Louisville's First Families -A SERIES OF GENEALOGICAL SKETCHES
Author - KATHLEEN JENNINGS
Published by THE STANDARD PRINTING CO.- Louisville, KY 1920
USGenWeb Project NOTICE:
In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial researchers, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format for profit, nor for presentation in any form by any other organization or individual.
The Taylor Family. Chapter XI.
AMONG the most distinguished of the early settlers in Louisville were the Taylor brothers, Col. Richard Taylor, the father of Gen. Zachary Taylor, president of the United States, Hancock Taylor, deputy surveyor under Col. William Preston, and Capt. Zachary Taylor, men of finest Virginia stock, who were prominent actors in the romantic history-making days before Kentucky was a State.
"Hare Forest," four miles from Orange Court House, VA, was the early home of the Taylor family, founded by James Taylor and his wife, Frances, who came from Carlisle, England, in the seventeenth century. James Taylor was a man of affairs, interested in the well being of the colonies, and owning wide acres in Virginia. His only son, James Taylor, who was one of the first surveyor generals, was colonel of Orange county militia, a Knight of the Golden Horse Shoe, and a burgess of King and Queen county, 1702-1714. His wife was Martha Thompson, a daughter of Col. William Thompson, of the British army, whose father, Sir Roger Thompson, served under Cromwell. After Col. Taylor's death, the House of Burgesses ordered Hanover,
Spottsylvania, and Orange counties to pay one thousand pounds of tobacco to his widow in recognition of his services in running the boundaries of these counties. James and Martha Thompson were the great grandparents of two presidents of the United States-James Madison and Zachary Taylor. From two sons of James Taylor II., Col. George Taylor and his wife, Rachael Gibson, and Zachary Taylor and his wife, Elizabeth Lee, of the Virginia Lees, are descended a hundred dozen Kentuckians, and from them come the numerous members of the Taylor family in Louisville.
George Taylor was colonel of Orange county militia and fought in Indian wars; Burgess of Orange county, 1748-49, 1752-58; member of Committee of Safety, 1774-75; member of convention in 1775; vestryman of Episcopal church in King George county; Clerk of Orange county for many years. He was the father of ten soldiers of the Revolution, nine of whom were officers. James Taylor was sergeant major of militia, afterward Clerk of Orange county, a position formerly held by his father, Lieut. Jonathan Taylor married Anne Berry, of Gloucester, Va., and settled in Clark county, Ky., in 1789, establishing their home, "Basin Springs." Edmund Taylor was captain, serving on the Virginia State Line; he married Catherine Stubbs.
Richard Taylor was commodore of the navy and received a thousand acres of land in Kentucky from his country in recognition of his distinguished services. Commodore Taylor lived in Louisville for a number of years before his death in 1825.
Francis Taylor was appointed a captain, but was made colonel of regulars in 1779. Lieut. John Taylor was appointed a midshipman in the navy and died a British prisoner on the old Jersey prison ship. Major William Taylor served through the war, married his cousin, Elizabeth Taylor, came early to Kentucky, and was in Louisville, where he ran a hotel at Second and Main in 1812. He was very popular, and it is said that at his hotel the food was cooked and served in the best old Virginia style. Charles Taylor was sergeant's mate of the Second Virginia army and rose to rank of sergeant of regulars of Convention Guards, Reuben Taylor was a minute man for six years and rose to rank of captain. The tenth son, Benjamin Taylor, served in the navy during the war. Practically all of these men received large grants of lands for military service in the Revolutionary war.
These portraits of William Berry Taylor and his wife, Susannah Grayson Harrison Gibson, are owned by their grandchildren, Betty, Fanny and Robert Mallory, of Crescent Hill, whose father, the Hon. Robert Mallory, was a member of Congress and prominent in the social and political life of his day. William Berry Taylor was a son of Lieut. Jonathan Taylor, Revolutionary soldier, and his wife, Anne Berry. Their home was "Spring Hill" in Oldham county, and from them are descended many members of the Taylor connection in Louisville. William Berry Taylor was a cousin and a warm personal friend of President Taylor, who frequently visited his kinspeople at "Spring Hill." Notably among the descendants of William Berry Taylor are Admiral Robert Mallory Berry, U. S. N., a grandson, and Admiral Hugh Rodman, U. S. N., K. C. B., a great-grandson.
There are no more picturesque figures in the winning of the West than the sons of Zachary Taylor and Elizabeth Lee. Richard Taylor rendered valuable service in the Revolution, and his brother, Hancock Taylor, belonged to Washington's company of Rangers. Both men stood six feet two and weighed about 230 pounds. They made the first trading trip from Pittsburg past the Falls of Ohio to the mouth of the Yazoo in 1769, and the same year from Pittsburg in a canoe made a trip to New Orleans, where they embarked for Charleston, S. C., walking thence to the Taylor home at Orange Courthouse.
