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David Taylor was born in the town of Truro, in the Province of Nova Scotia, on the twenty-fourth day of July, 1801. His ancestors were Puritans. Matthew Taylor, his great-grandfather, emigrated from near Londonderry, Ireland, in 1721, and settled in Londonderry (now Derry), New Hampshire, in 1722. The emigrants who settled that town of which Matthew Taylor was one--were Presbyterians of the John Knox school, and are called Scotch-Irish, being the descendants of a colony which migrated from Argyleshire, in Scotland, and settled in the province of Ulster, in the north of Ireland, about the year 1612. Matthew Taylor was the father of six sons and two daughters. His second son, Matthew, was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, October 30, 1727. He married Miss Archibald, of Londonderry, and had six sons and two daughters born to that marriage, the birth of Robert, the fourth son, being April 11, 1759.
Soon after the "old French war" and the evacuation of the Province of Nova Scotia, by the French, about the year 1763, Matthew Taylor, with a number of other families, moved from New Hampshire to Nova Scotia, and settled in the town of Truro, at the head of the bay of Fundy. At this time Robert was in his infancy. On December 6, 1781, he was married to Mehetabel Wilson, and had born to that marriage four sons and several daughters. The oldest son, Abiather Vinton, was born March 25, 1783. The second son, *Matthew, was born June 18, 1785. The third son, James, was born November 25, 1795, and the fourth son, David, the subject of this sketch was born on the twenty-fourth day of July, 1801.
In the autum[n] of the year 1806, Robert Taylor came to Ohio with his family and settled in Chillicothe. Prior to leaving Nova Scotia he had purchased some lands in what is now Truro township, Franklin county, and in the summer of 1808, while living in Chillicothe, he determined to remove to said lands, and in that year built thereon the first frame house ever erected in the eastern part of the county. David, then seven years of age, assisted the workmen in th construction of the house, living with them in camp while the work was going on. In the spring of 1809, Robert Taylor removed with his family into the new house, where he resided until March 28, 1828, when he died.
David Taylor commenced business for himself when twenty years of age. His first adventures were in stock. From 1820 to 1827 he was very active in this business, collecting large herds in Ohio and driving the same to the eastern markets. During this period he went "over the mountains," as it was then called, with stock eighteen times, and was successful in almost every venture. He continued to deal extensively in stock for many years, but after about 1827 he adopted the policy of collecting stock and preparing it for the eastern market, but selling at home. It was only when he failed to secure a satisfactory purchaser at home that he drove his stock to market.In the meantime he invested the gains of his enterprise in lands which were brought into cultivation as fast as it could profitably be done.
In 1850 he purchased a large tract of land, then known as the Brien section. It consisted of the southwest quarter of Jefferson Township, Franklin county, and contained over four thousand acres of land. This he subdivided into tracts of from fifty to one hundred and sixty acres and sold a considerable portion of it, reserving for himself such portions as best suited his purpose. This transaction added materially to his fortune.
In the year 1826 he erected a house and established his home on the west bank of Walnut creek, a short distance north from his father's old homestead. Here he resided until 1843, when he constructed a commodious dwelling house on his farm, on the National road, near Walnut creek, where he resided until March 1858, when he removed to his present residence, on Broad street, in the city of Columbus. Since that time he has made no great exertion in business affairs, but has found such employment as he desired in watching over and caring for his estate, and in performing his duties in respect to such public trusts as have, from time to time, been imposed upon him.
He has always taken an active interest in the development of the agricultural interest of the State. He was one of the founders of the Franklin County Agricultural Society, and was president of the that organization for the years 1857, 1858 and 1870.
In 1861 he was elected as one of the members of the State board of agriculture, for the State of Ohio, and was twice re-elected, serving, in all, six years. From 1862 to 1866 he was the treasurer of that organization, and on his retirement so satisfactorily had he performed his duties in that respect that a suitable testimonial was voted him.
In early life he had considerable taste for military affairs, and for many years was an active member of a then famous mounted company, called the Franklin Dragoons. This company had served through the war of 1812, under Captain Joseph Vance, and for many years after the war the company organization kept up. Abram McDowell succeeded Captain Vance in command of the company, and he was succeeded by Robert Brotherton, and he by Joseph McIlvain, and he by Philo H. Olmsted, and he by David Taylor, who was elected captain in 1824, and served in that capacity for three years.
He was first married in September, 1826, to Nancy T. Nelson, by whom he had two childeren born--Eliza, who was married to Samuel Sharp, now living in Chicago, and Robert N., now living as [sic.] Upper Sandusky.
In July, 1831, he was married to Margaret Shannon, who died soon after her marriage, and in May, 1836, he was married to Margaret Livingston, oldest daughter of Judge Edward Livingston. Six children have been born to this marriage, David, Edward L., Mary C.; Henry C., Martha, wife of Samuel Lee, of Philadelphia, and Margaret L., all of whom are now living.
*Transcriber's note: Matthew Taylor died 2 Jun 1855, aged 69 years, 11 months, 14 days; buried Seceder Cemetery, Truro Township.