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J. A. Taylor

One of Hunt County's most respected citizens and the oldest citizen of Celeste, J. A. Taylor, died at 8:30 AM, Wednesday, June 27, 1956, at his home in Celeste.

Mr. Taylor who had lived in Celeste for sixty-two years had served a decade of that time as mayor, was ninety-five. Death came after an illness of several months duration.

Funeral services were set for 3:00 PM, Friday, June 29, 1956, from the Celeste Methodist Church, with the pastor, the Rev. Albert Click, being joined by the Rev. Gene Alder, also of Celeste, conducting the rites. Burial was in the Dulaney Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Ralph Evans, Jimmie Norris, Billy Mulkey, Clyde Heflin, Albert Granberry, and Jacque Bickham.

Honorary pallbearers were S. R. Granberry, Lem Warren, George Hackney, Houston Furr, Jess McGuire, and Charles Dupre of Celeste, and Dr. J. C. Trentham and Fletcher Bland of Greenville.

Masons had charge of the graveside services.

The Gray-Sorrells Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

At the age of thirty-three, he came to Texas and after operating a gin in West Texas for awhile, settled in Celeste, where he was a machinist. A railroad strike, which left him almost idle, sent him to farming for one year, after which, he moved to Paris. But he soon returned to Celeste and remained here the rest of his life to take an active interest in civic, church, and social affairs.

As a resident of the Hunt County community since long before the turn of the century, Mr. Taylor had had much to do with its progress. As mayor for ten years, he was instrumental in securing electrical power for Celeste, for installing standard waterworks system, and for other developments which helped the community.

All this while, he also was active in the Methodist Church and the Masonic Lodge. Mr. Taylor had been a Mason for seventy-two years, was a past Lodge Secretary and had received a fifty-year pin from he Grand Lodge of Texas. He had been a member of the Methodist Church since he was fifteen, and for years was a member of the Board of Stewards of the Celeste Church. He also had served as director of the First National Bank of Celeste.

He was married to Alice Lake Star on January 6, 1898, and she succumbed on January 19, 1931. On September 23, 1933, he was married to Mrs. Tommy (Tommie) Della McNatt, who survives.

Other survivors include two stepsons, Sheriff Tom Warren and Floyd McNatt of Greenville; two stepdaughters, Molly Mock of Houston and Leona Sumrow of Moran, California; a sister, Mrs. Christeen Miller of Dallas; and other relatives.

(June 29, 1956, The Celeste Courier)

Submitted by Sarah Swindell

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