Tama County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Star Clipper Supplement
Traer, Iowa, March 11, 1887
History of North Tama
By Daniel Connell

Chapter XXV
Ira and Giles Taylor

Among the very earliest settlers in the settlement, reaching here on January 1, 1853, were Ira and Giles Taylor, brothers. They, with their families, left Delaware County, Ohio, in the fall previous for Iowa and a home. They came with teams. Reaching Tipton as cold weather was approaching they hired a house.

Getting the family comfortable they commenced a search for a place to please them. Ira Taylor was born in 1799 in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. When eleven years of age his father removed to Delaware County, Ohio, in 1810. In the county Mr. Taylor lived, married and raised a family. He was engaged in farming. During the year 1854 his family was prostrated by typhoid fever, four of his children dying, two of whom were adults. In the spring of 1855 he decided to change his business. He removed to Toledo and engaged in the sale of general merchandise, continuing until 1862. Mrs. Taylor died in 1872. He died in 1884. Mr. Taylor was held in high esteem by his neighbors on Big Creek and was one of the first township trustees, receiving every vote cast, and his departure ftom the community was deplored.

At Toledo, where he lived for twenty-nine years, he commanded universal respect. Giles Taylor was born in 1808 and was but two years old when his parents removed to Ohio. In company with his brother Ira he came to Perry township on January 1, 1853 and has lived on the same land he then purchased until this day, a period of thirty-four years. He has been an important factor in the settlement from the first. Not given to speech in public and but little in private, he worked rather than spoke. Nothing of a public nature escaped his observation, and he was always ready to act in a way tending to the good of those concerned. A generous hospitality was the character of his home. He was free and generous; the latch string was always out, so his acquaintance was large. Thus by his kindly, fatherly nature he is respected in the community. For these reasons Mr. Taylor has been popular, and his services have often been in requisition in public matters of local import. He has frequently been a trustee of the township and on the school board, served the community on deputation at different times on matters connected with securing a railroad.

To Mr. Taylor in a large measure is to be credited the opening of a railroad and the location of Traer. The east half of the city was built on his land, and to his public spirit much of the prosperity of it is attributal. Traer contains much that her people may be proud-for her marts of trade, churches and schools, her enterprise in private as in public directions, but her crowning pride centers in the park for which they are indebted to Mr. Taylor. For public meetings of all kinds, no matter how extensive, ftom the school child's romp to a soldier's re-union or a Fourth of July celebration,

Traer is always ready, and all such gatherings seem a vote of gratitude for the public spirit of Giles Taylor. Mr. Taylor has not had aspirations for public office. Three terms of the mayorality filled his ambition, having been the first mayor of Traer. Now in his eightieth year he is living quietly among the neighbors he has known so long, and is one of the few who can count a thirty-three years residence in the settlement.

Mr. Taylor has four children. Zoe, the oldest, was the first postmaster at Traer, holding the office for eight years. Tipton is a farmer in O'Brien county, Iowa. Elmer is editor and proprietor of the STAR CLIPPER, and Addie is the wife of David Porterfield. In the rear of Mr. Taylor's residence stands the old log cabin that sheltered the family for twenty-two years, probably the last relic of the kind in the settlement, a memento of the days when shelter, not style, was required. Never very high, it is settling into the ground and now appears low, and today to many it is a puzzle how a family of six lived in it twenty years and entertained company. A photograph of this building before going to decay as a historical memento would be highly prized by the succeeding generations of the settlement and by the local historical society. The three youngest members of the family were born in Iowa. Tipton was born while temporarily residing in the capital of Cedar county, and received the name in remembrances of the sojourn of the family there. Elmer was born, and has always resided on the homestead and is a genuine native, bashful and retiring. He early conceived a liking for newspaper work, and on May 1, 1878, he started a paper called the STAR, a small five-column sheet, which was at a later day enlarged, and in 1883 he purchased with Mr. Jaqua the CLIPPER and consolidated them as the STAR-CLIPPER. A year later he purchased the interest of Mr. Jaqua, and is now sole proprietor. On February 23, 1887, he married Ella, only daughter of G. Canfield, of Traer.

Chapter XXVI

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