Hon. Abrion Fletcher TAYLOR
Hon. Abrion Fletcher TAYLOR, the efficient and popular Mayor of Mt.
Vernon, is among the native sons of Illinois. He was born in Rushville,
Schuyler County, November 22, 1832. His father, the Rev. William H. Taylor,
was born in Vermont, August 27, 1800, and was the son of Ezra Taylor, who
traced his ancestry back to the Pilgrim Fathers. He was a wheelwright
by trade, and served as one of the heroes of the Revolution. His death
occurred in the Buckeye State.
The Rev. Mr. Taylor came to Illinois in 1818, and joining the Methodist
Church, became one of its ministers. He preached for more than half a century,
and was a man of great natural ability and force of character. He was modest
in demeanor, honest in every act with himself and all mankind, and did much
for the cause of Christianity in the communities where he lived. His death
occurred in Mt. Vernon in 1871. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth
SPOHNIMORE, was a native of Kentucky, but her father Philip, was a
Pennsylvania Dutchman and served as a soldier in the War of 1812 under
Gen. William Henry HARRISON. Mrs. Taylor died in Mt. Vernon in 1855. The
two paternal uncles of our subject were Allison, a physician who went to
Texas in 1832 and was killed while fighting the Indians; and John F., a
millwright, who is yet living in Ohio.
Mr. Taylor of this sketch had one brother, Norris H., a soldier of the
Civil War, who did duty in the Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He served
for more than three years, and was twice reported mortally wounded, and
finally received his discharge on account of his injuries. He was first
wounded in the head by a piece of shell. This necessitated the removal of
a part of the skull, but he regained his health, and after again joining
his regiment was shot through the lungs and arm. Although left for dead
on the field of battle, he is now engaged in the manufacture of carriages
in Rushville. The sisters of the family are Susan A., widow of Charles T. PACE,
a merchant of Mt. Vernon; Prudence M., widow of the Rev. J.B. REYNOLDS, a
Methodist preacher, who served during the Civil War; Elizabeth, wife of
E.T. SMITH, of Denver, Colo.; and Julia, wife of Prof. A.C. COURTNEY, Principal
of the public schools of Denver.
A.F. Taylor spent his early life upon his father's farm and received but
limited school privileges. In September 1817, the family came to Mt. Vernon,
where subsequently he embarked in merchandising which he followed until after
the breaking out of the late war. He was a loyal supporter of the Union
however, and on the 16th of July, 1861, responded to the call for troops,
enlisting in the Fortieth Illinois Infantry as Regimental Quartermaster,
in which capacity he served for two years. He was then Brigade Adjutant
for one year, and afterward served as Post Adjutant for General MEREDITH
in Paducah, Ky. He was in the service exactly four years, and was then
honorably discharged, returning at once to his home.
In 1855 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Taylor and Miss Elmira A. HICKS,
of Mt. Vernon, Ill., daughter of Stephen G. Hicks, who was a Lieutenant
Colonel in the Mexican War, served in the State Legislature with Lincoln
and Douglas, and was Colonel of the Fortieth Illinois Infantry. At the
battle of Shiloh he was severely wounded and remained with the regiment
until the close of the war. His death occurred in 1867. To Mr. and Mrs.
Taylor were born three children: William Worth, who died in 1857; Stephen,
who for many years was a merchant of Mt. Vernon, and married the daughter
of C. H. PATTON, a leading attorney of this place; and Mellie, who is at home.
On his return from the war, Mr. Taylor resumed merchandising, which he
successfully and continuously carried on until 1888. He then assumed
the management of the mills belonging to the Mt. Vernon Milling Company.
He had long been a stockholder of that company and is now Manager,
Secretarey and Treasurer. He possesses good ability, and his business
career has proved a profitable one. He has never aspired to office, but
in the spring of 1893 his friends nominated him for Mayor on the Anti-License
ticket, and he was elected. No more efficient officer has ever filled the
position, and he is a man whose strict integrity and honesty of purpose
have won him the confidence of all classes of people. During the greater
part of his life he has been a member of the Methodist Church, is a
leading Grand Army man, and is a Royal Arch Mason.
SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Clinton, Washington, Marion
and Jefferson Counties, Illinois. Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent
and Representative Citizens of the Counties, Together with Biographies and
Portraits of all the Governors of the State and the Presidents of the United
States," Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co., 1894
Submitted By: Misty Flannigan