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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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George R. Taylor, President of the Pacific Railroad Company.

GEORGE R. TAYLOR is a Virginian by birth, having been born in Alexandria, November 11, 1818. His father, Evan P. Taylor, was engaged in manufacturing and mercantile pursuits at that place, but dying when George was but six years old, his education devolved upon his mother, who, intending George for the law, gave to him the preparatory education suitable for his future vocation.

Immediately on completing his education, George R. Taylor commenced reading law under Thomas Semmes, Esq., of Alexandria, and for two years and a half remained under his instruction. Afterward he went to Staunton, Virginia, where there was a law school of high repute under the charge of Judge Thompson, an eminent jurist. After enjoying the benefit of that institution he returned to Alexandria in 1841, where he received license to practise his profession.

Being properly fitted to enter upon the current of life, young Taylor was, for a little while, in doubt in what waters he should launch himself with the greatest prospect of success; and every thing in Alexandria appearing too stagnant for his ambitions views, he started for the West, and arrived in St. Louis in June, 1841. Possessing in a high degree that frankness so characteristic of the Virginian, and animated by friendly and honorable motives, he quickly made a favorable impression, and could soon number, as his friends, some of the most prominent citizens of St. Louis. He formed a partnership with Wilson Primm, Esq., which continued until 1849.

The people of the ward in which George R. Taylor resided soon gave to him an evidence of their high esteem and confidence, by electing him a member of the Common Council, when his devotion to St. Louis was exemplified by the liberal measures he took to advance its interest, and to adorn it. After the destruction by the great fire of so much of the lower part of the city, he was the first to propose and advocate the widening of Main street, whose original dimensions were so unsuitable to the magnitude of its business. His resolution was adopted, and Main street was widened. He then proposed to widen the levee by purchasing Commercial street, and adding it to the narrow strip of land which is so uncomfortably loaded and jammed by the business which forms the immense commerce of St. Louis. Had his wishes been acceded to, we should have had a levee creditable to the city, and sufficient for the comfort and extent of the business which is transacted upon it. At his suggestion, a piece of land was purchased for the purpose of erecting a City Hall, but an opportunity of reselling it at a considerable advance, being offered, it

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was sold and dedicated to other purposes. [6] In this measure, he was efficiently assisted by the late Colonel A. B. Chambers and Adolphus Meier.

George Taylor has always been friendly to the railroad policy, and acted as secretary to the first meeting that was held at the Planters' House. So popular was he with the people, and possessed in so high a degree, their confidence, that ho was again elected to the Common Council in 1856-'7; and still again in 1859. He always officiated as president of the board.

Until recently the buildings of St. Louis were sadly deficient in height, and to him belongs the credit of creating an era in building. He was the first to have erected a six-story house in St. Louis, and people finding the style to architecture which height necessarily gives, soon followed his example, and buildings commenced to go up, which widely contrasted with the pigmy architecture formerly in fashion. St. Louis for many years had been in want of a first-class hotel, and several attempts had been made to supply the necessity, by meetings, subscriptions of stock, &c., but all of the efforts made resulted in nothing. This public necessity was supplied by Mr. Taylor, who had the spirit and enterprise to build, unsupported, the large structure known as Barnum's St. Louis Hotel, which was two years in building, and reared at a cost of two hundred thousand dollars. He was also the leading spirit who brought into existence the Merchants' Exchange, which was reared on the site of the "Old Market;" and so satisfied were the stockholders of the active part that he took in this particular, that in appreciation of his services, they presented him with a beautiful set of silver as a testimonial, at a cost of $1,000. He was president of the board of trustees who had charge of the building, and still continues in office. When the city was suffering many years ago for a building suitable for a Post Office, he organized an association, of which he was elected president, and built on the place to which the Post Office was removed, on the corner of Second and Chesnut streets.

Mr. Taylor married Miss Theresa L. Paul, August 9, 1846, daughter of Gabriel Paul, and granddaughter of Colonel Auguste Chouteau, so well known in the annals of St. Louis. Since he has been a resident of St. Louis, he has been identified with measures that have been prolific of the greatest good. During the different terms he served in the Common Council, he has been liberal in his municipal policy, and anxious for the welfare of the city. In all public-spirited measures, he has taken a prominent part. Through his efforts and influence, the Merchants' Exchange came into being, and he had the nerve to build, unassisted, Barnum's St. Louis Hotel, when St. Louis greatly needed a public house of that description. He was one of the corporators of the St. Louis Railroad Company, and subscribed to its stock the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars. He is just in the prime of active manhood, eminent for his public enterprise; popular with all classes of citizens; and is now the efficient president of the Pacific Railroad Company.

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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