Born in Bangor, Maine, Taylor moved with his parents to Champaign County, Ohio in 1832, thence to Fort Dodge, Iowa, and subsequently to Chicago, Illinois in 1860. He served the Union the American Civil War as a general's deputy, and later a colonel and United States Treasury Agent. As a business man, Taylor engaged in extensive contracting, building, and mercantile pursuits, and participated in the construction of the Texas State Capitol. In exchange for the construction of the Texas State House, Taylor was awarded three million acres of land in northwest Texas in 1882. He served as a delegate to the 1884 Republican National Convention. Further, Taylor served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1884 to 1886.
Taylor was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses (March 4, 1889-March 3, 1893). He married Clara Babcock, a daughter of business associate Colonel A C Babcock on September 9, 1889 in Cassopolis, Michigan. Clara was nearly thirty-two years his junior. The millionaire and his lively bride were well-known in Congress. Clara made international news when she announced that rather than keeping Congressmen's signatures in an autograph book, she would have them embroidered onto a petticoat in silk to keep as a record of the 52nd Congress.
- Abner Taylor at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Hall, Henry, ed. (1896). America's Successful Men of Affairs: The United States at Large. The New York Printing Co. p. 779.
- McKern, Bill (2008). "Abner Taylor (1829 - 1903)".
- "Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NQ7T-VT2 : accessed 30 Sep 2012), Abner Taylor and Clara L. Babcock, 09 Sep 1889.
- "An Autograph Petticoat". The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia). October 17, 1892. p. 6.
|United States House of Representatives|
Ransom W. Dunham
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 1st congressional district
J. Frank Aldrich
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.