William S. Taylor (politician)

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William S. Taylor (1795–1858) was an American politician that served in the Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas State Legislatures, and was Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives briefly in the Seventh Texas Legislature. Taylor, at 62, is the oldest person to assume the office of Speaker of the Texas House.

Taylor was born in Georgia in late 1795.[1] After moving to Alabama, Taylor enlisted and fought in the First and Second Seminole Wars, serving as a captain in the latter. He was appointed brigadier general of the Alabama State Militia in 1841, and thereafter was always known as General William S. Taylor.

From 1836 to 1842, Taylor represented Fayette County, Alabama, in the Alabama Legislature in the Fifteenth through the Twenty-first, and Twenty-third Alabama Legislatures. By 1844, Taylor had moved to Tippah County, Mississippi where he served as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. In April 1847, Taylor and family moved to Larissa, Texas (ten miles northeast of Rusk)[2] in Cherokee County. In 1855, Taylor was elected to the Sixth Texas Legislature for the first of two terms to the Texas House of Representatives, where he represented Cherokee and Anderson counties.

When the Seventh Legislature convened on 2 November 1857, Taylor was the only nomination for speaker.[3] He was elected and served until he became ill on 26 December 1857 and took leave of absence. On 18 January 1858, Taylor resigned as Speaker.[4] Taylor died on 22 July 1858 and was buried in Larissa. One of his fifteen children with wife Elizabeth, son William S. Taylor, Jr., fought in the Battle of San Jacinto.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some sources say early 1796.
  2. ^ Larissa, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
  3. ^ Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives (1857). Official Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas. Seventh Biennial Session. (pdf). Austin, Texas: John Marshall & Co. p. 5. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  4. ^ Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives (1857). Official Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas. Seventh Biennial Session. (pdf). Austin, Texas: John Marshall & Co. p. 594. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 

References[edit]

Preceded by
Unknown
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
1855 – 22 July 1858
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Hamilton P. Bee
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
2 November 1857 – 18 January 1858
Succeeded by
Matthew Fielding Locke