Henry James Lee.

Portrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p online

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Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 11 of 83)
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ty-eighth, Fiftieth, Fifty-first and Fift3'-second
Congresses, his term of office expiring in 1893.

Colonel Taylor, third son of Alexander D. and
Sarah (Danner) Taylor, was born in Goshen Town-
sliip, Belmont County, this state, November 7,
1830. When he was two or three years of age, his
parents removed to Oxford Township, of this coun-
ty, and for nineteen years he lived upon his fa-
ther's farm, assisting in the work and studying
hard during the winter months in order to obtain
an education. After mastering the rudimentary
branches taught in the district school, he prepared
for college under the instruction of several of the
local- leading educators of the day. During his
vacations he taught a district school to obtain the
necessary funds for his further education. Be-
ginning in the summer of 1854, he attended Mad-
ison College, and took the entire course with the
exception of Greek. He subsequently taught in
the Laughlin and Center districts, and later con-
ducted the Fairview High School, which was at-
tended mainly by teachers preparing for their fu-
ture work. The course of study embraced a com-
plete academic course of study, including the
.higher mathematics, surveying, engineering, etc.
His assistant was Prof. L. J. Crawford. Though
proffered the superintendency of several promi-
nent union schools, he refused, preferring to teach
a select school.

The goal of young Taylor was for years the le-
gal profession, and his spare time was devoted to
a course of reading with that end in view. While
he was teaching, he was twice elected County Sur-



veyor, but resigned before tlie close of his second
term, owing to other business interests. In the
winter of 1857-58 he was admitted to the Cincin-
nati Law School, from which he was graduated in
1860, and in the fall of that year began practice
in Cambridge. At the breaking out of the late
war, be was School Examiner of Guernsey County,
but he resigned when he went into the army. In
the fall of 1861 he purchased the Guernsey Times,
then the only Kepublican journal in the county.
Associated with him in this enterprise was W. H.
F. Leufestey, who took charge of the business de-
partment, while he assumed the editorial work.
No one can estimate the immense importance of a
paper of the strict Republican type in those days
of doubt and vacillation. The Times steadfastly
upheld Lincoln's administration, approving the
Emancipation Proclamation, and in every way
boldly meeting the opposition of Southern sympa-
thizers and "copperheads." Neither then or at any
time since has Colonel Taylor ever faltered in his
allegiance to the principles of Republicanism. Each
week large numbers of copies of the paper were
sent to every regiment in the front which con-
tained an Ohio man, and thus thousands of dol-
lars' worth were contributed freely and gladly by
the owners to the cause of liberty and union
among the people who needed such encourage-

When the late war broke out. Colonel Taylor
was appointed by the Governor of Ohio a member
of the County and District Military Committees,
and he rendered etHcient service in organizing
troops and supplies and forwarding them to south-
ern battlefields. In the spring of 1863 he was his
party's candidate for Prosecuting Attorney of this
county, but prior to the canvass occurred Morgan's
famous raid into Oliio, and Governor Todd called
for troops to defend the state. Mr. Taylor raised
a company for the Eighty-eighth Ohio Regiment,
and at the end of ten days was chosen Captain by
the unanimous. vote of the company. The regi-
ment was placed on duty at Camp Chase, then
filled with rebel prisoners. Captain Taylor was
among the officers of this regiment who petitioned
the general government to send them to the front,
and an order came to that effect. The order was

