Transcribed from the original journal by Beverly Taylor Hutchison and Jere Anne McCormick Becker
November 11, 1940, Armistice Day, at 2 p.m.. I, Samuel Thomas Taylor, son of Benjamin F. Taylor, who was the son of Stephen Taylor, who was born in middle Tennessee in the year 1810. Moved to the state of Arkansas in or about the year 1850. His wife dying soon after, leaving him with 5 sons and 4 daughters, Ben, Sam, Joe, Tom, Ritchard, Eliza, Susan, Julia, and Martha. I never knew my grandmother Taylor. Grandfather soon remarried to Rena Hinkle, with four children, Josh, John A., and Sarah and Martha. And there was born to them 5 more, Bettie, Breckenridge, Amanda, Jenevieve, and Emiline. Making in all in the family 18. Up to this date only one living, my Aunt Bettie. She is just a few years older than I. My grandfather had 3 brothers, Jim and Vincen and Ander. I never saw only Jim Taylor. He lived in Green Co., Arkansas, and died there.
My father was born in Tennessee September 17, 1835 and moved to Arkansas with his father and was married to Mary Finley 1855 at about 20 years old. They had six children born to them, 5 boys, I girl, Amy Ann, myself, Joe, Frank, Stephen, and Lafayette. Father went to the Civil war when I was 5 years old and was a soldier for 4 years and wounded twice. Shot through and through once, and carried a Mena ball in his back to his grave with a streak of paralysis.
He died February the 16th, 1901 in Izard County, Arkansas, at the age of 66 years, 4 months, 29 days. All the boys went to war and Sam returned and lived for several years. Uncle Joe was killed in the Battle of Vicksburg, shot in the eye. Uncle Tom died with measles at Batesville, Ark., at the outbreak of war. Ritchard Taylor was then too young to go to war. He lived to 80 years or more and raised a big family, the younger generation. Uncle Sam raised a large family, all scattered, had 2 boys named Sam and Ben.
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I was born in Independence Co., Ark., on Lafferty's Creek (1856) 18 miles out of Batesville, Ark, and moved with my mother to Izard Co. at the beginning of the war of 1861. At the age of 20, I was married to Martha E. Rader. We had 11 children born to us, three of them dying in infancy. One boy shot and killed at 23 years old by a drunken fool. 4 boys and 3 girls still survive. This is about all that I know about the Taylor family as far back as can remember.
My grandfather Taylor was buried in his orchard on the old home place beside his first wife. My father and mother are buried side by side in the Shaver Campground Cemetary in Izard Co., Arkansas.
My father went to war in 1861. Enlisted under McCarver Regiment in Co. "C". Elkins was his captain.
My grandfather Finley was killed or died when I was small. I never knew how he came to his death. Grandmother Finley lived several years after. She was 79 as well as I can remember. My mother had 4 brothers and 3 sisters, Norris, John, Hiram, and Frank, four sisters, Mary, my mother, and Aunt Ann, Lindy, and Sarah. All are gone. The Finlies came to Arkansas from Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1814, 22 years before Ark. was a state. They were of Irish descent. The Taylors was Scotch-Irish.
My grandfather Isaac Finley died 1862 or 3. Grandmother Hiley Finley about 10 years later. Uncle Frank Finley went on a trip to Honduras, South America and returned in about a year, when he was about 20 years old, then went to Oregon and died there. Uncle John Finley went to war in 1861 and served 4 years and came home. The family of Finleys are about all gone, just a few of the younger generation left.
I was married when about 20 years old to Martha E. Rader. Her grandfather, Sam Rader, was a full-blooded Dutchman, so you can see my children have some German blood in them.
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W. B. Taylor, my oldest son, volunteered and went to the Spanish American War, and Fred, my youngest boy, volunteered and went to the World War, and both returned O.K..
My mother, Mary Taylor, was born July 12, 1836 in Arkansas & died December 24, 1912 age 76 years, 4 months, 12 days.
I was married to Martha E. Rader when I was 20 years old, and she 19 years old. We lived and worked on a farm for several years. Finally sold out and moved to Hillsboro, Texas then back to Arkansas, then moved to Oklahoma. We lived in around Muskogee, Ok., for 20 years until her death. I then was married to Mrs. Anna Groves of Scranton, Penn., at the end of 7 years she passed out. I then married the 3rd time to a Mrs. Mary Marler in Baxter Co., Arkansas. After 14 years of a happy life we were separated. Then I wandered back to Oklahoma and on down to Bells, Texas, and was married the 4th time to Mrs. Laura Noah.
