Grave marker for William Taylor
The grave marker for William Taylor, who died less than two weeks after arriving in Benton County from Kansas. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Published as it appeared on March 13, 1903, in the Corvallis Gazette, Page 3, Column 3.

Now Sleeps in The City of The Dead—
Journeyed Far to See His Son.
— Was Disappointed.

After a long and useful life of 83 years and 4 months, William Taylor, who recently arrived in Benton county after a long journey from Kansas, died at the residence of Samuel Dixon, one mile east of Philomath, March 9th. The funeral services were held in the M.E. church at Philomath, Tuesday afternoon, at one o’clock, Rev. Ware officiating, assisted by Bishop Castle.

Mr. Taylor was born in Canada, November 9, 1819, and when a child, moved with his parents to Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He married Miss Catherine E. Douglas, in Franklin county of that state, May 9, 1843. Eleven children were born to them, eight of whom, with the mother, have preceded Mr. Taylor to the land of his fathers. Three sons survive him: J.A. and E.S. Taylor, of Goldendale, Wash., and Rev. J.M. Taylor, now of Philomath, with whom the deceased made the long journey from Kansas to Oregon.

Mr. Taylor remained in Ohio until 1856, when, with his family, he joined the throng then seeking homes in the West, and for ten years made his home in Illinois. In 1866, he returned to Iowa, where he resided for ten years, and again joined with his family and friends who were looking for homes in the undeveloped country of the West. In 1876, he settled in Kansas, where he resided until his last move was made for that state nearest the sunset — Oregon.

For several years he had a great desire to come West, and see his two sons who have resided in Clickatat county, Wash., for many years. “When I have seen them,” said he, “I am ready to go.” When this aged father, accompanied by his son, Rev. J.M. Taylor, and family arrived at Grants, on the line of the O.R.&N., they stopped off and took teams and drove to the “Block House” near the homes of his sons, only to be informed that they could not be permitted the one burning desire of the father’s last days — to see his sons — they being quarantined with smallpox at their homes. To be deprived of this pleasure was more than the aged father could bear. This was the beginning of the end. They returned to the railroad and continued their journey to this city, where they arrived Tuesday, February 26th. The following day they drove to the home of their friend, Mr. Dixon, where Mr. Taylor took to his bed from a cold which he had contracted on his way to the Coast, and from which he never recovered.

Kind friends among whom he had cast his lot rendered all possible aid to the family in making his last days pleasant.

Mrs. (Mr.) Taylor was a consistent member of the M.E. church for more than 50 years; a worker in all kinds of church work; a good citizen; a kind father. His remains were followed to the eastern slope of Mt. Union cemetery, where all that was mortal was deposited, and Bishop Castle concluded the services, saying, “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

The little mound of new earth, covered by flowers planted by the hands of kind friends, marks the last resting place of William Taylor.

Published as it appeared on March 14, 1903, in the Corvallis Times, Page 2, Column 3.

Of His Long Absent Sons, and He Died
— Funeral of a Newcomer.

Under the circumstances peculiarly distressing, William Taylor, a newcomer, died at the home of Samuel Dixon near Philomath Monday. The old gentleman was a veteran of 83 years and three months. Less than two weeks ago, in company with a son, he arrived in Corvallis from Kansas. For several years, two other sons have resided near Goldendale, Washington, and the father has long been possessed with a desire to see them. He had said, if he could behold his boys but once more, he would be ready to die.

But the sight was denied him, and he went to the grave disappointed. At Grants, on the way west, the father and son stopped off and journeyed into Klickitat county, Washington, where the other boys resided. On arrival they learned that the latter were in quarantine with smallpox, and that they could not be seen. The disappointment was a heavy blow to the father, and was the beginning of the end. A severe cold contracted on the trip, finished the work, and from the Methodist church at Philomath Tuesday, the aged stranger in a strange land was buried by strange hands. The service was conducted by Rev. Ware, assisted by Bishop Castle. Rev. Joseph Taylor, of Philomath, is a son of the deceased.

William Taylor was a native of Canada, where he was born in 1819. He resided for ten years each in Ohio, Illinois and Iowa, and was a resident of Kansas from 1876 until he started for Benton county a few weeks ago.