One of the good, reliable citizens of Johnson county, who has seen the resources of the country grow and develop during his long residence here, is Joseph Hampton Taylor, a veteran of the great Civil war, owner of a tract of two hundred and twenty-four acres of excellent farming land, and proprietor of a successful sawmill business. Mr. Taylor was born on a farm in Bloomfield township, Johnson county, February 25, 1844, and is a son of Giles and Elizabeth (Kuykendall) Taylor, and a grandson of William Taylor, the latter a native of Virginia, who migrated first to South Carolina and then to Williamson county, Illinois, in 1800, where he was one of the very earliest settlers.

Giles Taylor was born in 1818. in Williamson county, near Creal Springs, and his whole life was spent in agricultural pursuits, being, at the time of his death in 1895, one of the successful and prominent farmers of Johnson county. He married Elizabeth Kuykendall, a sister of Major A. J. Kuykendall, and they had a family of ten children, of whom one, Elizabeth, is deceased, while the survivors, all of whom are residing in the same neighborhood, are as follows: Joseph Hampton, W. C., James M., G. B., Lydia C., Sarah E., John O., A. J. and Louisa Jane.

Joseph Hampton Taylor was educated in the common schools of his native locality, and was working on his father's farm at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. Like other youths of his day he was fired with patriotism and anxious to go to the front in defense of his country's flag, but he was of such youthful appearance that the recruiting officers refused to accept him on three different occasions, and it was not until May, 1864, that he finally succeeded in becoming a soldier in the Union army. Enlisting in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Captain T. Chapman and Colonel George W. Lackey, he saw active service in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Kansas, being principally engaged in skirmish duty and relieving the old guard, and also participated in a raid through Kansas chasing bushwhackers. After a brave and meritorious service, during which he won a reputation for cheerful and faithful discharge of duty, he received his honorable discharge in November, 1864, and, returning home, secured a farm of eighty acres situated on the bluff east of Simpson. He continued to operate this land until 1872, when he sold it and gave all of his attention to the milling business which he had started at Sanburn at the close of the war, and which he subsequently sold in 1885, to engage in the sawmill business, in which he has continued to the present time. In 1880 he became the owner of his present farm, then a partly-improved tract of eighty acres, to which he has added from time to time until he now has two hundred and twenty-four acres, all good second bottom land situated in the center of Simpson township. He has large modern barns and outbuildings, and gives a great deal of attention to the raising of stock, having at the present time nine head of cattle, sixteen horses and fourteen hogs. Nine men are employed in his mill and on his farm, but Mr. Taylor still works as hard as any of his employes, being of a robust, hearty constitution which the years have not been able to affect. He is conceded to be an excellent business man, a scientific farmer and an intelligent judge of stock, and among his fellow townsmen has the reputation of being a public-spirited citizen who will always lend his assistance to any movement that promises to be of benefit to his community. Mr. Taylor belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic Post at Vienna, and Delta Lodge, No. 717, I. O. O. F.

In 1866 Mr. Taylor was married to Miss Eliza Herell, daughter of John and Jane (Branchomb) Herell, and eleven children have been born to this union, as follows: W. G., who is married and has one child, Walter; John C.; James M., who is married and has three children, Arthur, Oran and Gladys; Mrs. Lydia C. Trigg, who has three children, Alice, Ethel and Hazel; Mrs. Cora Smoot, who has two children, Nora and Elbert; Fred; Bertha; Thomas, who married Lesty Choate and has one child, Thelma; Mrs. Clara Kerley; Pearl; and Sarah, the last-named being deceased.

Extracted 07 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George Washington Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1385-1386.

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