My first wife's father, W.F. Rader, was born September 9, 1832, and died in 1889, age 57 years old. Her (my wife's) mother never knew her age, but she was about 80 years old when she died. She had one girl and 4 boys, Love Rader, Marion, Tom, and Frank. My wife's father, W.F. Rader, had 5 brothers and 4 sisters. 2 brothers were murdered in time of the Civil War. Jayhawks heard them shooting turkey one morning up in the hills and slipped up on them and shot them both and left them laying.
When me and Martha were married we lived on the farm for several years. My father gave me 80 acres of land in the woods and brush. I cut and hewed pine logs and hauled them 4 miles and built a house on it, and infenced it, and lived on it for 4 or 5 years.
The few settlers that lived in that section and I got up a petition for a Post Office in our new settlement and got it. I was appointed P[ost] M[aster] of Zebra Post Office by President Garfield the year he was assassinated. Then I was appointed Special Mail Carrier, then I sold out and moved 10 miles west and bought me a creek bottom farm.
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My team of horses died and I bought me a yoke of oxen and farmed with them for 2 or 3 years. I got disgusted at this way of doing, so I sold out clean and moved to Texas and only remained there about a year. Went back to Arkansas to Batesville, Arkansas, and farmed on the river a full year. Worked on the section of the Mof. R.R. to a will and finally I was made foreman of a section gang. That only lasted about 4 months when the Co. sent an old Rail Road foreman to relieve me.
I then left Batesville and started for Oklahoma, or the Indian Territory, at that time. I landed up at Harrison, Arkansas, and secured a job there for myself and boys in a brick yard six months, then I was asked to take a Mail Carrier's job of 32 miles both way every day in the week except Sunday on horseback. This was a Star route. I stayed with that 12 months.
Then is when I first went to Muskogee, Oklahoma, just a big mudhole at that time. I rented a farm 6 miles south from Flebs Porter, then Govenor of the Creek tribe. Farmed 5 years there and then moved to town and secured a job with the N.K.T.R.R. in the round house, machinist's helper and cinder shoveler, sand dryer and wiper and finally was water pumper. This lasted 4 years and then secured a job with the Singer Sewing Machine Co. and was agent and collector for 4 years until after the Cherokee Strip money was paid out.
When the Cherokees was paid off for the strip sold to the government was the most exciting time I ever expect to see. People from all over the world was there by the thousand, camped in a city of tents, first at Ft. Gibson, Indiana at that time Vaneti and Claremore, Oklahoma. Over Eight Million dollars was paid out, all New Money. It was stacked in a 14 foot square room from floor to ceiling before it left Washington. Clarence Turner, a businessman in Muskogee, told me he saw it. Gamblers, murderers, pick- pockets, and every other device, was on hand.
The next big excitement was registration for homesteads in the Comanche Reservation. Thousands on top of thousands gathered to register
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at Lawton and Enid. People slept on the barns, in the streets, in the fields and barnyards and waited for the drawing to come off.
I then moved to Wann, Oklahoma and farmed for several years then back to Muskogee and secured a job in the Midland Railroad, shaper on the rip track, and worked up to coach repairer, the best job in the shop. After 4 years there and left Muskogee and moved back to Baxter County, Arkansas and there I lost my second wife.
I finally married again to Mrs. Marler and went to work on the bridge gang at Cotter and then in the round house. I quit this job and built me a business house, ran a coffee and grocery store and in connection with this I got the appointment as maintenance foreman on Highway 62. After 2 years I resigned this job, sold the restaurant and store and went to work as carpenter in the Minny field at Pitcher, Oklahoma. After 2 years I then went back in the coffee and grocery business. My wife and I became separated and both went flat broke and still remained so.
Before I went to work for the Midland R.R. I worked 2 years with the Electric light company in Muskogee under Arthur Martin as boss on construction Gang. I had a job as mail carrier on a rural road 2 1/2 years.
My education is mostly experimental, a very dear one and very costly. I have done most every kind of work that any other man ever done. Worked up to 76 years old.
