Biography of Mrs. Mary A. Taylor
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Mrs. Mary A. Taylor has for many years had her home in Champaign County, and is now living on the old homestead farm at Penfield in section 30 of Kerr Township, where with the aid of her son she is carrying on the farm management left in her hands after the death of her husband.
Mrs. Taylor is a native of Dundee, Scotland, and a daughter of John and Jean (Davidson) Rennie. She grew up in Scotland and received an education in the schools of that country. After reaching young womanhood she married Mr. C. B. Taylor, also a native Scotchman and a son of. John and Helen (Gordon) Taylor. While they lived in Scotland Mr. and Mrs. Taylor had four children: Jennie, John, Mary and Helen.
At different times they thought and talked much of the land of America and Mrs. Taylor was especially influential in urging her husband to leave Scotland and seek the opportunities of the New World. Thus the little family embarked on a vessel, the Venetian, a ship which later went down in South American waters. They landed from this boat at Boston, and went from there to Chicago, where Mr. Taylor, a butcher by trade, found employment in the great Armour packing plant which was presided over by that genius of the packing industry, the late P. D. Armour. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor lived for many years at Chicago. While there other children were born, named Annie, Charles E., Jennie, Alexzina, Gordon and Rennie, the last being twin sons. Of these Annie, Jennie and Rennie are deceased. From Chicago Mr. and Mrs. Taylor moved to Gifford in Champaign County, where he engaged in the butcher business until his death in 1894. Mr. Taylor was a fine business man, an industrious worker, and his citizenship meant much to any community where he lived. After coming to Champaign County he had bought eighty acres of land and he also bought fifty acres at Penfield.
After the death of her husband Mrs. Taylor bravely faced the duties of life, her twin boys being then only four months old. Her daughter Mary married Elmer F. Henry and they live on a farm in Iowa. Helen Taylor married S. A. Smith, a railroad contractor living at Chicago, and her three sons are named Walter, Edward and Samuel. Alexzina is the wife of Albert Mauser and they live on a farm near Rantoul and have two children, Fern and John. Charles R. Taylor is a railway employee and married Maud Schultz.
In addition to rearing her own children Mrs. Taylor has carefully looked after the training of her grandson, James R. Croger, a son of Mrs. Helen Smith. Her life has been devoted to the welfare and training of her children and they have in many ways repaid the debt they owe such a brave and conscientious woman. Mrs. Taylor is an active member of the Episcopal Church at Rantoul and in politics she is a stanch Republican and has reared her children in the same faith. Her motto has always been America for Americans, and while thoroughly patriotic she is not convinced of the wisdom of having American sons serving in foreign countries under a foreign flag.
Her son Gordon is one of the able younger citizens of Champaign County and is the successful manager of the home farm. He is an admirer of good horses and other live stock, and his well kept fields are a splendid proof of his ability in agriculture.