Joseph R. TAYLOR, a retired contractor and builder of Cleveland, was born in McMinn County, November 19, 1832. He is a son of Larkin C. and Martha (READ) TAYLOR. The father was born in Burke County, N. C. During the war of 1812 he led out a company, but did not reach the field of action until after peace was declared. When a young man he came to McMinn County, where he married a native of that county. In 1837 he moved to Bradley County. He was a magistrate many years, and by trade a blacksmith. He made the first knives and forks used in his family after marriage. His death occurred in 1847. Of his six children, two sons and two daughters are living. Mrs. TAYLOR married Jaret BELL, with whom she had one child. Mr. BELL died, and his widow is still living at the age of eighty. Our subject was the second child. A portion of his early life was passed on a farm, receiving a common education. After he was grown he worked nights, mornings, and Saturdays for his board, and attended school. After two years of apprenticeship at making and laying brick, he began contracting and building, in which business he was engaged about thirty-four years. The schoolhouse and a number of the best residences of Cleveland were built by him. In 1862 he volunteered as private in Caompany A, Sixty-second Tennessee Infantry, Confederate Army. In the spring of 1862 he was promoted to second lieutenant. In 1864 he was captured at the siege of Vicksburg, and held at Camp Chase, Ohio, a year. At the close of the war he was released in Virginia, and made the journey of 500 miles, afoot. He is a true Democrat and highly esteemed citizen. In 1856 he married Miss Caladonia STRALEY, a native of North Carolina, a member of the Southern Methodist Church and mother of seven children, of whom five sons and one daughter are living. Mrs. TAYLOR's father was Rev. Jacob L. STRALEY. He was born in Virginia, and came to Tennessee about 1850. He was a Southern Methodist, one of the first who preached to the Indians. His wife Eliza (BARGIN) STRALEY, is a native of North Carolina and is seventy five years old.
A Special "Thank You!" to Sherry Pollard for Transcribing the Goodspeed Biographies!