John R. Taylor

John R. Taylor

My third great-grandfather was John R. Taylor.  He was born on February 1, 1812, in Centre County and lived his life in Potter and Gregg,  Pennsylvania.  We can’t find any evidence of a town of Potter but there is a county named Potter in the Keystone State. The county was named after James Potter —  a captain and later a major in the Indian wars.  In 1777, he was made a brigadier general of Pennsylvania troops in the Revolutionary army, serving with distinction almost continuously throughout the war, and receiving a commission as major – general in 1782.

From the archives, John R. Taylor was a carpenter and a farmer back in the mid-1800’s.  He had six children with Mary Ann Weaver and three children with Anna Mariah Sophia Weaver. His first wife, died in 1854, perhaps during child-birth as their sixth child, George Washington Taylor, was born the same year that records indicate she passed away. She was only 41. His second wife (no evidence they married but must have lived together beginning in 1857) outlived him by eleven years and died when she was 77. He died on February 23, 1881, in Centre County, Pennsylvania, at the age of 69, and was buried there. Records indicate he died of a heart attack.

John R. and Mary Ann’s first-born daughter, Mary Ann “Polly” Taylor, is my second great-grandmother.  She was born in November 8, 1845, in Centre Hill, Pennsylvania.  She married Simon M. Spangler in 1869.  They had seven children together. The couple and their children relocated to Harvey County, Kansas, around 1885, when she was approximately 40 years of age. One of their daughters, Mary Almeda Spangler, was my great-grandmother. She died at age 41 in Topeka, Kansas, at a psychiatric hospital but was buried with her husband, John Edward Hauck, in Greenwood Cemetery in Newton, Kansas.  She was reportedly distraught by her husband’s  failing health, and committed suicide, just a few months before he passed away on his birthday on July 27, 1928.

Below is a picture of my third great-grandfather — cherished by our family as it was taken around the time of the Civil War. Few photos from these times have survived.

John R. Taylor – one of our oldest family photo taken circa Civil War b. 1812 d. 1881

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