in the fall.
building the rough houses on the claims they lived in a log cabin
on the Little Walnut. My fatherís house was better built than the
others, as he had hauled the lumber from Emporia, built a stone
foundation as a stay against the cyclones he so dreaded. Grandfather
and Uncle James Calvert chose to build their claim houses of native
lumber, which was walnut . My mother was a good pioneer-quite ready
to make the best of the crude conditions, but my father had no taste
for it and was not a farmer.
"proving up" the claim, the Taylors returned to Leavenworth. The
little cottage where they lived is the first house of which I have
any memory..I can recall the three rooms: living room, bedroom and
kitchen and remember my father in this house.
the family did not remain long in Leavenworth but went to Atchison
where my father was a book-keeper for the A.B. Symmes Wholesale
Grocery Co. Our home was a four roomed corner residence. I remember
running to meet my father as he returned from work , of visiting
the office and being lifted to a high stool that brought me up beside
the desk on which the great ledgers lay. I remember, of his bringing
home his medicine glass and dropping it on the doorsill to show
me how unbreakable it was. At the table one day I found a box of
round Sugar Plums and in the bottom of the box an exquisite coral
pin. He had chosen that way of presentation.
was in this house I "learned my letters." My father was my teacher
and did not think me especially bright. I had difficulty mastering
the alphabet but learned to read quite rapidly once I accomplished
it. I remember his pleasure and my own great relief when
I finally mastered my first hard task.
cousins Charles and Martha Tolford, whom Aunt Lib speaks of in her
letter of 1868, had come to Kansas and settled in Neosho Rapids
, near Emporia. His old uncle Page, John Page, his motherís brother,
also lived there with this uncle. Sue McCloud or McLeod is also
spoken of in this letter of 1868.
old uncle had a son who was a physician- Dr. John Page , who lived
on a farm not far from Neosho Rapids. He was stationed, as physician
, with a regiment at some fort ( I do not know if it was Fort Scott
or Fort Dodge) for some years but his family remained on the farm.
the summer of 1875 ( I think this date is right) Dr. John asked
my father to spend the winter with him at the fort where he hoped
the climate might help him and where he might give him his personal
supervision. It was arranged that my mother and I should reamain
with his wife, Billi, and the two boys Onace and Joe at the farm.
The doctor did everything in the world for my father but all to
no purpose, and so advised him to try the mountains of Colorado.
was a return to Atchison for a short time and I remember they had
a large room in the down-town district. Then my father went away
and my mother and I had a room near our old neighborhood and friends.
not know just when but I know my mother and I returned to Butler
County and her people. Both Grandfather Calvert and Uncle Luther
Calvert died in 1876 and my father camr from Colorado in the spring
of í77. The mountains had not benefited him. He remained at the
claim home several months. Those were the days of my clearest memories
early summer he decided to return to his native state, there to
spend the few days the dread "consumption" seemed to promise him..
We stopped in Leavenwroth where he made arrangements for the trip
and amongst the Lyon county relatives for a brief visit at Dr. Pageís
and Charles Tolfords.
are but few memories that come to me of that journey. A part of
the way my father was very ill and one day my beautiful and distracted
mother must have lived with her heart in her mouth. He was so very
ill, his berth had to remain made up for him. He had much difficulty
in breathing and I think the train officials though he was too ill
to travel. I presume it was through the lowlands along the Ohio
River where he suffered so, for it was early July! How my mother
worked over him! How I watched and waited - my concern for
her as I realized her anxiety. However, when he reached his
"native heath" he revived wonderfully and when we arrived in Batavia
was amazingly improved , as was to be expected - thoí few days lay
some reason, Uncle Henry came in a small "single carriage" probably
for my fahterís greater comfort - to take him to his home several
miles to the north. My mother and I stayed at the home of Grandmother
Taylorís brother-Benjamin Pge - then mayor of Batavia. His home
was a beautiful place presided over by Celia, his youngest daughter,
a most beautiful young woman.
