WILLIAM L. TAYLOR, of the firm of Taylor & Beck, livery stable keepers, Table Rock, is an enterprising and intelligent representative of the business men of this city. He is a son of one of Pawnee County's well-known pioneers, John Taylor. The father was born in Scotland, March 4, 1826, and came to America in 1848 in the flush of early manhood. In 1850 he returned to his native land for his promised bride, Miss Mary Wishart, and on the 3rd of July they were united in marriage. Returning to his adopted country with his young wife, Mr. Taylor settled in Wilkesbarre, Pa., and in that town our subject was born to his parents June 2, 1851. In 1853, when he was two years of age they removed to Hawesville, Ky., and there the father established himself at his trade of blacksmith, which he conducted in that place the following eleven years. Four children were born to him and his wife during their residence in Kentucky.
In 1864 Mr. Taylor, accompanied by his family, sought a still newer country in the then Territory of Nebraska. He bought 160 acres of land on section 7, Sheridan Precinct, and took up another 160-acre timber tract under the provisions of the Homestead Act, and in the ensuing years, by incessant and skillful labor developed the whole 320 acres into one of the finest and most productive farms in the precinct. He erected a small log house in which the family lived for three or four years, and he then replaced it with a more substantial and roomy house of stone, the dwelling being 30 x 33 feet. The most of his land is tillable or else pasturage or timber. He hedged it and cross fenced it, and set out an orchard and windbreak, and made all the useful improvements usually made by an enterprising farmer. He fed all of his grain, and raised about 100 cattle and hogs yearly, keeping none but standard grades. He was here when the nearest market was the Missouri River, and the lumber for his house he had to draw from St. Joseph and Nebraska City. He became identified with the various interests of the precinct, and with great public spirit supported any enterprise that was calculated to be beneficial to it. He took an especially active part in promoting he educational facilities of Sheridan, and was there when the district in which he lived was organized, and was appointed the first Director of the district, and in that capacity was a member of the building committee that had charge of the erection of the frame school-house that was put up for the accommodation of the scholars in that part of the precinct, and for the first few years he paid the largest percentage of the taxes. He was one of the earliest settlers of the precinct to have and extensive farm with all the necessary improvements, large barn, etc., and everything complete to make it a first-class farm. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and of the I. O. O. F. He was an intelligent reader, a man of good capacity and strict integrity, and as one of the substantial men of the community his death Oct. 26, 1888, was esteemed a great loss. He was twice married. The wife of his early manhood, the mother of our subject, died June 15, 1870 or 1871. For his second wife he married Mrs. Nancy Wyman, of this place, and she still survives him. They had two children.
The subject of this sketch remained with his father until he was about twenty-four years old, finishing his education at the Pawnee Academy, and after gaining a good practical experience of farming under his father's instruction, he engaged in that calling for himself. He was thus actively engaged until 1878, when he moved to Table Rock, and until the following year was in J. Barker's store. In 1879 he established the livery business, and continued it alone until 1881, when he was burned out. He then started up anew with a partner, who remained with him some years until Mr. Beck bought out his share, and entered into partnership with our subject. They have a large and well-appointed livery stable, with good road horses and neat, comfortable turn-outs, and are doing an extensive and lucrative business.
To the lady who presides over his pleasant and hospitable home, our subject was united in marriage, in Table Rock, Oct. 4, 1877. Mrs. Taylor, whose maiden name was Minnie J. Fox, was born Jan. 27, 1858, in Pennsylvania, a daughter of R. and Mary Fox, likewise natives of that State. Her mother came West and settled in Nemaha County in the pioneer days. Mrs. Fox moved onto a claim with her family, and bravely held it in spite of adverse circumstances. She is still living in town, and is much respected by all who know her.
Our subject is a man of excellent judgment, has a clear, cool head for business, and his credit is good in financial circles. Politically he is a Republican.