A man of high mental attainments, talented and progressive, Harry Taylor, of Harrisburg, is well known among the leading educators of Saline county for his efficient work as superintendent of the township high school, and has won a more than local reputation in his chosen profession. A son of Pleasant Taylor, he was born in Saline county, Illinois, and has here spent the larger part of his life.
Mr. Taylor's paternal grandfather, Darius Taylor, was born in Alabama, in 1809, and as a young lad came with his father, John Taylor, to Illinois. After attaining his majority he embarked in business at Golconda, Illinois, a thriving little town on the Ohio river, where he fitted out two flat-boats for the river trade, loading them with grain or provisions and floating them down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, where a ready market was found for his cargo. Starting down river with a load of goods in 1850, he was taken ill on the way, and on reaching Vicksburg he boarded a boat coming north, but he died of that dreadful scourge, the cholera within twenty-four hours after reaching his home. His widow, whose maiden name was Brancey Mick, then returned with her children, one of whom was Pleasant Taylor, to Saline county, to the home of her brother, the late Robert Mick, who was the founder and for many years the president of the First National Bank of Harrisburg. She subsequently cared for her parents as long as they lived. Her mother, however, died not long after her arrival at her old home, but her father, Charles Mick, was a bed-ridden invalid for fifteen long years, during which time she kindly administered to his wants. She died in Harrisburg in 1870. Three of her sons, Joseph, Robert and Pleasant, enlisted for service in the Civil war, Robert and Pleasant serving under General John A. Logan, but Joseph was a victim of the measles, dying before joining his regiment.
Pleasant Taylor, with his brother Robert, served in the famous “Thirty-first,” commanded by General Logan, and in August, 1864, through the unerring aim of a sharpshooter, lost his right arm while fighting in battle near Atlanta. Receiving then his honorable discharge from the army, he returned to his Illinois home, and for a time was variously employed. He was subsequently elected treasurer of Saline county, and while at his office in the court house at Harrisburg, was stricken with disease and died at his post, April 21, 1890, his death being deeply deplored throughout the community. He married a young girl who had been brought up in the family of his uncle, Robert Mick, and of their union four sons were born, namely: Charles A. Taylor, of
Harrisburg, an abstractor; Harry, the special subject of this sketch; William, of Harrisburg, a painter and capitalist; and Dan.