The events of interest in the life of Mrs. Taylor were essentially as follows: She was born in Scott County, Ill., Jan. 10, 1847, and was the daughter of Thomas C. and Caroline (Ditson) Keener, who were natives respectively of Gettysburg, Pa., and Sangamon County, Ill. The father was a corn merchant and grain dealer at Naples, Ill., for a period of twenty-seven years, being senior member of the firm of T. & F. Keener. After his death Mrs. Keener assumed charge of the business, which she conducted successfully two years.
The subject of this sketch, after emerging from the common school, entered the Jacksonville Academy, where she completed her education. On the 11th of February, 1865, when a maiden of eighteen years, she was united in marriage with Mr. Royal Mooers, and of this union there were born three children, namely: Fanny, Thomas, and Edward. In 1876 she assumed her maiden name, and had that of her children changed from Mooers to Keener.
Mrs. Keener, on the 4th of January, 1887, was united in marriage with Mr. Frank C. Taylor, at this time a resident of Jacksonville. Mr. Taylor was born in Kentucky, from which State his parents removed to Jacksonville, where he has spent nearly his entire life, and was for a considerable time a reporter on the Courier. He is now practically retired from active business. He and his wife occupied a very fine residence, situated in the midst of beautiful grounds, adorned with shade trees and shrubbery. In the rear of the residence are a great variety of fruits, such as grapes, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, and Mrs. Taylor experimented with untried varieties of nuts, such as English walnuts, hard and soft shell almonds, and the native giant and Japanese varieties of chestnuts. She also had the pecan, hard shell hickory, and black and white walnut tress, besides filberts and Japanese persimmon.
In the fruit line Mrs. Taylor had all the varieties of apple, peach, pear, plum and cherry. To the culture of these she gave much time and attention with the view of determining what varieties were hardy and would flourish most successfully in that particular locality. As a horticulturist, she obtained an enviable reputation in Morgan County, and her experiments were of decided advantage, not only as connected with her own labors, but those of others interested in this line. She always maintained that she received her inspiration for this work from Prof. J. B. Turner. She also was a lover of flowers, as the grounds surrounding her home indicate, and in summer, hundreds of visitors came from the city and country surrounding to view the result of her taste, industry, and skill. Mrs. Taylor was a lady of many and varied accomplishments, and her genuine love of horticulture and everything pertaining thereto was greatly to her credit, while her perseverance was proverbial. She died May 11, 1889. Her death removed one of the most prominent members of the society of Morgan County, and left a void among friends and her home circle which time can not entirely restore.
On another page in this volume will be found a portrait of this lamented lady. Thus, although she has passed to her rest, her kindly face still turns its pleasant glance upon the gazer.