Biography of Col. R. H. Taylor
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Mr. Woodson is a good lawyer, a conscientious officer and a vigorous and successful prosecutor.
Of this county, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1825. He began the study of law in the law office of Judge Warner, and was admitted to the bar by a special act of the legislature at the age of 18 years. He moved to Fannin County in 1844, and his abilities as a ‘lawyer were soon recognized, and. he was employed upon one side or the other of every important suit; both criminal and civil, in the county. In a few years, his reputation as a lawyer spread over north Texas, and later still, over the entire state. As a lawyer, he has been successful, both at the bar, and in a financial sense.
The name of “Bob” Taylor has been closely connected with local, state and national politics in the county and in the state since 1845. From precinct organizations, to national conventions, inclusive, his voice and sound judgment has helped to shape the destinies of his party. Before the war, he was a Whig and strong Unionist, after the war, an active republican. He was elected to the legislature first in 1850, and served consecutively until 1861, in the legislature of which year he made the speech of his life, against secession. Again in 1866, he was elected to the constitutional convention, and served the same year as Comptroller of the state. In 1876, he beat his democratic competitor for the legislature, when the balance of the democratic ticket was elected by a large majority. In 1859, he was sent as a commissioner by Gen. Houston, to Mexico to settle the Mexican troubles on the Rio Grand. He executed this trust promptly and effectually by calling in troops and giving the Mexicans to understand that the days of toleration of their abuses and outrages were over. He served in 1867 as Judge of the 8th district. He made an able judge and was well liked as such, particularly by the younger members of the bar, for he never allowed one to be thrown out of court by the older nuts, as long as the young fellow had paper which to amend his pleadings.
Col. Taylor entered the Mexican war in 1847, under General Hayes, and served until discharged when the war had terminated. He is deservedly a popular man, but his popularity is no test of the strength of the party he represents, in Fannin County, for more democrats vote for him, than republicans. His robust and active physique, disputers the years counted by his white hair. Most men at his age are one-sided in their views, and are disposed to cling to old ideas and theories; but, not so with Col. Taylor. His ideas of local suite and national policy are broad and progressive, and he says one active, intelligent young man in public affairs is worth three old ones. He realizes the fact that he lives in a progressive age and his natural intelligence and fair mindedness keeps pace with it.
Col. Taylor has raised a large and interesting family. Twenty-one children have been born to him, most of whom are still living. His eldest son, H. L. Taylor, stands at the head of the bar in Fannin County, to day. The old gentleman lives a short distance from Bonham on a fine farm, surrounded by the younger members of his family, and all the comforts and conveniences of home life. He can look hack over a life of usefulness and benefit to his country checkered with individual reverses and trouble, through which only men of his indomitable will and activity could have pulled with equal fortitude. Long may he live, to enjoy the blessings of a country his patriotism and bravery, have helped to build up for future generations!