Hancock Taylor was one of the early deputy surveyors under William Preston and headed a party, including Willis Lee and Abraham Hapstonstall, known to have made surveys in what is now Jefferson county, in May, 1774. The following year Gov. Dunmore, becoming apprehensive for the safety of the surveyors, ordered their recall, and Hancock Taylor received the summons while laying off a tract near the Kentucky river for Col. William Christian. He was, however, a victim of the Indians and, wounded by a shot from a warrior's rifle, was carried by his companion Hapstonstall to a point near Richmond, where he died and was buried by Hapstonstall, who carved his name on the headstone with tomahawk. Taylor's dying request was that his papers be carried to Preston in Virginia.
Hancock Taylor's will left two-thirds of all his lands lying on Western waters to
Hapstonstall and Willis Lee, and the remainder of his vast estate to his brothers, Col. Richard and Capt. Zachary Taylor.
Col. Richard Taylor, whose wife was Sarah Dabney Strother, came from Orange county, Va., to settle at Falls of the Ohio in the year of 1785, bringing with him his family, including a son, Zachary, aged nine months. Some biographers of this same Zachary, more interested in him, however, as a President of the United States than as a youthful pioneer, claim that Zachary was born at "Montebello," the house of some kinsmen where the Taylors had been detained by illness of some member of their party after leaving "Hare Forest," the ancestral home of the Taylor family.
Col. Richard Taylor established his family in a substantial log house on a farm five miles east of Louisville, which was known as "Springfield." Col. Taylor, who had been through the Revolution as a colonel in the First Regiment of Virginia in the Continental Line, was soon a leader in affairs in both city and State. He was a member of the Convention in Kentucky, 1792-99, and helped frame the first and second constitutions of the State; he was one of the two men selected to have the first courthouse built in Louisville and served on one of the early boards of
trustees. He was evidently a man of wealth for he left his family a handsome estate.
Zachary Taylor grew to manhood in the stirring times of frontier clearing with Indian fighting as a matter of every-day life. At eighteen he was a lieutenant in the army and eight years later he served as a major in the War of 1812. The outbreak of the Mexican war found him in command of the American forces in Louisiana and Texas, the crowning battle of his campaign being Buena Vista in 1847. Dissatisfied with his treatment by the administration, Major General Taylor resigned and came to Louisville, living on a farm on the Brownsboro road in the months between his retirement from the army and his election as the twelfth President of the United States, He died in office on July 9, 1850.
Zachary Taylor was known to the army as "Old Rough and Ready," because he was ready for any emergency and took the rough end of every encounter, but he was also a man of culture and refinement.
The accompanying sketch of his family places him as a man of gentle birth and breeding, and his connections are with the most distinguished families of Virginia. One who knew him well described him as a man of great tenderness of heart, of gentle manner, devoid of self-assertion;
a silent man, but one whose dignity impressed all who came into his presence. Such was the character of this most distinguished of the Taylor family, whose name has been on every lip since the army cantonment named Camp Zachary Taylor to do him honor was established here.
Zachary Taylor married Margaret Markall Smith, of Maryland, a daughter of Major Walter Smith, U. S. A. To them were born four children: Anne, who married Dr. Robert C. Wood, a surgeon of the United States Army; Sarah Knox married Lieut. Jefferson Davis, afterward President of the Confederacy; Elizabeth married Major William Bliss, U. S. A., and later Philip Dandridge, of Virginia, and the only son was Gen. Richard Taylor, of the Confederate army, who visited England after the war and was given much attention. He moved to New Orleans, married and had three daughters. There are in Louisville no descendants of Zachary Taylor.
Col. Richard Taylor and his wife, Sarah Dabney Strother, had a large family. Their son, Hancock Taylor, married Sophia Hoard and had one son, William Dabney Strother Taylor, who married Jane Pollock Barbour, and whose son, Hancock Taylor, a Confederate veteran, lives in Louisville. His wife was Mary H. Wallace, and their children
are: Margaret Barbour, who married Judge Arthur Wallace; Letty Hart, the wife of the Rev. T. P. Grafton, missionary to China; Mary Strother and William P. and Helen Wallace, who married James Quarles, missionary in Argentina.
Hancock Taylor, brother of the President, married again second wife being Annah Hornsby Lewis. One daughter was Mary Taylor Robinson, who married Archibald Magill Robinson. Their son, Richard Goldsborough Robinson, married Laura Pickett Thomas, and their children here are Eliza Lee Robinson and Judge Harry Robinson. Another daughter, Mildred Taylor, married John McLean, and their son, Hancock McLean, was the father of Mrs. Louis D. Wallace, of Crescent Hill.
Edmund Taylor, the son of Hancock Taylor, married Lou Barker and was the father of Lewis Taylor, who lives here. Another son was Major Joseph Walter Taylor, who served in the Confederate Army on Gen. Buckner's staff.
He married Lucy Bate and was the father of J. B. Taylor and Jennie Taylor. His second wife was Ellen Bate, and his three daughters, the Misses Taylor, live on the Brownsboro road. Another Confederate soldier in the family of Hancock Taylor was Capt. Samuel Burks Taylor, who was one of the Confederate officers
captured and imprisoned with Gen. John Morgan in the Columbus, O., penitentiary. It was Capt. Taylor who scaled the walls and made possible the escape of the prisoners. He was never married.
