Hon. William M. Taylor

   HON. WILLIAM M. TAYLOR.  In choosing for perpetuation in this work of Texas history, the names and careers of families which have been conspicuous in the state, certainly no choice could be more apposite than that of the career and the relationship of the late William M. Taylor of Crockett. Judge Taylor easily has rank among the foremost lawyers of the Texas bar from the decade of the forties until the time of his death. He was a brilliant lawyer, one whose name was connected with litigation in all the courts of the state during the early days, and he was equally well known for his public service.
   He was one of the judges who were removed by military edict during the Reconstruction days, and through the influence of his private and public position he gave fine service for the welfare of his state. Judge Taylor married a niece of General Sam Houston, and Mrs. Taylor, who now resides at Crockett, is one of the most remarkable and venerable of Texas women.
   William M. Taylor was born in Lancaster, Ohio, in 1817, and received his collegiate education in Miami University of Ohio, being a graduate of that institution. He came to Texas in 1844 and after some time of travel and observation located at Houston. During the first months of his residence he had been a student of law at Galveston.
   The late Mr. Taylor was one of the most prominent Masons in the history of that craft in this state. He had the honor of compiling the first Masonic Monitor for Texas. for a year he was a member of the Masonic Grand Lodge, filling all of its offices and for two years traveled over Texas as lecturer and inspector. It was during his attendance at the General Grand Encampment of Knights Templar in Baltimore that his death occurred.
   In 1848 Judge Taylor formed a partnership for the practice of law at Huntsville with Henderson Yoakum a name which in later generations is probably less known for its association with the early bar than as a historian, for Henderson Yoakum was the greatest of early Texas historians, and in his profession he ranked among the leading lawyers of the state. This partnership continued until the death of Col. Yoakum. In 1850 Mr. Taylor moved to Crockett where he opened a law office, although still continuing his partnership with Col. Yoakum, and continued to practice and made Crockett his home until his death in 1871.
   His active prominence in public life began in 1854 with his election to the state senate, where he served four years. He was also a delegate to the Reconstruction convention at Austin, under the supervision of the Military Governor Hamilton. During the war he was appointed brigadier-general and recruited a brigade for service, although other duties kept him away from the front. In 1862 he was elected district judge, and continued to perform the functions of that office until the state was placed under military government, at which time all the civil judges were removed.
   Judge Taylor in 1850 married Miss Isabella A. Moore, a daughter of S. A. and Eliza (Houston) Moore. Her mother was the youngest sister of General Sam Houston. For her relationship with this greatest character of Texas history, and also for her own remarkable personality, Mrs. Taylor is honored among all the citizens of the state who respect and revere the wisdom and valor of the past and who admire the venerable character of one who has lived for eighty-seven years and who still possesses a clear mind and lovable character of a noble-woman. Mrs. Taylor bears a striking resemblance to the great Sam Houston, and when a girl was nicknamed, "Little Sam." She well remembers the leader of the Texas army and the founder of the Republic, and from her actual observation and experience and early association among the great men of Texas, can recount much that long ago was written in the enduring pages.
   Mrs. Taylor's father was a native of Virginia, but reared in Kentucky. Her mother was also a Virginian, and was reared in Tennessee, and in that latter state her parents were married. Mrs. Taylor was born in Tennessee, October 28, 1826. Her family owned slaves and when the slavery question began to be agitated came to Huntsville in 1846. It was in Huntsville that Miss Moore met and married Judge Taylor, and a few years later they moved to their present home at Crockett. The two children that were born during their married life are now deceased. Judge and Mrs. Taylor were members of the Episcopal church, Judge Taylor at one time being a lay-delegate to the House of Bishops and lay-delegates in convention at Baltimore. Mrs. Taylor has now but one near relative living, Major Sam M. Penland, a nephew, of Galveston. From the large estate accumulated by her husband, she retains a generous portion and has abundance and all the comforts for her final years. She now makes her home with what she lovingly calls her "adopted family," that of Mr. J. W. Hail of Crockett, with whom she has lived for thirty-five years.

from A History of Texas and Texans, by Frank W. Johnson.  The American Historical Society.  Chicago, 1914.  Vol. III, p. 1114.