Hon. Abrion Fletcher TAYLOR, the efficient and popular Mayor of Mt.
Vernon, is among the native sons of Illinois.
He was born in Rushville, Schuyler County, November 22, 1832.
His father, the Rev. William H. Taylor, was born in Vermont, August
27, 1800, and was the son of Ezra Taylor, who traced his ancestry back to the Pilgrim
Fathers. He was a wheelwright by trade, and served as one of the heroes of the Rev-
olution. His death occurred in the Buckeye State.
The Rev. Mr. Taylor came to Illinois in 1818, and joining the Methodist Church, be-
came one of its ministers. He preached for more than half a century, and was a man
of great natural ability and force of character. He was modest in demeanor, honest in
every act with himself and all mankind, and did much for the cause of Christianity in the
communities where he lived. His death occurred in Mt. Vernon in 1871. His wife,
whose maiden name was Elizabeth SPOHNIMORE, was a native of Kentucky, but her
father Philip, was a Pennsylvania Dutchman and served as a soldier in the War of 1812
under Gen. William Henry HARRISON. Mrs. Taylor died in Mt. Vernon in 1855. The
two paternal uncles of our subject were Allison, a physician who went to Texas in 1832
and was killed while fighting the Indians; and John F., a millwright, who is yet living in Ohio.
Mr. Taylor of this sketch had one brother, Norris H., a soldier of the Civil War, who did
duty in the Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He served for more than three years, and was
twice reported mortally wounded, and finally received his discharge on account of his
injuries. He was first wounded in the head by a piece of shell. This necessitated the re-
moval of a part of the skull, but he regained his health, and after again joining his regiment
was shot through the lungs and arm. Although left for dead on the field of battle, he is now
engaged in the manufacture of carriages in Rushville. The sisters of the family are Susan A.,
widow of Charles T. PACE, a merchant of Mt. Vernon; Prudence M., widow of the Rev.
J.B. REYNOLDS, a Methodist preacher, who served during the Civil War; Elizabeth, wife
of E.T. SMITH, of Denver, Colo.; and Julia, wife of Prof. A.C. COURTNEY, Principal of
the public schools of Denver.
A.F. Taylor spent his early life upon his father's farm and received but limited school priv-
ileges. In September 1817, the family came to Mt. Vernon, where subsequently he em-
barked in merchandising which he followed until after the breaking out of the late war. He
was a loyal supporter of the Union however, and on the 16th of July, 1861, responded to
the call for troops, enlisting in the Fortieth Illinois Infantry as Regimental Quartermaster, in
which capacity he served for two years. He was then Brigade Adjutant for one year, and
afterward served as Post Adjutant for General MEREDITH in Paducah, Ky. He was in
the service exactly four years, and was then honorably discharged, returning at once to
In 1855 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Taylor and Miss Elmira A. HICKS, of Mt.
Vernon, Ill., daughter of Stephen G. Hicks, who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Mex-
ican War, served in the State Legislature with Lincoln and Douglas, and was Colonel of
the Fortieth Illinois Infantry. At the battle of Shiloh he was severely wounded and remain-
ed with the regiment until the close of the war. His death occurred in 1867. To Mr. and
Mrs. Taylor were born three children: William Worth, who died in 1857; Stephen, who
for many years was a merchant of Mt. Vernon, and married the daughter of C. H. PATTON,
a leading attorney of this place; and Mellie, who is at home.
On his return from the war, Mr. Taylor resumed merchandising, which he successfully and
continuously carried on until 1888. He then assumed the management of the mills belong-
ing to the Mt. Vernon Milling Company. He had long been a stockholder of that company
and is now Manager, Secretarey and Treasurer. He possesses good ability, and his bus-
iness career has proved a profitable one. He has never aspired to office, but in the spring
of 1893 his friends nominated him for Mayor on the Anti-License ticket, and he was
elected. No more efficient officer has ever filled the position, and he is a man whose strict
integrity and honesty of purpose have won him the confidence of all classes of people.
During the greater part of his life he has been a member of the Methodist Church, is a
leading Grand Army man, and is a Royal Arch Mason.
SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Clinton, Washington, Marion
and Jefferson Counties, Illinois. Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent
and Representative Citizens of the Counties, Together with Biographies and
Portraits of all the Governors of the State and the Presidents of the United
States," Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co., 1894
Submitted By: Misty Flannigan