Archive for the ‘Sarah Faye Taylor Whisnant (Died in 1980)’ Category

Eugene Stoddard Taylor, Sr., On His Father, John Dodson Taylor, Sr., 1936   Leave a comment

Eugene Taylor Letter 1936 01

Eugene Taylor Letter 1936 02

Eugene Taylor Letter 1936 03

Images Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


John Dodson Taylor, Sr. (1860-1936), had a sister, Sarah Rebecca Taylor, who married Andrew Hassell, of Lynchburg, Virginia.

Death Notices of John Dodson Taylor, Sr., 1936   Leave a comment

JDTaylor Death Notice 1936 01

Images Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


These are the best images of the notices I can acquire.  I scanned photocopies from another source, so at least they are somewhat legible.

John Dodson Taylor, Sr. (1860-1936) was my great-grandfather.

Texts follow:

Atlanta Journal, July 3, 1936


Summerville Business Hours Closed in Tribute

SUMMERVILLE, Ga., July 3–Business hours of this community were closed as final rites were held at 4 o’clock this afternoon for Colonel John Dodson Taylor, distinguished Chattooga County citizen and pioneer northwest Georgia business leader.

The Rev. Sterling Hunter, pastor of the Summerville Presbyterian Church, of which Colonel Taylor was a lifelong member and a ruling elder, officiated at the services.  Several hundred persons attended the funeral.

Colonel Taylor, who was 76, died early Thursday morning at a private Atlanta hospital in Atlanta following a brief illness.  He was widely known throughout the state and prominent in many enterprises.

Burial was in Summerville cemetery.


JDTaylor Death Notice 1936 02

Atlanta Constitution, July 3, 1936, Page 10


Leading Chattooga Citizen Passes in Hospital After Brief Illness

Colonel John Dodson Taylor, of Summerville, distinguished citizen of Chattooga County and active in business, civic and church affairs, died early yesterday morning at a private hospital in Atlanta.

Colonel Taylor, who was 76 years of age, had been ill only a short time.

His keen mind and vision made him one of the most outstanding leaders in business and citizenship in Chattooga County.

He was organizer and president of the Summerville Cotton Mills, the Summerville Oil Mills, the Chattooga County Bank, and the Taylor Mercantile Company.

In addition, he owned large farms and peach orchards in the county, was was senior member of the law firm of John D. & E. S. Taylor.  He was a lifelong member and a ruling elder of the Summerville Presbyterian Church.

Colonel Taylor served with distinction in the state senate as the representative of his district.

A native of Summerville and lifelong resident of that city, Colonel Taylor was the son of John Taylor and Arcissa Willshire Dodson, of Chattooga County.  He received his formal education at Oxford, Ala., where he met his wife, the former Miss Harriet Stoddard.

Surviving are two sons, John D. Taylor, Jr., and Eugene Stoddard Taylor, and two daughters, Mrs. Wilford Caulkins, of Chattanooga, and Mrs. John B. Whisnant, of Summerville.

Funeral Services will be held at 4 o’clock this afternoon at the Summerville Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Sterling Hunter, pastor, officiating.

Taylor Siblings, Late 1960s   1 comment

Taylor Siblings Late 1960s

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


From left to right:

John Dodson Taylor, Jr. (1905-1976), my grandfather

Helen Dodson Taylor Caulkins (died February 13, 1977)

Sarah Faye Taylor Whisnant (died November 1980)

For youthful images:


John Dodson Taylor, Sr., Family, Circa 1915   1 comment

Taylor Family 1915

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


The family members are standing in front of the old house at Summerville, Georgia.  I conclude that the date is no earlier than 1915, for Arcissa Wilshire Dodson Taylor (1824-1915), mother of John Dodson Taylor, Sr. (1860-1936), is absent.

From left to right:

Eugene Stoddard Taylor, Sr. (1890-1944)

Helen Dodson Taylor (later Caulkins; died February 13, 1977)

Sarah Faye Taylor (later Whisnant; died November 1980)

Harriet “Hattie” Stoddard Taylor (1865-1932)

John Dodson Taylor, Jr. (1905-1976), my grandfather

John Dodson Taylor, Sr. (1860-1936), my great-grandfather

The surviving siblings in the late 1960s:


The Taylor-Whisnant Wedding, 1918   Leave a comment

AC March 30, 1918, page 6

Above:  A Clip from The Atlanta Constitution, March 30, 1918, page 6

Obtained via


Recently, while researching family history online, I found this article, which I “clipped” electronically and saved to my computer.  Oh, the wonders of technology!

Sarah, daughter of great-grandfather, John D. Taylor, Sr. (1860-1936), and my great-grandmother, Harriett Stoddard Taylor (1865-1932), and sister of my grandfather, John D. Taylor, Jr. (1905-1976), died in November 1980.

John Black Whisnant, Sr., died on February 1, 1972.

The April 21, 1918, issue of The Atlanta Constitution, page 10, contained this update on the story at the top of this post:

AC April 21, 1918, page 10

AC April 21, 1918, page 10

I imagine what the interior of the old house (not old then) looked like for the festive occasion.  I also wonder how my ancestors looked.


Mama   1 comment

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

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


“Mama” was Harriett “Hattie” Stoddard Taylor (died 1932), my great-grandmother and wife of John Dodson Taylor, Sr.

The following text comes from Leaves in the Wind, page 21.



Papa wore the britches in the family, and that exactly suited Mama.  Opposites attract, I have always heard; and that is probably the reason they got along so well.  His swashbuckling and, at times, domineering personality was a balance for her easy-going, quiet, and retiring nature.

She was the most beautiful mother any little boy ever had, and she was a model homemaker.  By her very nature she was not the business type.  Being very religious, she kept the Bible with her constantly.  In her hey-day she was an accomplished pianist.  Calm, even-tempered, and happy, she seldom lost her temper.  When she did, it was generally only a mild flare; but I remember the time she really

blew a gasket.

