Thursday, October 6, 2011

October Birthdays--Taylors of the Older Generations By Pat Kinsella Herdeg and Aunt CB

October is the Birthday Month for three of the Taylors of the older generations: Cordelia Waller Taylor, her daughter-in-law Emma Carson Taylor and Emma’s son Leon Carlton Taylor.

Martha Cordelia Waller Taylor was born October 13th, 1828 in Elba, NY. She married Daniel Rockwell Taylor and they and their children lived at the family farm, ‘Peace Farm’ in Oakfield, NY. She was a prolific journal writer, and from her, we get many of the Taylor family details of those years. She died in 1908 at her farm home, now called ‘Woodlawn’ by Bryant and his wife Emma, who owned it.

On the Fourth of July in 1900, Cordelia writes: “A glorious family picnic of all the dear boys and their families and ourselves in this dear old home. Rained in the a.m., but cleared up and gave abundant time for our bountiful dinner under the trees, yes and in a tent constructed by the boys. What a grand good time and then came music and singing, inspiring and heavenly.

Orrin, Mary and baby stay, while Carlton goes and just gets home when a terrific thunderstorm breaks upon us. So endeth this happy Fourth.”

One of her sons, Bryant Waller Taylor ( my great grandfather), married Emma Jane Carson. Emma Jane is also a birthday girl this month. She was born on October 4th, 1860 in Geneseo, NY. She came from a warm and loving family. She too was a journal writer, and her pages are filled with brothers and sisters coming to visit and help with her growing family. According to her daughter Florence, she was a wonderful cook.

On September 21st, 1888, Emma writes in her journal:

“Damp and chilly most of the time. Bryant has been trying all week to get his beans in but did not --only a load or two. They were so wet from night rains. We have been sewing on Bryant’s shirts and my calico dress, crocheting, knitting for evening, when Clara would allow it. Corn cutting finished today. Bryant has been picking some apples. There is some talk of going home tomorrow for the last time before we get our ‘new baby’, Libbie (Emma’s sister), Bryant, Clara (now 21 months old) and I.”

The ‘new baby’ Emma writes of is her second child, Leon. Leon was born on October 13th, 1888, therefore sharing the birthdate with his grandmother, Cordelia. That makes him also an October Birthday Boy.

Cordelia celebrates by writing, of course:
Grandma’s Soliloquy
October thirteenth, eighteen eighty-eight!
I'm just sixty years old today.
No happier heart beats in all the land,
Though I own I am growing gray.

Now what do you think was my present rare,
On this my dear natal day?
Was it money, or lands, or something to wear?
To keep my heart young and gay?

Not money, nor lands, nor satins and silks,
Could with my rich jewel compare;
No costlier gift was ever bestowed,
Than a dear little grandson so fair.
A welcome we give from the depth of the heart
To this sweet child of promise so bright;
May he live in the light and the love of his God,
And win in Life’s battle for right.

Leon was Aunt CB’s favorite Taylor uncle. She writes: “He had a neighborhood grocery store in Batavia when we were growing up. After his own marriage dissolved, his older sister, Clara, also alone now, came to live with him in the apartment over the store. These two, raised as all B.W. and Emma's children were to be active in the church, continued to be in their grown-up years. Leon helped many of their neighbors during the depression years with an occasional bag of groceries.

He was a jovial, kind, honest uncle who was part of the Taylor Quartet and always gave us bananas as a treat! He was a great help to his father when he had to care for his stepmother. When she fell, B.W. would call Leon to help lift her up. Leon died in Geneva General Hospital of a heart attack in June of 1960.”

Our Emma Jane died at age 55 in August of 1916; she had a stroke. One month before, she wrote:
“We were all invited to Lloyd’s for the 4th. Arrived over there by 11 o’clock a.m. As soon as Lloyd could get off, we all started for Indian Falls for our dinner and had a nice time. We had some fireworks, after that ice cream and cake. Friends from Basom going back took Lloyd and Ethel home. All tumbled into bed about dead. I for one would have liked to have had it all over again next day so as to do all the things we did not but wanted to on the 4th.”

To Cordelia, Emma and Leon, we thank you for all that you gave to our family, as we continue to carry on the Taylor family journey.

Next, Mom and I will write about three Bakers with October Birthdays-- Byron H. Baker, William Youngs, and Nancy Borthwick Baker.

1 comment:

Sue Kinsella said...

Pat, I love the way you tied all these together and gave us a little bit of a sense of them.

Tonight Jim and I were talking about whether there is value in learning about our long-ago ancestors. What difference does it make today? Of course, while Jim tried to play devil's advocate, that didn't last long because we both feel so much fascination about who were these people who came before us and led to us.

Thank you so much to you and Mom for bringing them alive for us, and to others who write about them, too.