Placed at the head of a great state charitable institution, carrying the responsibility for the welfare of hundreds of unfortunates whose reason has been shattered and imbued with an earnest desire to restore his unfortunate charges to health and friends, stands Doctor W. E. Taylor, superintendent of the Illinois Western Hospital for the Insane at Watertown.
He was born at Waukesha, Wisconsin, May 24, 1854, where his parents, E. T. and Esibell (Irving) Taylor resided. Here his boyhood was spent, and after thoroughly fitting him-self in preparatory schools, he entered the University of Wisconsin, and upon completing a course in that institution, took up the study of medicine at the Hahnemann Medical College at Chicago, from which he graduated. After his graduation, he began the practice of his chosen profession at Monmouth, Illinois, and remained in that city until his appointment as superintendent of the Watertown Hospital for the Insane in 1897, which position he still holds.
August 5, 1879, he was married to Miss Vagima McCleary, and of this union two sons have been born, Don and Mac Taylor.
Dr. Taylor is a Republican and is prominent in the councils of his party, not merely locally, but throughout the State of Illinois. During the time he resided in Monmouth, he was at the head of the health department of that city for ten years, and was mayor of Monmouth for two years. In 1896 he was a presidential elector. He has campaigned throughout the state for his party every year since 1884. He is recognized throughout the medical profession in the United States as an authority on nervous diseases and disorders, and has a chair on nervous diseases in the Hahnemann Medical College, his own alma mater.
Those who have talked with Dr. Taylor upon his specialty in the field of medicine, know how devoted he is to the study of the human, both in its normal and abnormal conditions. He is a broad investigator and is constantly striving to discover and put into practical use new means and methods of successfully treating the mental ills of those upon whose reason a cloud has fallen, and in his chosen field he has been eminently successful, and the number of cures that have been effected in the Watertown institution is truly remarkable. During his administration several new and commodious buildings have been added and the possibilities of the asylum for doing effective work have been greatly increased. Another thing that is deserving of special mention is the fact that during the time Dr. Taylor has been in charge of this institution, not one breath of scandal has even been whispered concerning the- manner of administration or the treatment of patients. Nothing of gloom or despair pervades this asylum, but throughout each department there, exists that spirit of helpful cooperation among the superintendent, physicians and other employees, who unite in a determined effort to seek and find the best means of aiding in the restoration of impaired reason.