One year at the fair, there had been a declamation contest for children in the lower grades, and I had won.  She was proud!  Buttons and hooks were pulled from their moorings on her clothes.  (Zippers would have suited her better anyhow.)  Mama rushed home to tell Mary, the cook, all about it.  Mary listened dutifully and gleefully to Mama’s praise of my

exceptional talents.

Then, while Mama was taking on a fresh supply of air, Mary said,

Yes, Mis’ Hat.  I know zactly how you feels.  This time last year we was happy too.  Our little bull had just won the red ribbon.

With all her good intentions, Mary never made a greater mistake.  Instantly, the whole area around Mama became radioactive.  It was the only time I have seen her when she could not talk.  She trotted out to the yard, threw a rock at our astonished dog, threw another at some of the chickens, and then trotted back onto the porch.  Mary, paralyzed at this transformation in her usually quiet Mis’ Hat, was unable to talk.  Mama looked at her very hard for a moment, then smiled and said,

Hi, Mary.

No further mention was ever made of my ability to declaim, or of the little bull that had won the red ribbon.

Mama saw to it that her children had opportunities to have friends in our home, and privileges to go as guest to other homes; but chiefly she made us love our home and family because of her own loving, unselfish nature.



John Dodson Taylor, Jr., on the lap of his mother, Harriet “Hattie” Stoddard, Circa 1908, with his sisters, Sarah Faye and Helen, on the left, and his grandmother, Arcissa Dodson Taylor, wearing black on the right; I do not know who is standing to Arcissa’s right


Papa   Leave a comment

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

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


This, of course, is not a poem; it is obviously prose.  It does, however, shed light on John Dodson Taylor, Sr. (December 23, 1860-July 2, 1936).  The source is his son, John Dodson Taylor, Jr. (January 19, 1905-September 27, 1976), my grandfather, from pages 20 and 21 of Leaves in the Wind, a small volume (28 pages) he published.  I find no date in it, but the photograph of my grandfather dates to 1940.  And he died in 1976, having spent years in a nursing home.  I estimate that he published the slim volume in 1960s.




No little boy ever enjoyed his family more than I did mine.  To me my family was tops–every member of it–and that is as it should be.

Papa was the head of the family, in more ways than one.  To him right was right, and there was no alternative.  I had to learn the hard way that when he said “Scat,” he wasn’t kidding.  He ruled the family with an iron hand; and for me, he threw in the razor “strop.”  I learned to shave with a safety razor because I did not care to have any further association with that particular instrument.

Papa was Presbyterianism at this best; however, he wasn’t narrow-minded about it.  He saw the need for other denominations and endorsed them.  In his own mind, nevertheless, he was convinced that when the inevitable time arrives for the Angel Gabriel to give his long-awaited

toot on the tooter,


when the roll is called up yonder,

the Presbyterians will constitute the majority party.  He was very religious and was a number-one student of the Bible, which he read constantly.  On Sunday afternoon, he frequently deviated from his regular Testament, and just for the fun of it, would pour over the pages of his Greek New Testament.

He made us children realize that Sunday was really Sunday.  It was an extra special day which began with a special breakfast.  As long as I can remember, Sunday breakfast consisted of salt mackerel–some fried, some boiled–hot grits, butter, biscuits, and coffee.  Then we had to polish ours shoes and get ready for Sunday School.  I have many things to thank him for, but one especially is a love for Sunday School.  In the years since he has gone, that love for and loyalty to Sunday School has helped me over many rough spots.  Of course, our family always stayed for church.  After dinner, we had to read and memorize portions of the Bible and then rest until about four o’clock when the up-train brought us the papers.  Then, if we had been good and had caused no trouble, we were allowed to read the “funny papers.”  The training that he and Mama put us through seemed rough and unreasonable at the time, but it has paid off in later years.

Papa was, to a large extent, self-educated.  I do know that he went to college at Oxford, Ala.; that there he met Mama, and that it did not take them long to middle-aisle, after which they came back to Summerville.  They started keeping house, I am told, in two rooms of what is now called the old Taylor home.  I was born in this house, and it is still my home.

In contemporary terminology, Papa would have been called a tycoon.  Not many people living today know at all that he did for Summerville and Chattooga County.  He was one of the guiding spirits in the bringing of the railroad to this county.  He pioneered the raising of peaches as a money crop; he organized, built, and for many years operated the cotton mill in Summerville; and to keep from wasting such a resource as the cotton seeds, he established the oil mill.

He brought electricity to town, as well as motivating the installation of city water.  He built and for many years operated the private school then known as Taylor Institute.  He organized the old Chattooga County Bank, which ceased to operate after his death.

Another family business, which long served the county populace, was Taylor Mercantile, a department store and grocery store.  The upstairs was a rental space for a funeral home.  Still another project was the marble quarry located on  some of his land.  For numerous years a good grade of marble was sold in surrounding areas.

All of these activities were carried on while he maintained a most active law practice.  No wonder he was admired by so many!  At the same time, he had his “enemies,” as does any man who, with so strong a personality, accomplishes so much and is so sure of his abilities.  Papa’s wide variety of achievements were based on his deep concern for the welfare of his fellow-citizens.  He was indeed one of whom could be said,

the elements (were) so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, “This was a man!”




John Dodson Taylor, Jr., on the lap of his mother, Harriet “Hattie” Stoddard, Circa 1908, with his sisters, Sarah Faye and Helen, on the left, and his grandmother, Arcissa Dodson Taylor, wearing black on the right; I do not know who is standing to Arcissa’s right


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


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.



Modified on June 15, 2012 Common Era


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.