Elizabeth Taylor, a sister of Gen. Zachary Taylor, married her cousin, John Gibson Taylor, and had several children, only one of whom is known to have a family here. This daughter, Sarah Taylor, who is buried in the old family burying ground at Springfield, was the wife of Col. W. R. Jouett, U. S. A., their children being: Fred Jouett and Lieut. Landon Jouett, Margaret Dudley, who lives here, is a granddaughter. John Gibson Taylor, Jr., was a Confederate soldier who was killed in action in one of the Kentucky battles. Other sisters of Gen. Taylor married prominent men and moved away from Louisville.
"Springfield," the Taylor home of 1785, was a substantial log house to which a brick addition was built, and later a brick house was added to the addition and the log building torn away. Hancock Taylor, the elder brother of Gen. Taylor, had a home on the Eighteenth-street road, but bought out the other heirs' interest in the old place and moved to "Springfield," where he died. Hancock Taylor was in the tobacco business, and as a young man was an Indian fighter.
"Springfield" is now owned by Dr. John A. Brady. The monument erected by the government in 1891, in memory of Gen. Taylor, is at "Springfield" burying ground.
Capt. Zachary Taylor, brother of Hancock Taylor and Col. Richard Taylor, married Alice Chew, of the well-known family of that name, and settled on the forks of Hickman creek, in what is now Jessamine county. His daughter, Sarah Taylor, married Richard Woolfolk, a Kentucky pioneer identified with the early history of Jefferson county. It was he who caught Col. William Christian in his arms when that pioneer fell, a victim of the Indians. After the death of his wife Capt. Taylor came to the Woolfolk home, in Jefferson county, eight miles from Louisville, on land between Harrod's creek and the Ohio river.
Samuel Woolfolk, a son of Richard and Sarah Woolfolk, was a well-known lawyer. His wife was Carrie Thornton, by whom he had five sons. Richard Henry Woolfolk, one of these, married Amanda Enders, of Paducah, and their son, Junius Woolfolk, lives in this city.
A son of Lieut. Jonathan and Anne Berry Taylor was William Berry Taylor, born 1768, who married Susannah Grayson Harrison Gibson, settling in Oldham county, then Shelby county, in 1796, on a thousand acres of land
bought from his uncle, Col. Francis Berry. They built the home, "Spring Hill," the first brick house in the county, and the home remained in possession of the family until last year. From Spring Hill, Gen. Zachary Taylor, with one his daughters and with his cousin, Betsy Taylor, who married Dr. William Willett, of the Bullitt family, rode on horseback to Frankfort to attend the first assembly ball, taking their evening clothes in their saddle bags.
Abraham Hapstonstall, the surveyor, spent the declining years of his life in the homes of Hancock Taylor and of William Berry Taylor He is buried in the Taylor family burying ground at Spring Hill."
Several of the Revolutionary brothers, son of Col. George Taylor, were pioneer settlers in Kentucky, and from time to time their descendants have drifted into Louisville from the Bluegrass, from Eastern Kentucky and from the neighboring counties. Among these Kentucky Taylors now in the city are the following Mrs. John W. Green, Mrs. Alexander McLennan, Mrs. Jack Langhorne Brent, Judge George Brent, Dr. E. R. Palmer, Mr. Edmund F. Trabue, Miss Alice Trabue, Col. William Colston, Mr. T. P. Taylor, Mrs. E. Polk Johnson, James Berry,Mrs. Robert Brooke, Miss Ruth Rodman, Mrs. Sam Overstreet, Mrs. T. J. Howe,
Mr. Horace Hurley, Mr. Frank Barbour, Mrs. James Hegan, Dr. John B. Richardson, Mr. Samuel B. Richardson, Mrs. Harrison Robertson, Mrs. Thos. Kennedy Helm, Miss Addie Meriwether, Mr. Edmund Taylor Meriwether, Mrs. Baylor Hickman, Mrs. Gilbert Garrard, Mrs. Thomas R. Gordon, Mrs. Arthur Peter, Mrs. Karl Jungbluth, Jr., Mrs. J. K. Woodward, Miss Betty Mallory, Miss Fanny Mallory, Mr. Robert Mallory, Dr. R. A. Bate, Mr. Virginius Bate, Mrs. Cora Taylor Russell, Edward G. Isaacs, Mrs. Robert Herr, Mrs. S. E. Frazee, Mrs. Joseph Simmons, Mrs. Herman D. Newcomb, Mrs. Arthur Peter, Darwin Ward Johnson, Mrs. Kate Johnson Lester, Donald Jacob, John I. Jacob, Wallace Taylor Hughes, William B. Eagles, Nannie Lee Frayser, Mrs. Barber Baldwin, Mrs. John Cannon, Dr. and Mrs. John Taylor, Rebecca Taylor, Sallie Taylor, Lucy Catherine Taylor, James Hughes and Mrs. George Grevemeyer. In many instances the members of the Taylor family are descendants of two branches of the family.