Henry returned for us in the afternoon but the day was a long one
for my mother, tired from the journey and anxious about my father.
I remember her nervous wanderings to door and windows and the drawn
look on her face.
people came to see my father and incidentally my mother and myself.
It seemed there was one place he wished to go - to see his old great-aunt
Jane (in her nineties homeplace) and Mary the wife of his cousin
, Mary, my father and mother (Aunt Martha tells me)lived together
for a short time in Leavenworth. The two women were fond of each
other and my mother was very desirous of the visit to Aunt Janeís
home where poor Mary lay twisted and ill from rheumatism and where,
also the old aunt was bed-fast.
father called me into Aunt Janeís room- kept very dark because of
her eyes. She was almost blind but tried so to see if I "looked
like Jim." What a wee shriveled mite of humanity she was! But thoí
I felt a sort of fear in all this strangeness, I was impressed with
my fatherís pleasure at seeing her and his great regard for her.
cousinís wife Mary died before my father, I think, leaving two little
girls , Jane and Emily. Who were respectively a year older and a
year younger than I.
father lived out the month among his own people - passing away on
the 31st of July 1877.
funeral services were held in the Slater home and I was taken in
charge by a young doctor from Albion, Sam Cochran by name- a distant
cousin. I rode with them (he and his mother) and I was taken with
them to some home for dinner. I had formed a liking to this young
doctor and I presume the thought was to relieve my mother - how
I longed for her!.
closes what I know of my fatherís life. A simple ordinary existence
but a life of brave merit withal, too, too short.
the times he left my mother well provided for with the prairie claim
in Spring township and a life insurance policy of $5,000. With a
portion of this my mother built a home in El Dorado. Near three
thousand dollars of this money yet remained for me when I was wholly
orphaned at age twelve.
often conjectured what life for me might have been had my parents
lived, had my father made the back-ground for his family in a normal
way. At any rate I did not miss his influence for industry, integrity
and high aspirations - for these he left me in legacy.
as I finish this little story of my father it occurred to me that
I should chronicle that with my generation the Taylor line is "snuffed
1886 when I was in York state my Aunt Elizabeth Slater told me that
so far as she knew besides the Taylors of her own branch i.e. that
Mark Taylor Jr. (my grandfather)there was only one other of this
8th generation from the first Taylors who came to America.
This one was her cousin Sylvester Taylors daughter, Mary Emma, who
was born Sept. 20, 1866.
years ago, Alta Culver (Lena Taylorís daughter, Albion , New York)
sent me what she had of the family history . She said she had been
in correspondence with Miss Mary E. Taylor of Canterbury N.H. that
she had provided her with much of the data so Amos Taylorís line
passes with Sylvesters daughter Mary emma. By the way, Mary E. Taylor
is a D.A.R. her National number being 85520. She joined under her
motherís genealogical connection in the name "Pattu" but used the
Taylor evidence as supplementary. This would be an wasy way to establish
eligibility. - just prove one is of the same line.
my fatherís generation I was his only child. His older brother LeRoyís
children were Clarence who never marriedd, and Lena (Culver) whose
children now living, Alta and Byron, do not have the same name of
children were Orville and Henry Slater. Orvilleís children are Howard
and Ethel (De Lano). Henry died (killed by lightning ) and was never
younger brothe Joshua (Dot) had one son Frand, killed in an automobile
accident in Wichita Falls Texa, July 23 1933.
was twice married , but left no children , so he was the last of
his - our line of Taylors.
is something sad in the the dying out of a people - in the passing
of a name. Of course the blood remains. The eccentricities , the
facieal featurees, the physical build, special indivualism, the
weaknesses, the strong trends of character will live on - but the
individuality of the name is gone. There is regret to me in that
- for the Taylor ancestry in America has been recorded a simple
, honorable, and loyal people, - wholly worthy of respect.
Taylor Harvey - 1935