Edward M. Taylor
- Born: 29 Mar 1817, Chester, Hampden County, Massachusetts
- Died: 23 May 1893, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts at age 76
Noted events in his life were:
• Census, 1860, Massachusetts, Essex County, Andover Township, Image 87 of 120. Age 43 yrs., Wooler Manufacturing.
• Census, 1870, Massachusetts, Essex County, Andover Township, Andover Post Office, Image 14 of 148. Age 53 yrs., Phillips Acadamy.
• Census, 1880, Massachusetts, Essex County, Andover Township, Image 43 of 68. Age 63 yrs., single, Phillips Academey.
• General History, 1893, Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts. Edward Taylor.
Son of Jonathan Taylor and Harmony Brewster; born in Chester Village (now a part of Huntington), Mass., March 29, 1817, the family, however, removing in his infancy to Westfield; studied in Lenox and Westfield Academies with the purpose of entering college and fitting for the ministry, but was prevented by his health from doing so. When eighteen years old he entered business in Boston as a bookkeeper, and in 1839 came to Andover to fill the same position in the Marland Manufacturing Company. There he continued, with the exception of two years' service as the cashier of the Andover Bank, 1843-45, until his election to the office of treasurer of Phillips Academy and the Theological Seminary in 1868, as successor to Dr. John L. Taylor, who then became Smith professor in the Special Course in the Seminary. The responsible duties of this position he performed for twenty-one years, retiring in feeble health in 1889, although remaining on the board of trustees, to which he had been elected in 1867, until his death.
During his fifty-four years of residence in Andover he was called to many offices of trust. For ten years, including the trying period of the War of the Rebellion, he was town treasurer, and for nine of the ten years town clerk. In 1866 and 1869 he represented Andover and North Andover in the Legislature. For thirty years, 1859-89, he was by election of the town a trustee of the Punchard Free School, and for eleven years, 1859\emdash 70, a trustee of Abbot Academy. He was for many years director of the Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company and of the Andover National Bank, and for ten years president of the latter institution. In 1842 he united with the South Church by letter from the Bowdoin Street Church, Boston, and for the half century since has been most heartily and helpfully identified with its material and spiritual interests. He was one of its deacons for twenty-five years, superintendent of the Sabbath school fifteen years, for many years one of the church committee, and for over forty years treasurer of the historic Ministerial Fund of the parish.
Descended on one side from Rev. Edward Taylor, an early nonconformist English emigrant and the first minister of Westfield, and on the other from Elder Brewster of the Plymouth Pilgrims, Deacon Taylor exemplified the sturdy Puritan and Pilgrim traits of character, moral and spiritual. He believed in God and desired to serve him. He carried his religious conscientiousness and faithfulness into his business and his benevolence. No one ever doubted for a moment his strict honesty and truthfulness. What he thought it right to do, what he had said he would do, that he was sure to do. When be was in the Legislature the members of the House voted themselves an extra compensation of two hundred dollars. He believed this to be wrong, and sent one hundred dollars to each of the towns he represented, with a modest note saying that he was "in receipt of a larger compensation than met his approval," and asking them to expend the annual income of the amount " towards furnishing fuel for some worthy ones" needing such provision. He gave very un-ostentatiously but liberally during his life, it being his plan to devote one quarter of his income to benevolence. Scholarships in Phillips and Abbot Academies bear respectively the names of Jonathan Taylor and Harmony Brewster. He left by bequest about ten thousand dollars to benevolent societies and educational institutions, with Phillips Academy and the Congregational Church Building Society as residuary legatees.
In a memorial sketch of Mr. Taylor, Principal C. F. P. Bancroft (Class of 1867) wrote: "With strong convictions and great strictness in his own life, he had a real sympathy for others and a liberal temper towards the opinions and the conduct of his fellow men. Reserved of speech and undemonstrative in manner, he could on occasion speak with convincing directness and honesty, and he often showed a depth of interest and feeling which was stronger than words. He commanded the confidence of all; he had many and true friendships; intimacies he had none. . . . Above all, his Christian principles and consistent conduct and character made him a power in the community and a blessing to the world."
Mr. Taylor died at Andover, of general debility, May 21, 1893, aged seventy six years. He was never married.