Where John Dodson Taylor, Sr., Lived in Summerville, Georgia   4 comments

Above:  The John Dodson Taylor, Sr., Home Circa 1908, When It Was New

Photograph Courtesy of Sharon Foster Jones, on June 14, 2012

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This is an old photograph of my family ancestral home, a house which was, in its prime, a showplace with high ceilings and a wide corridor at the front door.  I grew up there in the 1970s (with my parents and sister) and visited it in the 1980s.  The last time I was there was in late 2000, when the house was showing its increasingly declining state.  I like old things, so the fact of the house’s recent condition is something I consider unfortunate.

I can still walk through the house in my imagination, which will last longer than the physical structure of the house, unfortunately.  But, via the wonders of blogging, my great-grandfather’s poems can continue as a monument to him.  May they do so.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 14, 2012 COMMON ERA

Modified on June 15, 2012 Common Era

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I cropped the photograph to focus on the women and children:

From left to right:  Sarah Faye and Helen (or Helen and Sarah Faye), Harriet (“Hattie”) with John D., Jr., Arcissa, and a woman whose name I have not determined

John Dodson Taylor, Jr., my grandfather, did not arrive until 1905, when, as he put it,

The twentieth century had just graduated from training pants….

Leaves in the Wind, undated, page 7

(He died on September 27, 1976, having spent years in a nursing home.  And his picture in the front is dated 1940.  So those facts help restrict the timeframe of possible publication.)

I am probably looking at images of relatives, not all of whom were part of my direct lineage.  I wonder who some of them were.  Various sources have supplied the following information:

One  of the women is probably Arcissa Wilshire Dodson Taylor (1824-1915), wife of  John Taylor (1834-1901) and mother of John Dodson Taylor, Sr. (1860-1936).  Arcissa did live in the house at the time of the 1910 U.S. Census, as did John Dodson Taylor, Sr., and John Dodson Taylor, Jr.

Another woman is probably Harriet “Hattie” Stoddard (died 1932 and aged 45 years in 1910), wife of John Dodson Taylor, Sr.  She also lived in the house in 1910, according to that year’s U.S. Census.

Eugene Dodson Taylor (born 1890) , the elder brother of John Dodson Taylor, Jr., my grandfather, did not reside in the house in 1910.  Of Gene in 1905, at the point of John D. Jr’s birth,  my grandfather wrote,

Gene was of sufficient age to travel alone, and I understand that he went to visit other relatives.  (It’s nice to have relatives, especially when another young one is bidding entrance into the world.)

The two young women were Sarah Faye and Helen, aged 17 and 13 years respectively, in 1910.  The 1988 history of the Summerville Presbyterian Church mentions the 1924 wedding of one Helen Dodson Taylor to Wilford Caulkins.  The same history lists Helen Dodson Taylor as having joined the church on November 6, 1910.  Helen and Sarah Faye were my grandfather’s older sisters, who were “at tender ages” (Leaves in the Wind, page 8) when he was born.  Helen Taylor Caulkins died on February 13, 1977, having left for Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1924.  The 1988 history of the Summerville Presbyterian Church lists one Sarah Faye Taylor, who joined the church on December 30, 1906, and eventually married John Black Whisnant.  She died in November 1980.

Who, then, was the woman on the right?  I must continue to pursue this question.

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4 responses to “Where John Dodson Taylor, Sr., Lived in Summerville, Georgia

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  1. I miss that old house.
    And actually, if I remember old family pictures correctly, that little one on the woman’s lap may very well be Granddad Taylor.

  2. Pingback: An Invitation to Name Your Own Saints « SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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