Greer Block 4
Earle P. & Eliza A. Taylor
Read their obits below
Mrs. Eliza P. Taylor celebrated her 92nd birthday
here Sunday with Mrs. Lillie Majors of Van Alstyne and Mrs. E.W. Priddy
of Tioga, her only living children, present for the occasion. One
son-in-law, J.R. Majors of Elmont, and one granddaughter, Miss Maxine Priddy
of Tioga, were also present.
Mrs. Taylor was born June 5, 1846 in Anderson county,
South Caroline, as Miss Eliza Wilson. At the age of 19 she married
Earle P. Taylor who died in 1923. With Mr. Taylor she lived in Pickens
county, South Carolina, until January 10, 1895, when the family moved to
Grayson county, Texas, settling at Elmont, near Van Alstyne, and lived
there several years after he husband's death in 1923, moving to Van Alstyne
in 1931 with her daughter, Mrs. Lillie Majors.
Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor.
They were Hattie, who married J.R. Majors of Elmont; Hassie, who married
W.R. Phillips of Birmingham, Alabama; Lillie, who married Frank Majors
of Van Alstyne; and Julia, who married E.W. Priddy of Tioga. Mrs.
J.R. Majors died in 1912 and Mrs. W.R. Phillips died in 1906.
Mrs. Taylor has 18 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren,
and 7 great-great-grandchildren. Of her five sisters and three brothers,
she has one sister and one brother living. They are Mrs. M.M. McCoy
of Howe, and Will Wilson of McQueen, Oklahoma.
Mrs. Taylor is one of the pioneers of the old South
and her memory carried her back to several decades in the past as some
of the most interesting incidents in any one's life is unreeled as one
sits and listens to her.
When only a child, Mrs. Taylor helped her widowed
mother at the loom weaving several yards of cloth per day. Her schooling
was cut short due to financial conditions and the distance to school.
Her only books were the blue back speller and arithmetic.
Mrs. Taylor had to trod four miles to school.
She was taught by Prof. Canady. The name of the little school has
elapsed from the mind of Mrs. Taylor, but she related that the nearest
town was 9 miles distance and was Pennelton, South Carolina.
When her mother left the home for any reason, all
the children were left in Eliza's care.
The most interesting incidents of Mrs. Taylor's life,
which she said that she never wanted to experience again, were the days
of the war between the states.
She remembers the destroying episodes of the coming
of the Yankees and the extreme fear in which the entire family had to live
during the stay of the Northerners. She tells of hiding meats and
other provisions in the walls of the houses by taking off the outside weatherboarding
and nailing it back again. She remembers when the Yankees came to
her home and ramsacked for valuable articles including a 50c piece which
belonged to Thomas Orr, one of her uncles. The 50c piece was given Mr.
Orr at the age of 17, on the day he left Ireland. Mr. Orr's mother
presented him with the money to be used in emergency only if he should
ever need it. Mr. Orr had kept the half dollar those many years and
pleaded with the Yankees to leave it behind but they paid no attention
to his pleas and left with the money and many relics which any family would
be proud of. Mrs. Taylor had 2 brothers and 3 brothers-in-law who
saw service in the war.....stated that calico was sold for as much as $9.00
per yard, and shoes were priced at $10.00. Traveling shoe makers
traveled throughout the country in those days stopping long enough in each
town to make shoes for all that wished them.
She remembers during the war when there was a shortage
of salt, sugar and coffee. Her father owned a large smokehouse where
meat had been salted away and left to cure. For many years the salt
had dripped down into the earth floor. During the shortage of salt,
people came for miles around and helped her father dig up the earth floor
and boil the dirt obtaining salt from the drippings which had accumulated
in those many years. This was their only manner in obtaining salt.
Dye was made from red clay, walnuts, shumac berries,
coppers and Indigo, and she tells of how proud all the girls were of the
many beautiful dresses which were home-spun and dyed in the home-made dye.
She said that if the material had been of silk, the girls would have not
been any more pleased with them.
Her family only raised two bales of cotton per year
but this was sufficient to supply the family with the necessities that
were not grown at home. Cotton sold from 3 to 5 cents per pound.
In the year 1860, Mrs. Taylor's mother and several
others left South Carolina to come to Texas to find a suitable place for
the family to live. Mrs. Taylor would not leaver her grandfather
who was unable to make the long trip by covered wagon and she stayed until
her grandfather passed away before leaving for Texas
It took the family three months to make the trip and
they settled on a farm between Howe and Sherman. They had to make
frequent trips to Fort Worth for supplies after settling in Grayson county.
Soon after their arrival, Mrs. Taylor's mother wrote her a letter telling
of the hardships experienced on the trip, but asked the others to come
to Texas because of the rich black land found here and the opportunities
that were in store for them.
The letter dated January 18, 1860, is still in the
possession of Mrs. Taylor and easily legible. Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Taylor's
mother, died before the rest of the family arrived and was buried in either
Cherrymound or Cedarmound near Sherman, and until this day the grave has
never been found.
Mrs. Taylor has several heirlooms and relics which
have been prized highly but she has never sold any of them although the
offers were large. Some of her relics are a coverlet which is over 60 years
old and is one that she helped make; another is a home-made rocker which
passed the 100 year mark several years ago and she has lost count of the
exact age; another is a dresser which has passed the 80 year mark and she
has lost track of the exact age; another is an old family bible purchased
for $13.00 which is over 50 years old and is about the size of a large
size dictionary; and her last prized possession is a wooden bread tray
which belonged to her mother in which Mrs. Taylor made up bread at the
age of 9.
Mrs. Taylor is very active. Her eyesight is
excellent, although her hearing is not that of a young person. She
makes up her own bed every morning, helps wash dishes and is always found
climbing around on chairs and boxes fixing this and that. She recently
sustained two falls but only received scratches from each, of which she
She is always found at work and thinks that hard work
hurts no one.
Van Alstyne Leader
November 1, 1923
Genuine regret and sorrow was felt by all who knew
him, when the news that E.P. Taylor, well-known and pioneer citizen of
this community, had died suddenly at Elmont reached Van Alstyne on Monday
afternoon. He had been in to town during the day and seemed to be
in the best of health. Returning to Elmont with his son-in-law, Judge
Majors, the party stopped at the Elmont school house to unload a box of
gravel which had been taken out by them. While assisting in this,
Mrs. Taylor was stricken with heart failure and died before help could
E.P. Taylor was born in Pickens county, S.C., on February
3, 1849, and was 74 years, 8 months and 26 days old at the time of his
death. He was married to Miss Eliza A. Wilson in January, 1865.
To this union four children were born: Mrs. Hattie Major of Elmont, deceased;
Mrs. Hassie Phillips of Birmingham, Alabama, deceased; Mrs. Lillie Major
of Elmont and Mrs. Julia Priddy of Pilot Point. Mr. Taylor is also
survived by his widow.
Early in life he was converted and united with the
Methodist church, retaining his membership in that body until his death.
For nearly thirty years he lived a life consecrated and sanctified to the
service of his Master, and often spoke in anticipation of the time of his
home-going when he could receive admittance into the circle of those who
have deserved the benediction of the faithful.
In his death his church has lost a faithful member,
his family a loving and devoted father, and this community, a spelndid
citizen to whose relatives the sympathy of all of the people goes out.
Funeral services from the Methodist church on Monday
afternoon were attended by numbers of the friends who had known and loved
the deceased in life, and who gathered to evidence their love at this death.
The services, which were conducted by Revs. Leo Johnston and R.C. Hicks,
were very impressive. Interment was had at the local cemetery.