Saturday, October 4, 2014

Venorris Raymond Taylor (1821-1904)

From the 1881 Indiana State House of Representatives composite photo.

   From Daviess County, Indiana we journey south to the county of Noble and one of that area's more oddly named public figures...Venorris Raymond Taylor. A transplant to the Hoosier state from Ohio, Mr. Norris represented Noble County in the Indiana General Assembly for one term beginning in 1881.
   Born in Burlington, Ohio on November 28, 1821, Venorris R. Taylor was the son of Philo (1796-1876) and Annebella Harmon Taylor (1795-1856). His family removed from Burlington to Portage County when he was still a child and his early education was limited to the local schools. The Taylor family relocated to La Grange County, Indiana in 1837 and Venorris would continue his studies at the La Grange Collegiate Institute in the town of Ontario. 
   Venorris R.Taylor married on his 29th birthday in Indiana to Mary Anne Rowe (1828-1873). The couple was married for over twenty years and this marriage produced three sons, Philo John (born 1852), William Lamborn (1853-1940) and George Henry (born 1858). The couple would remove to Noble County some time after their marriage and of their three children William would follow his father into politics, being elected as Indiana State Attorney General in 1898Following his marriage, Taylor taught school for several years and also operated an eighty-acre farm. Widowed in 1873, Taylor remarried two years later to Elizabeth A. Betts, who would survive him upon his death in 1904. 
   Active in the Methodist Episcopal Church of Wolcottville, Taylor began serving as a church trustee in 1877.  He refrained from entering political life until he was nearly 60 years of age, and in 1880 he was nominated as Noble County's representative to the Indiana General Assembly. He would win election to that body that November, and in an odd twist would serve in the same legislative session as his brother Oscar, who was a representative from the neighboring county of La Grange. During the 1881-1883 session, Venorris would hold the chairmanship of the house committee on Banks, as well as serving on the committee on the Sinking Fund. 
   After leaving the legislature Taylor returned to private life in Wolcottville. Alvord's History of Noble County notes that even though advanced in age Taylor continued to be active in the affairs of his adopted hometown, and:
"Proved himself a public spirited and progressive citizen, deeply interested in the welfare of his community and all that contributes to its educational and moral advancements."
  Venorris R.Taylor died at age 82 on August 1, 1904. He would be interred at the Woodland Cemetery in Wolcottville and was survived by his second wife Elizabeth, who was buried at this same cemetery upon her death in 1909. 

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