February 12, 1941. Just received some facts about our ancestors on my mother's family. They were Scotch-Irish descent. Isaac Finley (our grandfather) born March 25, 1800, died July 27, 1863 with a congestive chill, 63, and Hiley L. Finley, (our grandmother), born June 24, 1804, and died January 27, 1873, age 79 years old, death caused by yellow jaundice. William Norris Finley, our uncle, was born November 27, 1828. Died August 15, 1904 of paralysis (age 77). Uncle Hiram Langston Finley, February 17, 1844, died July 19, 1924, paralysis 80 years old. John Finley, born June 6, 1833 died October 5, 1910, age 79 years, died of paralysis. All
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are buried in the Finley graveyard close to the old home place in Izard County, Arkansas. Uncle Frank Finley died some place in Oregon between 70 and 80 years old. Uncle Norris Finley family consisted of 22 children.
Well, this is July '41 and as War is talked of, President Roosevelt is in his 3rd term.
The most of you know all about this generation. Just to show you the difference, in my early boyhood days and the present, as a boy of 6, my father was mustered out to war in 1861, stayed 4 years left 3 of us to battle our way. Times was hard. Provisions and weaving material was hard to get. We done without salt, flour bread, sugar, and coffee, and but little meat or grease. We eat bran bread, packed wheat or rye coffee. My mother corded, spun, and wove cloth to make our clothes. We had no matches, no cookstove. Cooked on the fireplace in skillets and ovens, corn, light bread, pone, no shoes, or store clothes, no church or school.
At the age of 20 I was married. We farmed for some years. Started moving, left Arkansas. Went to South Texas, then back to Arkansas, then back to Texas and 2 years was back in Arkansas. Then to Oklahoma and remained for 25 years then back to Arkansas in 1914. Stayed 14 years then back to Oklahoma, then on to Texas at the present location. I have never missed but few meals. I have been wonderfully blessed in some ways. I had a world of trouble one way or another, heart breaks and blood-curdling experiences. I thank my God that I have been spared and blessed with life and liberty. It takes ambition, perseverance, to overcome trouble and destruction. I am trusting in God to lead me the rest of the way out.
In the days of 1861, and after, for a long time, the mode of travel-traffic was afoot or horseback or yokes of oxen hitched to an old home made tar axle wagon to church or market. Our schooling was only about 3 months a year in summer at a subscription school in some old log house or in a church house, often seated by split logs, holes bored in each end and legs drove in, with writing desk on a 12 inch board set at the side of the wall.
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Houses was usually covered with split boards 3 foot long and lags laid on top to hold them down. We had only man-made hoes, half-shovels and bull tongs, finally double shovels and B.F. Avery hoe was made. Pole axes, wooden nails, Iron wedges, cross cut saws and home made hoes was the order of the day.
"They're old time folks down there, plain, honest and true. Wear homespun dresses and cottonage fontes, and coats of yardage blue.
"They say there is a stream where crystal waters flow. It cures a man sick as well if you will only go -
"Hooraw for Arkansas' - the people go to meeting down there, they go rain or shine.
The woman and children all ride one horse and the men they walk behind.
"Hooraw for Arkansas. They say the roads are rough, and you will find it so. There is hills and hollows, rocks and stumps way down in Arkansas."
I joined the Cumberlain Presbyterian Church when I was 16 years old and married when 20 years old. Later joined the I.O.O.F. lodge then later belonged to the Farmer's grange and still later joined the Episcopal Church. Still later on I joined the Socialist Party. I soon fell back in the Democratic ranks, which I always belong to and will as long as life lasts. Never have voted anything but a Democratic ticket. Hitlerism is not socialism, it is Barleyism, heathenism. But he declared war on Russia and has found his match. Now the Japanese and U.S. is in a mixup. Many of the U.S. boys has to go to war. U.S. declared war on the Japs, December 8, 1941 at 12:30 p.m.. Everything is in a whirl all over the U.S..
Well, I'll tell you some more about our people. My mother's oldest sister, Linda Finley, married a man by the name of Tom Herrn and they had two children, young Tom Herrn, Isaac Herrn, and a Girl named Agnes. Their father was killed in time of war but not in the general war. Jayhawks came across him on a furlough home and in a skirmish shot him. Young Tom made a fine lawyer out of his self. Agnes died about her 18th year. Aunt Lin, we always called her, married again to a man by the name of Wash Gun.
