Butler County, Alabama

Ward Taylor

Submitted by Steve Stone

Several of my Taylor forebears migrated to Texas c1842.

Ward Taylor - one of the original founders of Butler Co.  Had significant land holdings in Butler Co. Moved into the area from Jones Co., GA, in 1817 and set up at Ft. Dale.  Later moved into Buttsville (Greenville) and established a hotel, blacksmith shop and stage/freight service that ran between Montgomery and south Baldwin Co.  Served in AL state house as representative.  Moved to E. Texas in 1842, along with wife Nancy Ann Matthews and children, where he was known as a planter, blacksmith, and Methodist minister.  He established a large plantation operation in Cass Co., TX, (the area is now in Marion Co.) and died there.  He is buried in the Taylor Family Cemetery, Smithland, Marion Co., TX.

Marion DeKalb Taylor (universally known as MDK) - son of Ward Taylor - migrated to Texas with the family in 1842 and inherited the family plantation after the death of Ward Taylor.  Trained as a doctor in Butler Co. by Dr. Hillary Herbert.  Served twice in the AL legislature, and in Texas, served for over 40 years in the state house and senate.  Elected three times as Texas Speaker of the House.  Served as a member of the state constitutional conventions in 1846, 1861 (secession constitution), and 1866.  He and his three wives are buried in the Taylor Family Cemetery, Smithland, Marion Co., TX.

Albert Jack Taylor - son of Ward Taylor - worked for father Ward Taylor in the stage/freight operation in Butler Co., as a driver.  He lost a leg as a young man as a result of a freight wagon accident.  Migrated to Texas in 1842, along with the family.  Established his own stage/freight business in Texas, operating out of Texarkana, Bowie Co.  Possibly buried in Redwater Cemetery, Redwater, Bowie Co, TX.

Elias Taylor - brother of Ward Taylor - moved into Butler Co. in 1822, after the death of father Moses Taylor in Jones Co. GA.  His family is shown on 1830 Butler Co. census.  He was also apparently enumerated in the 1830 Madison Co., MS, census while there to visit his brothers and buy land.  He purchased land in Butler Co. in 1833 and 1835 - around 400 acres all together.  Elias moved his family to Holmes Co., MS, in late 1835 to join brother Ozias, and purchased significantly more land holdings, including the area now known as the town of Goodman.

Job Taylor - brother of Ward Taylor - had land holdings in early Butler Co.  Migrated prior to 1830, first to Madison Co., MS, where he is shown on the 1830 census, and later to Holmes Co., MS, where he is shown on the 1840 census.  He established planting operations in MS along with brothers Elias and Ozias, both of whom had earlier lived in Butler Co.  Job moved on to Texas in 1842 along with brothers Ward and Joseph M. Taylor.  Job first set up in Marshall, Harrison Co., as a doctor, living in the Planter's Hotel, which was owned by brother Joseph M., then moved into Upshur Co. where he established a stage/freight office to service nephew Albert Jack Taylor's operations.  He also practiced medicine and was the second minister of the town of Earpville's First Methodist Church.  Helped found the present town of Longview, which subsumed Earpville.  Job and several members of his family are buried together in Oakwood Cemetery, Longview, Gregg Co., TX.

Joseph M. Taylor - brother of Ward Taylor - had significant land holdings in Butler Co. and Holmes & Yazoo counties in MS.  He is shown on the 1830 Yazoo Co. and 1840 Holmes Co. census lists.  He sold out most of his interests and moved with the family to TX in 1842, where he purchased the Planter's Hotel in Marshall, Harrison Co., TX.  He sold the hotel after 1860 and moved to the country to establish a large farm operation.  He and his family are buried in Liberty Cemetery, Harleton, Harrison Co., TX.

Most of the Taylors above are apparent on the 1850 Texas census - Ward, Albert Jack and MDK in Cass Co.; Job and Joseph M. in Harrison Co.

Remnants of the original family are still apparent in Butler Co.  Elias Taylor, who moved to Holmes Co., MS, in 1835, left son Hubbard Bonner Taylor behind to watch over his Alabama interests.  Descendants of H.B. Taylor are still in the county - mostly in Georgiana.

There are other Taylors in the county who are close kin to the family described above.  They are descendants of Ward Taylor's uncle, Leroy Taylor, whose descendants established first in Coffee Co., AL, then migrated to surrounding counties.  Most of these descendants are in Greenville.

There is also some speculation regarding other early Taylors and their potential kinship.  There are journal writings from Ward Taylor's Ft. Dale time that indicate he shared lodgings with three other Taylor men:  Henry, Simeon, and Hiram Taylor.  Scholarship today has yet to prove kinship among the four Taylor men.  It is known that Ward's father, Moses Taylor, had children that our research cannot identify.  It is possible that at least one of the early Butler Co. Taylors not named as part of this family is an actual brother to Ward.  There is also speculation that Ward's brothers Elias and Ozias had older sons who are not identified who also lived in Butler Co.  Examination of 1800, 1810, and 1820 census records indicates Moses Taylor had been married more than once and that he and his sons Ward, Elias and Ozias had several children each that cannot be accounted for by name.

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Page updated 19 Aug 2009.