M. D. K. Taylor

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Marion DeKalb Taylor or M. D. K. Taylor (October 13, 1818 – June 22, 1897) was an American politician in Alabama and Texas, as well as a general in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. He was a member of the Alabama Legislature for two stints between 1842 and 1846, and served in both the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. In the Texas House, Taylor served three non-consecutive terms as Speaker of the House, and, in the Texas Senate, was twice elected President pro tempore of the Texas Senate.

Biography[edit]

Taylor was born in Jones County, Georgia to Anne Mathews and Ward Taylor, who was a blacksmith, farmer, and Methodist preacher. The family had moved to Butler County, Alabama, by 1822. M. D. K. Taylor received his education in Alabama and studied medicine there. Taylor married the 14-year-old Elizabeth Sarah McDaniel in 1838 and, for the next 24 years, they would have some nine children together. Taylor was elected to the Alabama Legislature from Butler County in 1842. He was an advocate for the annexation of Texas, a position which cost him re-election in 1844. However, he was again sent to the Alabama Legislature in 1845, serving through the following year.

In January 1847, Taylor and family moved to Cass County, Texas (present-day Marion County), where he served as Postmaster for a time.[1] He was elected to the House of Representatives of Third Texas Legislature (1849–1851), and the Senate of the Fourth Legislature from District 5 (1851–1853). After a Senate redistricting, Taylor was elected from the 7th District for the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Legislatures (1853–1859). In the Fifth Legislature, Taylor was elected President pro tempore of the Senate, a position he also held for part of the Seventh Legislature.

He returned to the House for the Eighth Legislature and was elected Speaker, defeating Nicholas Henry Darnell 45 votes to 33 on the second ballot.[2] In the Tenth Texas Legislature, Taylor was again elected Speaker, defeating Constantine W. Buckley, 45 votes to 18.[3] During this session, held in the midst of the Civil War, Taylor helped to pass resolutions praising Jefferson Davis, and stating support of the Confederate government. Taylor also served as a Brigadier General for the 7th Militia Brigade during the Civil War.[4]

In 1864, his wife Elizabeth died, probably during childbirth. Shortly thereafter, Taylor married Sarah Adda Pardue, who would herself die in 1866.

In 1873, for the Thirteenth Texas Legislature, Taylor was elected Speaker for an unprecedented third time, defeating W. A. Ellett 76 votes to 10.[5]

Taylor was very active in Democratic Party affairs, attending the Democratic State Conventions in 1872 and 1888, while serving as president of the 1876, 1878, and 1880 state conventions. Taylor was also a delegate to the 1876 Democratic National Convention in St. Louis.[6]

According to some sources, Taylor was the father of several illegitimate African American children, one of whom he sent east to attend school.

Taylor died after a fall on June 22, 1897 and is buried in the Taylor family cemetery near Jefferson.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Wheat, Jim. "Jim Wheat's Postmasters & Post Offices of Texas, 1846–1930, Postmaster Index, "Ta" thru "Th"". Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  2. ^ Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives (1860). Official Journal of the House of Representatives, Eighth Legislature, State of Texas. (pdf). Austin, Texas: John Marshall & Co. p. 5. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  3. ^ Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives (1965). James M. Day, ed. House journal of the Tenth Legislature, Regular session of the State of Texas : November 3, 1863-December 16, 1863 (pdf). Austin, Texas: Texas State Library. OCLC 06742945. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  4. ^ Adkins-Rochette, Patricia (2007-01-19). "Bourland in North Texas and Indian Territory During the Civil War, Fort Cobb, Fort Arbuckle & the Wichita Mountains" (website promoting book of same name). Retrieved 2007-01-22. "Brig-General M.D.K. Taylor, of the 7th Militia Brigade, stated in his September 24, 1863 letter: "I mustered in to the State Service those present for the 21st District and turned them over to the Major commanding the Brigade."" 
  5. ^ Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives (1873). Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas being the Session of the Thirteenth Legislature begun and Held in the City of Austin, January 14, 1873 (pdf). Austin, Texas: John Cardwell. p. 5. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  6. ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence (2005-03-10). "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Taylor, K to N". Retrieved 2007-01-22. 

References[edit]

Preceded by
Unknown
Member of the Alabama Legislature
1842–1844
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of the Alabama Legislature
1845–1846
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
1849–1851
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
David Gage
Texas State Senator
from District 5 (Jefferson)
(1)
1851–1853
Succeeded by
Jefferson Weatherford
Preceded by
Isaac Parker
Texas State Senator
from District 7 (Cass County)

1853–1859
Succeeded by
John G. Chambers
Preceded by
Jesse Grimes
President pro tempore of the Texas Senate
1853
Succeeded by
Guy Morrison Bryan
Preceded by
Jesse Grimes
President pro tempore of the Texas Senate
1857–1858
Succeeded by
Samuel Maverick
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
1859–1877
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Matthew Fielding Locke
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
November 7, 1859–November 4, 1861
Succeeded by
Constantine W. Buckley
Preceded by
Constantine W. Buckley
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
November 2, 1863–August 6, 1866
Succeeded by
Nathaniel Macon Burford
Preceded by
William Henry Sinclair
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
January 14, 1873–January 13, 1874
Succeeded by
Guy Morrison Bryan
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
1879–1881
Succeeded by
Unknown
Notes and references
1. For the 5th and 6th Legislatures, Taylor’s home city was Smithland