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Abner Taylor Papers

Identifier: P-0064

Scope and Contents

The Abner Taylor Archive consists of correspondence, business and legal documents, printed material and a scrapbook. The material is arranged by category and then alphabetically, except for two oversized land grants which are housed with the scrapbook. Within individual folders, items are organized chronologically. The collection contains items dated from 1857 to 1932, with most items dated in the 1890s to 1900s.

The scrapbook contains mostly newspaper clippings pasted onto the pages. These are related to elections and Mr. Taylor's death. Other items are loose between the pages. These items include ephemera (such as a phrenological analysis of Mr. Taylor), condolences to Mrs. Taylor after the death of her husband, Congressional gallery admission cards, and letters from Governor William McKinley and President Benjamin Harrison.


  • 1857 - 1932

Biographical / Historical

Abner Taylor was born in Maine in 1829. After moving with his family to Ohio in the 1830s, he settled in Chicago, Illinois in 1860. During the Civil War, Mr. Taylor served in the Union Army and as a special agent to the Treasury Department. Many later letters address him as "Colonel Taylor." Following the war, he engaged in many areas of business, including railroad and real estate development. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1884 and to the United States House of Representatives in 1889.

In the course of his real estate business, Mr. Taylor and his partners, the "Capitol Syndicate," were hired to construct the Texas capitol building in Austin. The "Capitol Syndicate" was officially the Capitol Freehold Land and Investment Company, which was organized by Taylor, Charles B. Farwell, John V. Farwell, and Amos Babcock and backed by English investors. The investment group received 3,000,000 acres in northwest Texas in payment for the building construction. The majority of this acreage became the XIT Ranch. Although he was not involved in the daily operations of the ranch, at the tum of the 20th century Mr. Taylor maintained frequent correspondence with George Loving regarding the potential sale of all or part of the ranch property.

Mr. Taylor served as president of the Brazos River Channel & Dock Company, which sought to create a port at Velasco to compete with Galveston. In Texas, he also invested in the Velasco, Brazos & Northern Railway, the Velasco Terminal Railway Company and the Texas Land & Immigration Company, which owned the land on both sides of the Brazos near its terminus at the Gulf. Abner Taylor died in 1903 and is buried in Washington, D. C. He was survived by his wife, Clara Babcock Taylor.


1.3 Linear Feet (3 Boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Archives: 1D4
  • Business Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Abner Taylor Papers
Suzie Diver
November 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Fort Worth Public Library Archives Repository

500 West 3rd Street
Fort Worth Texas 76102