From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 427-428, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Robert Taylor, a pioneer of Illinois, and a prominent citizen of
Cass county, dates his birth in Scotland, ten miles south of
Campbeltown, Argyleshire, November 27, 1816. His father, Robert Taylor,
a native of same place, was a son of Angus Taylor, who was also born in
that locality. Both passed their lives and died there. The father of
our subject was a farmer by occupation. He married Miza McCoy, a native
of the same shire, and a daughter of Neill McCoy, also a native of that
place. Mrs. Taylor survived her husband some years. She came to America
in 1837, spent the rest of her life in Cass county, Illinois, and died
here in 1845. She reared eight sons and one daughter, namely: Angus,
Neill, Alexander, Archibald, Flora, Duncan, John, Robert and William.
All came to America.
Robert Taylor was reared and educated in his native land. When
he was three years old his father died, and until he was eight he lived
with his mother. He then found a home with his uncle, Archibald Taylor,
with whom he remained three years. Returning to his mother, he lived
with her till his eighteenth year, when he came to America. He set sail
from Greenock May 16, 1835, in the John Hale, accompanied by his
brother Angus, and landed in New York on the 4th of July following. His
uncle, Alexander Taylor, was a resident of Champaign county, Ohio, and
to that place he directed his course. In Urbana he found a home with
Douglas Luce, learned the trade of tanner and currier, and remained
their four years. In October, 1839, he came to Illinois, accompanied by
his four brothers, making the journey with a team. They settled in Cass
county and bought a tract of land four miles northwest of Virginia.
At that time this county was sparsely settled. Deer, wild
turkeys and other game were plentiful, and for several years there was
not a railroad in the country. In 1840 Mr. Taylor made a visit to
Chicago, going by the most convenient and expeditious route at that
time, namely, by team to Beardstown, steamer to Peru, and stage to
Chicago. Chicago's population was then about 5,000. A hotel and a few
slab shanties were the only buildings on the north bank of the river.
He put up at the Mansion House, which then stood opposite the Tremont,
after six weeks spent in the city returned to Cass county. From Chicago
to Bureau county he rode with a farmer who had been to the city to
market his grain. Then he walked to Peru, where he took a steamer for
For sixteen years he lived on the land he and his brothers
purchased. At the expiration of that time he rented it and purchased
the farm he now owns and occupies in the Sangamon river bottoms,
located in section 18 of township 18, range 10. He has been very
successful as a farmer, has purchased other lands at different times,
and is now the owner of upward of 1,000 acres.
Mr. Taylor and his wife are members of the Cumberland
presbyterian Church. They were among the original members of the
Sangamon Bottom Church. The first meeting of this society was held on
the fifth Sunday in July, 1848, and was organized late in the moth of
August following by Rev. Nathan Downing and Rev. James White.
Politically, Mr. Taylor was reared a Whig, but joined the
Republican party when it was formed. He has always been a
Prohibitionist in principle and of late years has voted with that party
in national elections.
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