countermanded upon the demand of General Rich-
ardson, who declared that the regiment could not
be spared from Camp Chase, and they were accord-
ingly remanded to the monotonous, though im-
portant, duty of guarding the many thousand
prisoners held there. While in camp our subject
was sent on several important details witli picked
men, where clearness of judgment and coolness of
nerve were required, and was eminently successful
in all these undertakings. He was placed in com-
mand of the Camp Chase troops at the time of the
Dayton riot, and was Judge Advocate of the mili-
tary court which tried the murderers of John B.
Cook in Cambridge, Ohio. Soon after entering
the service, he was detailed on special duty, and
remained on detached service until the close of
the war, serving as -Judge Advocate of court mar-
tials and military commissions in Cincinnati, In-
dianapolis and other places. In the latter part of
1864 he was appointed Judge Advocate of the dis-
trict of Indiana, with headquarters at Indianap-
olis. As previously stated, he was at the same time
Prosecuting Attorney of Guernsey County, and at
intervals had to return to Cambridge in order to
meet the duties devolving upon him in that office.
He was twice breveted for valuable services to the
Government, on recommendation of officers of the
regular army, who appreciated his judicious and
conscientious administration of duty. The brevets
being duly confirmed by the United States Senate,
he received the commission, and has ever since
passed among his acquaintances by the military
title of Colonel. After the war, and after being
mustered out of service, he was appointed Special
Judge Advocate, and retained in his official capac-
ity in Indiana, as the Government had two special
cases to prosecute, in which several hundred thou-
sand dollars were involved.

In December, 1866, Colonel Taylor married Eliz-
abeth A. Hill, who died in April, 1887. In No-
vember, 1889, he married Caro M. Palmer, of
China, Me. He continued as Prosecuting Attor-
ney of this county until the j'ear 1867, and so
vigoi-ously enforced the law that when his term
of service closed there was not an open saloon in
the county limits. He continued as an editor of
the Times until 1871, when he sold out his inter-



est in the journ-il. In the practice of his profes
sion he lias been very successful, and has been re-
tained as counsel in various noted cases, not the
least of which was tliatof the state versus Kenuon,
for the murder of Benjamin F. Sipe, the opposing
lawyer being Allen G. Thurinan, of Columbus,
Ohio. In 1872 he received eleven or twelve votes
for Congress in the convention which nominated
Hon. John A. Bingham for his last term. In 1876
he was a delegate to the Cincinnati convention
that nominated Hayes, and in 1880 went to Chi-
cago as an avowed Sherman man, but ultimately
and gladly gave his vote for James A. Garfield.

From 1870 to 1877 Colonel Taylor was Presi-
dent of the Cambridge School Board. During
that time the Union School Building was erected,
one of the finest structures in eastern Ohio. He
was a leading promoter of and was interested
in securing the organization and location of the
Marietta & Pittsburg (now the Cleveland & Mari-
etta) Railroad, and liberally contributed to the en-
terprise. His congressional record was marked
by the same fidelity and untiring efforts on be-
half of the public which have always been one of
his marked characteristics. He was then particu-
larly interested in matters concerning the old sol-
diers and pensioners of the late war, and also in
the wool industry, which closely concerned his
constituents; and his services were so higlily ap-
preciated that his majority was largely increased
at each election.

For more than forty years Colonel Taylor has
been a member of the Methodist Episcopal ('hurch
and a liberal supporter of its various departments
of activity. While engaged in teaching at Fair-
view, he was Superintendent of the Sunday-school,
and later was for seven years in a like position in
the Methodist Episcopal Sunday-school of this city.
In 1880 he was one of two lay delegates from east-
ern Ohio to the general conference at Cincinnati,
and was a delegate to the Ecumenical Conference
held in Washington, D. C, in 1892. During the
four weeks of the General Conference and the two
weeks of the Ecumenical Conference our subject
was never absent from his place during a single
session. It has been one of his cherished purposes
to assist wcjthy young men to gain a foothold in

honjruble business callings, or in obtaining an
education. He has been able to do this in many
instances, even when his own income was small.

Colonel Taylor has always been a very busy
man. He is at the present time Trustee of three
colleges, Scio and Mt. Union, in Ohio, and Alle-
ghany College in Pennsylvania; President of the
Ohio National Bank, and the Washington National
Building and Loan Association in Washington,
D. C, in addition to other positions of trust and
responsibility. As receiver, trustee, administra-
tor and executor, he has settled in a most satis-
factory manner a number of large estates, where
heavy bonds were required, in his twenty-five
years of law practice. In his three years as Judge
Advocate, four years as Prosecuting Attorney,
seven years as President of the School Board, and
nine years in Congress, his record is without a
stain or even a complaint.


Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 11 of 83)