Edward Robeson Taylor

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Edward Robeson Taylor
28th Mayor of San Francisco
In office
July 16, 1907 – January 8, 1910
Preceded byCharles Boxton
Succeeded byP. H. McCarthy
Personal details
Born(1838-09-22)September 22, 1838
Springfield, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJuly 5, 1923(1923-07-05) (aged 84)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ProfessionLawyer, doctor, poet

Edward Robeson Taylor (September 24, 1838 – July 5, 1923) was the 28th Mayor of San Francisco, serving from July 16, 1907, to January 7, 1910.

Early life[edit]

Edward Robeson Taylor was born on September 24, 1838, in Springfield, Illinois, the only son of Henry West Taylor and the former Mary Thaw of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (he was descended on his mother's side from the early colonial merchant, Andrew Robeson, of Philadelphia). He eventually moved to California to escape the Civil War.

Taylor was a lawyer, a doctor, and a poet.[1] He served as dean of Hastings College of the Law, co-founded a medical college, and founded the Book Club of California.[1]

In 1898, he published a book of sonnets based on the paintings of William Keith.

Mayor of San Francisco[edit]

On July 16, 1907, Taylor was appointed mayor following the resignation of Charles Boxton, who served only eight days after the conviction and removal of Eugene Schmitz. At 68 years of age, he became the city's oldest mayor (a record he still holds as of 2021). Taylor was elected to a full two-year term that fall, defeating three other candidates (including future mayor P. H. McCarthy) with just over half the vote. He declined to run again in 1909, and would be the last member of the Democratic Party to lead San Francisco for over half a century (until John F. Shelley was elected in 1963).

During his 30 months as mayor, Taylor's accomplishments included: presiding over the resolution of the bloody 1907 San Francisco streetcar strike; reorganizing the city government after 16 of 18 members of the board of supervisors and the chief of the police department were implicated in a corruption scandal; rebuilding the city in the aftermath of the devastating 1906 earthquake; battling with the federal government for the right to build the Hetch Hetchy water system; presiding over the creation of the Municipal Railway; and fighting an outbreak of bubonic plague.[1]


Edward Robeson Taylor died in San Francisco on July 5, 1923. His remains are housed at the San Francisco Columbarium.[2] The political economist Henry George credits Taylor for influencing his work on Progress and Poverty, one of the most popular and influential books in American history.[3] In September 1925, the name of Portola Elementary School in San Francisco was changed to Edward Robeson Taylor Elementary School to honor him.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Nolte, Carl (November 6, 2007). "Exhibition spotlights career of 'totally forgotten mayor' Taylor". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 30, 2024.
  2. ^ San Francisco Columbarium. Find A Grave. 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  3. ^ Brechin, Gray (2003). Indestructable By Reason of Beauty: The Beaumanance of a Public Library Building (PDF). Greenwood Press. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  4. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, September 2, 1925, page 12, column 1


  • Exhibition spotlights career...
  • Edward Robeson Taylor (1898), Sonnets of Edward Robeson Taylor on some pictures painted by William Keith (Sonnets of Edward Robeson Taylor on some pictures painted by William Keith. ed.), San Francisco: Printed by the E.D. Taylor Co., OL 7056901M

External links[edit]

Preceded by Mayor of San Francisco
Succeeded by