William Frazier Taylor, Jr., was my great grand uncle and brother to my
paternal great grandmother, Lottie L. Taylor Chambers. (It’s uncanny, my brother John’s son, Matthew Burton Boling, four generations later, is the spitting image of William as he appeared in the image on the left.)
When William was born on April 5, 1881, in Virginia, he was the fourth of eight children. His father, William Frazier Taylor, was 36, and his mother, Hannah G., 24.
A Christmas Wedding in Culpeper
William, or “Will/Willie” as they called him, married Willie Ethel “Effie” POPE, above, daughter of John D. Pope and Sarah Jewel Worlledge on December 25, 1901, in Culpeper, Virginia–home of both families.
1900 United States Census Record
In 1900, W.F. Taylor was 18 years old and lived in Stevensburg, Virginia with his mother, 3 brothers, and 3 sisters. If you look closely at the census record below you can see that the Pope and Taylor families were neighbors. In fact, Willie E., daughter, on line 19, was Effie and on line 25, Molly Grymes Taylor, Will’s mother was head of the household and a widow since 1897.
1910 United States Census Record
According to the 1910 census record, Willie was 29 years old and 10 people lived at their residence in Stevensburg, VA: Willie, Effie, Willie’s mother Molly, their first three children, his two sisters, Mary G. and Lottie L.; and his brother, Frank Taylor. The occupation field (not shown here) lists him as a manufacturer or owns his own factory.
The picture to the left was probably taken around 1912. It is of Will and Effie’s first four children: Fred, standing in back, about 9; George on the left, about 7, William, the baby, less than 1, and Maggie, about 4.
Draft Registration Record 1917-1918
On 6 April 1917, the United States declared war on Germany and officially entered World War I. Six weeks later, on 18 May 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed, which authorized the president to increase the military establishment of the United States. As a result, every male living within the United States between the ages of eighteen and forty-five was required to register for the draft. William Frazier Taylor, Jr., was living in Raccoon Ford, Culpeper, Virginia, when he registered. He listed his birth year as 1880 and age as 38, instead of his recorded birth year of 1881. The age limit for registering for WWI was 45, so I’m not sure why the discrepancy here.
1920 United States Census Record
In the 1920 Census, William listed his occupation as a general merchant and a postmaster, consistent with his draft registration card. This means the Taylor’s lived on historic Civil War Cedar Mountain in Culpeper County, Virginia, and the size of their large and extended family may have been very much like that of Ike and Corabeth Walton Godsey on Walton’s Mountain, in the Piedmont area of Virginia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9, 1862
The Battle of Cedar Mountain was the first serious clash between the Army of Northern Virginia and Major General John Pope’s (related to Effie Pope?) new Army of Virginia. The close-run Confederate victory at Cedar Mountain was the springboard for the 1862 Northern Virginia campaign that brought the fighting back to the fields of Manassas in August of 1862.
Will and Effie never wandered far from their beginnings within Culpeper County. The map below highlights a number of significant places where the Taylor family lived and commuted during their lives.Culpeper County is, in fact, located in the beautiful Piedmont area of Virginia, at the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and nestled within the Rappahannock River Basin. Batna, Virginia, where the Taylor families lived and worked was only 3.9 miles northeast from Raccoon Ford. And Stevensburg, noted as William Taylor’s address in the 1900-1910 censuses was just 6 miles NNE away from Raccoon Ford.
William Frazier Taylor, Jr., Dies at Age 43
Six year’s after her husband’s death, Effie had moved to Southeast, Washington, DC., where she recorded herself as head of the household in the 1930 Census. Several of her children, now in their late teens and early 20’s were still living at home with her. And yet again, in the 1940 Census, the record shows an extended and blended Taylor family, with Effie still as head, living at 1354 D. Street, S.E., Washington, DC.
Effie died about 21 years after her husband, Will. Unfortunately, Will’s grave is in Virginia and Effie’s is in Suitland, Prince George’s County, Maryland, just southeast of the Washington, DC boundary lines. And, Effie’s death certificate lists her cause of death as breast cancer. Apparently, she had had it for about 18 months.