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Ezekiel E. Taylor. One of the oldest residents of Paden, Okfuskee County, is Ezekiel E. Taylor, now retired after a long and strenuous career which began with his service as a Confederate soldier and which has taken him into various sections and activities of Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma during the past half century.
He was born near Knoxville, Tennessee, October 21, 1842, a son of Garland and Nancy (Hammack) Taylor. The paternal grandfather Taylor came from England when a boy and located in North Carolina, and the family was afterwards located in Tennessee, where Garland Taylor was born. In 1818 the family moved from Tennessee to Benton County, Arkansas, and Garland Taylor, though quite an old man at the time, gave two years of his service to the Confederacy. Ho died October 2, 1865, when forty-eight years of age. He was a farmer, an active man in the democratic party, and a member of the Baptist faith. His widow survived many years and died in Benton County, Arkansas, in 1901, at the age of seventy-six. Ezekiel E. was the oldest of their children. A brief record of the others is as follows: James W., who served three years and nine months in the Confederate Army in the same company and regiment as his brother Ezekiel, being in the First Missouri Battery in Cockrell’s Brigade, and he is now living in Benton County, Arkansas. Elizabeth, the third child, is now deceased. E. P. Taylor lives in Texas and was also in the Civil war with his father. Eliza Ann Mitchell lives in Benton County, Arkansas. Nancy J. Mitchell is deceased. Garland resides in Rogers, Arkansas, and that is also the home of his sister, Polly Kelley. R. E. L. Taylor, born May 5, 1866, lives at Grant, Oklahoma. William J. is deceased, and John lives in Benton County. Another child died in infancy.
Ezekiel E. Taylor grew up in Benton County, Arkansas, gained a common school education, and in February, 1862, enlisted in the Confederate army, becoming a member of the First Missouri Battery. He was in active service for over three years, and finally surrendered with the troops under Joseph Johnson at Greensboro, North Carolina. Following the war he returned home and applied himself to the rehabilitation of the neglected farm.
On October 18, 1865, in Benton County, Mr. Taylor married Mary Braden. She was born in McMinn County, Tennessee, July 3, 1844, a daughter of Hunt and Nancy (Greene) Braden, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. Her mother died in McMinn County, and in 1854, at the age of ten years, she came with her father to Arkansas and her father passed away at Pine Bluff in that state a victim of cholera. A brother of Mrs. Nancy (Greene) Braden, mother of Mrs. Taylor, was Capt. Matthew Greene, who was in active service during the Civil war under Gen. Stand Watie and was in the fight at Cabin Creek, Oklahoma. Captain Greene’s father was William Greene, a soldier of the War of 1812, and was in turn related to General Greene of Revolutionary fame.
After his marriage Mr. Taylor spent four years in Benton County, Arkansas, on a farm, then moved into the famous fruit section of Northwestern Arkansas, Washington County, and continued farming there until 1870. He then went out to the frontier of Northwest Texas, Parker County, where he farmed for a time, and in 1886 he was made first deputy in the office of sheriff and served four years. For about seven years he was employed with the secret service force for great cattle raisers of Western Texas.
It was in October, 1905, that Mr. Taylor removed to Paden, Oklahoma, and has since been one of the leading men of that community. For some years he continued to follow his trade as carpenter but is now living in comfortable retirement. He is a democrat, and he and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
On October 18, 1915, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor celebrated that impressive and interesting event, a golden wedding anniversary. Two of their three children are still living. W. H. is a well known resident of Okfuskee County and is mentioned in succeeding paragraphs. Nancy J. Tims is also the subject of an individual sketch on other pages. The youngest child, Theodosia, died at the age of two years.
William H. Taylor, son of Ezekiel E., was born in Benton County, Arkansas, October 1, 1866, and was still a child when he moved with his parents to Parker County, Texas. He grew up in that then frontier district of Northern Texas and his early life was spent on a farm. He had an education in the country schools, and in 1887, at the age of twenty-one, he went out to the Panhandle of Texas and became a veritable cowboy. For a quarter of a century he was active in the work of the ranch and range and for two years of that time was with the noted Panhandle rancher, Charles Goodnight. He was also with the Continental Land and Cattle Company, and has had to do with every phase of the cattle business. At one time he had charge of an entire division of the large cattle corporation just mentioned. In 1911 he removed to Paden, Oklahoma, for about two years was in the mercantile business, and he also acquired some local interest in banking and became a director of the Peoples State Bank. He has since disposed of these interests and now gives much of his time to his good farm north of Paden and the management of his town property, and he has done much in the way of building improvement. He is a democrat, a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Eastern Star.
In 1897, in Texas, William H. Taylor married Sarah Jane Merrill, who was born in San Saba County, Texas, October 9, 1878, and died in Hall County of that state October 10, 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were the parents of three children: Ray, Anna May and Robert. On October 2, 1912, in Stephens County, Oklahoma, William H. Taylor married Grace Rains, who was born in Benton County, Arkansas, August 1, 1881, and lived in her native state until removing to Oklahoma in 1906. By this marriage there is one child, Jewell Juanita, born January 24, 1915.