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Taylor, Archibald R.


John Taylor, the grandfather of the subject of this biography, was by birth a Scotchman, and first came to America as a British soldier, having served with the army at Quebec. He became impressed with the justice of the cause of the colonists, and enlisted in their ranks, having served with credit in several engagements. After peace was declared he repaired to Ulster County, N.Y., and conducted a tannery in the town of Shawangunk, where the remainder of his life was spent. He was married to Miss Jane Smedes, of the latter town, and had children,—John, William, Daniel, and Rachel, who became Mrs. Joseph Depeu. Of this number, John, the father of Archibald, was born in Shawangunk during the year 1789, where his early life was passed, having succeeded to the trade of his father. He was united in marriage to Miss Jane McBurney, of Crawford township, who was the mother of Archibald R., James, Ann (Mrs. N.W. Clearwater), and Oliver. Mr. Taylor’s death occurred in Shawangunk during 1867, in his seventy-eighth year, his wife having died two years previous. The remains of both repose in the cemetery of the new Prospect Church.

Their son Archibald R. was born March 1, 1811, and remained during his boyhood at the home of his parents. He attended first the district school, and later the academy at New Paltz, N.Y., after which for a brief period he engaged in teaching. Soon after he determined to follow the profession of civil engineering, and assisted in 1835 in the survey of a portion of the Erie Railroad. In 1837, in company with a fellow-workman, he started for Chicago in the primitive conveyance known as a jumper, and having, after a tedious trip of forty days, reached his destination, planted the first railroad stake in that now prosperous city.

He returned in 1838, and engaged in preliminary surveys on the Erie Railroad. After a brief period spent in professional occupations, he returned to his native county, and in 1842 embarked in mercantile ventures at Ulsterville. In 1849 he removed to Pine Bush, Crawford township, and continued his business career. He purchased a large tract of land at this point, began the erection of buildings, and became largely identified with the prosperity of this village. He is still a considerable property-holder here, and associated with the business interests of Pine Bush and vicinity. Mr. Taylor was one of the projectors of the Newburgh and Ellenville plank-road, a very prominent thoroughfare, and gave much time and labor to its construction.

In politics he is a Democrat, and served as under-sheriff of the county in 1862. In religion his preference is for the creed and form of worship of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Taylor was married Feb. 16, 1856, to Miss Mary, daughter of John Colwell Rainey, of Crawford. Their children are Archibald, Hamilton R., Emily, Anne, and John C., all, with one exception, residing at home. is a genealogy site compiled of biographies from old county history books, user contributions and other sources. Compilation, design, artwork and concept covered by copyright. Copyright ©2013, All rights reserved. Contact me.  Privacy Policy.