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Mother's second oldest sister married a full blooded Irishman, John Maloy, and they had a big family of boys and girls. Jim was the oldest. He got killed in St. Louis. Streetcar run over him. Joe and John and Bill was the other boys. Had 3 girls, Nancy and Mary and Ireland Maloy. They all lived near Mountainsview in Stone Co., Arkansas on Sycamore Creek.
Mother's youngest sister, Sarah Finley, married George Brinsfield and raised 3 children, Bud and Fannie and John, lived at Weweka, Oklahoma.
All of my mother's brothers died with paralysis all close to the same age at death, 79.
February 25, 1942. Just thinking over past life, and will tell you something you would never know otherwise. People resemble their parent, either mother or father. My father and mother had 5 boys and one girl. Me, my brother Joe and brother Steve all look and favor our mother, the Finleys. My bother Frank and Lafayette and my sister Amy all look and favor my father and people of the Taylors. Your mother's father's family had one girl and 4 boys. Your mother and her brother Tom Rader looks and favors your Grandmother Rader. Her brothers Love and Marion and Frank looks and favors your Grandfather Rader, who was part Pennsylvania Dutch.
My family of 5 boys and 3 girls, Will and Thomas and Mary, look and favor their mother, the Raders. Frank and Fred and Fannie look and favor the Taylors. Nute and Texie looks and favors my mother's people, the Finleys. But all look and resemble me, your father, more or less. Fannie is almost the picture of your mother, but not in stature or build.
March 23, 1942. I will talk about how we lived before and during and a few years after the Civil War. When I was a small boy and up to 12 years old, my mother and the most of the people in the sparsely settled Arkansas Country. War times 1861. Cooked bread in a skillet or oven. She would make corn Dodges or pone as they were called. Cooked on a fireplace. She would sit the skillet and lid on the fire to heat, then make up the meal or
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dough. When skillet was hot, set it off on the hearth, put live coals and hot ashes under it, pat or roll the pones in her hands, put them in the skillet, put the lid on, and then put live coals on top to bake. In winter, we would make a wash pot full of hominy. It would last quite awhile. And pop some pop corn most ever night for supper.
Our shoes were home tanned leather and made at home. Our clothes were all homespun and homemade. My mother would card cotton or wool rolls and sit up till midnight and spin those rolls into thread. Then she would size the thread, put them over the warp and bores ready for the loom, and then weave 20 or 40 yards at a time. Many a day I have sit and handed threads to her through the thrums and [?]. Our clothes were all home made. They were good and warm. Our socks were all knit out of homespun wool. Our shoes sometimes were made out of leather that were not thouroughly tanned, and when they got wet and then dried they would draw up, and we could not get them on so then we would take them to have them stretched. Our coats were mostly made in the Prince Albert style or frock style.
This is June 19, 1945. I am not feeling well, I am contemplating a trip to Oklahoma. I don't know if I will or not. In case I don't and anything happens to me, please don't put me away at Brushy Mountain Cemetary, please put me someplace where it will be taken care of. That place will go unnoticed in a few years. There is a feather bed, springs, bedstead, and a trunk with some books & pictures. Silver, sugar, cream pitcher, and a set of tea spoons, knives and forks and a 1.00.60 [?], and 60 dollars at present in a little pocket book in my coat pocket. Divide it after all expenses is joined away and all.
April 14, 1946. Some pictures will be found in a black hand bag, also my burial insurance papers and possibly some money, maybe $200.00 if I don't have too much expenses. Other pictures and papers in trunk. I hope to live to be 100 years old and keep my senses and health. Will be 90, 4 of October 1946.
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(last entry)
(addition by unknown hand)
March 7, 1949.
We are saddened by the passing of our dear beloved father at the age of 92 years, 5 months, and 3 days, March 7, 11:30 at Bells, Texas. Interment at Memorial Lawn Cemetary, Muskogee, Thursday, March 10, 2:30.
Probate court of Lincoln County
Chandler, Oklahoma
Fred A. Wagoner, Probate Judge. Married in Friend Church, Union Township, Lincoln County by Minister of the Gospel Absolom Knight in the presence of Dora W. Knight & Hallie McLaughlin, of Chandler, Route 2. Texie Taylor & Charles Albert Hull, Dec 24, 1903.
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"Remembrances of Samuel Thomas Taylor", written between 1940 - 1946 by Samuel Thomas Taylor. Transcribed by Beverly Taylor Hutchison and Jere Anne McCormick Becker about 1985 (photocopy of original journal in collection of JereBecker@gmail.com 2013).

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