Anstis Elmina Shepard Taylor (September 12, 1830 – December 6, 1904) was the first
general president of what is today the Young Women organization of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and was a founding member of the
National Council of Women. Elmina Shepard was born in Middlefield, New York to David Spaulding Shepard and
Rosella Bailey. Following her graduation from public school and Hardwick
Academy, she left home in 1854 to teach school in Haverstraw, New York, where
she met John Druce, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She was converted by Druce and baptized into the LDS Church on July 5, 1856. On
August 31, 1856, she married George Hamilton Taylor in Haverstraw. They left New
York for Utah on April 15, 1859, and arrived in Salt Lake City on September 16. At a meeting of the LDS Church's organization for adolescent girls held June 19,
1880, in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, Taylor was appointed the first
general president of the Young Ladies' National Mutual Improvement Association,
the original name of the church's Young Women Organization. Young was the
general president of the organization until her death in 1904. Under her
direction, Susa Young Gates founded the Young Woman's Journal, which began
publication in 1889. Just prior to Young's death, she shortened the name of the
YLNMIA to the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association. Taylor was succeeded
by her second counselor, Martha H. Tingey. In 1888, Young and others met with Susan B. Anthony in Seneca Falls, New York and
participated in the founding of the National Council of Women, an organization
dedicated to promoting the rights of women. In 1891, Young was appointed an ex
officio vice president of the organization, a position she held until her death.
Young died at her home in Salt Lake City.