WILLIAM TAYLOR, M.D., a successful practising physician of Canastota, and a representative of one of the first pioneer families of Madison County, is a worthy member of a most honorable and useful profession--a profession the study and practice of which, and the general diffusion of the knowledge peculiar thereto, are doing much to relieve mankind from the ills to which flesh is heir, and also to add to the general enlightenment of the world.
Dr. Taylor was born in the town of Nelson, four miles east of Cazenovia, January 18, 1839. His father, William Taylor, was born in an adjoining town, and was a son of Thomas Taylor, who was born in Connecticut about 1787, and died about January 1, 1865, on his farm in the town of Fenner. He was of English descent; and his wife, Alpha Ballou, was of French. When about twelve years of age, Thomas Taylor was brought to the State of New York by his parents, who settled in Oswego County, where the lad was trained to work on a farm, and thus early inured to habits of industry and economy, which were of great benefit to him through life, and which were inherited by his posterity. He became a successful farmer and lumber manufacturer, following both these occupations throughout his life. He and his wife were the parents of four sons and one daughter, of whom William, the father of the subject of this sketch, was the second child and son. Orrin, the third of the family, was a successful farmer, and owned a sawmill. He died at Pratt's Hollow in 1890, aged seventy five years. His only son, Thomas, now lives in Peterboro, N.Y. Otis, the youngest son, was a man of education, taught school several years, and was for some time School Superintendent. Ruth is the wife of William S. Martindale, of Peterboro, N.Y. Mr. and Mrs. Martindale have buried one son, who served in the Union army during the late War of the Rebellion; and they have one son and two daughters still living.
William Taylor was accidentally killed in his sawmill on his farm in 1869. He left a widow and four children, all of whom are still living, namely: William Taylor, M.D.; Charles H., a farmer of the town of Fenner; James Otis, a tinsmith of Fulton, Oswego County; and Willard O., a grocer and baker of Canastota. Mrs. Taylor, retaining her strength and her faculties to a remarkable degree for a woman of her years, which are fourscore and one, is tenderly cared for in the home of her eldest son, the subject of the present sketch.
Dr. William Taylor received a better education than in his early youth and manhood usually fell to the lot of young men in country towns. He was permitted to attend the district schools, and afterward he completed his literary education at Peterboro Academy. At the age of nineteen he began teaching school, and taught three successive winters, in the mean time studying medicine, at first with Dr. Powers Mead at Nelson, and after his death with Dr. H. P. Mead, of Morrisville. After taking a course of lectures in Buffalo, N.Y., he attended the University of the City of New York, graduating therefrom in March, 1862. From April to October, that year, he practised his profession in Munnsville, and in the latter month volunteered as an Assistant Surgeon in the Twenty-third New York Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out in May, 1863, at Elmira. Afterward he was commissioned Assistant Surgeon of the Eightieth New York Volunteer Infantry of Ulster County, serving under Surgeon Robert Loughran, the latter, however, being absent from the command most of the time, and Dr. Taylor being, in fact, surgeon of the regiment. He was mustered out at Hart's Island in February, 1866, having faithfully served his country in the trying period of the war. Dr. Taylor was a charter member of Reese Post, No. 49, Grand Army of the Republic, and was Commander of the Post four successive years. In politics he is a loyal and true Republican, was Coroner of Madison County nine years in succession, and is now President of the Board of Pension Examiners for Madison County. Few men take greater interest in educational matters than Dr. Taylor, he having for years been a member of the Board of Education of Canastota--a board which is known throughout the State for its unusual success in educational work. Nor does the Doctor by any means neglect business affairs, having been a stockholder in the glass works since their establishment, and owning large quantities of real estate in Canastota, which is mainly in lots and dwellings, one of the latter being a fine residence near the new Trinity Church, which is the home of the Doctor and his family.
Doctor Taylor married in January, 1865, in the town of Smithfield, Miss Jennie McGregor, who lived afterward but sixteen months, and, dying, left no children. The Doctor married the second time in January, 1869, Sarah J. Brewster, who is of the tenth generation from Elder William Brewster. She is a daughter of John N. and Margaret H. (Eagles) Brewster, of North Carolina, was born in Wilmington in that State, and was brought to Syracuse, N.Y., in infancy. She is the only child of her parents that grew to mature years. Her mother died when she was an infant; and her father, who was an artist, died in 1861, at the age of fifty years. Dr. and Mrs. Taylor have two children, namely: William Brewster Eagles, born January 11, 1874, and now a student in the academical department of the Canastota schools and Marguerite Henrietta, born May 7, 1877, also a student in the schools of Canastota. Dr. Taylor and his wife and children belong to the Episcopal church. The family, being excellent members of society, showing them selves friendly, have many friends. They are interested in works of philanthropy and charity, and whatever is for the betterment of mankind.
The attractiveness and value of this volume of biographies are enhanced by the portrait of Dr. William Taylor, which will be viewed with satisfaction by those who know him intimately and know him but to praise, and by those who know him by reputation only, as one of the leading members of his profession in Madison County.
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