Facts and Events
||Edward Payson Taylor
||27 Sept 1827
||Homer, Cortland, New York, United States
||7 Jul 1851
||Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United Statesto Frances Pearce Holt
||3 Oct 1875
||Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
||6 Oct 1875
||Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United StatesGreenwood, lot 11669, section 182
Edward Payson Taylor was the fourth and last child of Rev. Oliver Swaine Taylor and Catherine Parsons. The Taylor family began in Massachusetts, but moved to upstate New York in the 1820s. Edward was born in 1827 in Homer, New York (in the Finger Lakes area, 25 miles NE of Ithaca and 35 miles South of Syracuse). His father, a Dartmouth grad, was a teacher and an evangelist, and Edward's older brother Charles would also take up the ministry and became one of the early missionaries to China.
Edward was one of the first graduates of the Free Academy of the City of New York (later known as City College of New York). The Free Academy had been established in 1847 with a charter to admit all based on merit and without regard to class or wealth. Perhaps it was that opportunity that drew Edward from upstate New York down to Manhattan. He was reported to have been an accomplished English scholar, and well grounded in Greek and Latin.S2
After college, he moved to Brooklyn and pursued a career in business, becoming a partner in the upholstery and furniture business firm of T. Brooks and Co. In 1851, he married Frances Holt, daughter of Charles Holt, a prominent member of the Brooklyn community. They lived in Cambridge Place, in the Clinton Hill / Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. (Their street was originally called Ryerson Place, and then Trotter Street for a few years in the late 1860s, before becoming Cambridge Place in 1869.) (Map of Taylor family homes in Brooklyn.)
The Taylor family lived at 86 Cambridge Place. This house, photographed around 2005, may be the same house they lived in.
Edward was an active member of the Central Congregational Church, and served for a time as Superintendent of the Sunday School, as had his father-in-law Charles Holt.S7 (Of Edward's becoming acquainted with the Holt family, joining the Central Congregational Church, and coming to live in Ryerson Place, it is not known which came first and lead to the others.) His third child, born in 1859, was named Clement French Taylor, in honor of the Rev. J. Clement French, who lead the Central Congregational Church from 1857 to 1870.
An obituary account of him gave this physical description: "He has ordinarily been well, but he has never been a strong man. Slight of frame, and of delicate organization his temperament is nervous, active and energetic, out of proportion to the constitution of the man." He was said to pursue horticulture, music, and entomology as his hobbies.S2
Edward and Frances had four sons and one daughter between 1852 and 1866. Their daughter died before her fifth birthday in 1859, but their sons all lived into adulthood, married, and had children.
Despite much happiness and success in his family life, business, and community, he appears to have suffered some kind of severe depression in 1875, ultimately putting a pistol to his right temple and shooting himself, ending his life at age 48.S2 His family was downstairs having Sunday breakfast when they heard the shot, and his wife ran upstairs to find him in the bedroom, gun in hand. The shot, though fatal, did not kill him immediately; he remained alive but unconscious for eight days before dying.S3 His depression may have had some hereditary aspect, as his son Edward would later also commit suicide.
1860 US census, Taylor family
This house at 86 Cambridge Place (c. 2005) may be the same house where Edward Taylor lived the last years of his life.
- ↑ IGI, records submitted to LDS.
see IGI pedigree, gives birthdate as 28 Sept 1827, while Dwight source has 27 Sept 1827.
- ↑ Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States), p. 4, 27 Sept 1875.
A SAD AFFAIR
Suicide of a Well Known Business Man.
Mr. E.P. Taylor, of the Firm of T. Brooks & Co., Shoots Himself While Laboring Under Mental Depression.
At nine o'clock yesterday morning, Mr. E.P. Taylor, of the form of T. Brooks & Co., upholsterers, at the corner of Fulton and Sands streets, shot himself in the head. The bullet is in his brain, and his death is hourly expected. Mr. Taylor lives in an elegant cottage at No. 86 Cambridge place. He has been suffering for some months past from physical weakness and mental depression, and has spent much of his time at home instead of actively engaging in business. On Saturday night, as on former occasions, the family noticed that he was mentally disturbed. When he sat down to supper he was nervous, fidgetty and at times singular in speech. He had no appetite, and rose from the table ebfore the others and threw himself on a lounge. But he could not rest there long. He kept changing his position in the room saying very little but acting strangely enough. He retired to his room early. Yesterday morning he was not at the table when the family breakfasted. They did not wish to awaken him as they thought a long sleep would have a salutary effect. About nine o'clock Mrs. Taylor, who was down stairs, was startled by
THE REPORT OF A PISTOL
in her husband's room. She hastened there to find him lyingon the bed, a small, single barrelled pistol in his hand, and blood oozing from a wound in the right temple. He was fast becoming unconscious, and when her tongue was unchained after the first shock of the spectacle and she essayed to speak to him he made no reply. In a little while he began to mutter incoherently. It was some time before the distracted wife could recover her senses sufficiently to decide upon the measures to be taken. When she did she sent for Dr. Terry, of Washington avenue. The doctor, after examining the wound, gave it as his opinion, that the bullet had lodged in his brain, and his case was next to hopeless.
Since then the wife, daughter, and father in law have been in constant attenance upon him, and the doctor has made a half a dozen visits. Mr. Taylor apparently suffers little pain, and there is an occasional gleam of consciousness in his condition. Last night he was delirious and restless. This morning he was uneasy and unconscious. He is
NOT EXPECTED TO LIVE
through the night. It is now about a year since Mr. Taylor's physical strength began to fail and his unusually strong mental organization to languish. He has suffered at times from the profoundest depression of spirits, his family who are much devoted to him, being painful witness of it. There is no question but that he had actually become demented when he committed the suicidal act. Mr. Taylor is 48 years of age, and is one of the best known business men in the city. There is no suggestion of his being impelled to the act by any outside influences, business or domestic.
A Sketch of Mr. Taylor
Mr. Taylor is a gentleman of much culture and many social virtues. He was a business man of probity, intelligence and enterprise, and the excellent firm which may lose his services and companionship will lose qualities which it will not be easy to find in another. Mr. Taylor is in the prime of life, and is the head of a happy home, to the members of which he has been father, friend, instructor and supporter, in the full sense of these words. Educated in New York City, Mr. Taylor is a graduate of the Free Academy, now known as the College of the City of New York, and always an institution on a par with any of classical instruction in the land. This gentleman is an accomplished English scholar, and is also well grounded in the Greek and Latin languages, and is wont to delight in the treasures of learning, wisdom and fancy, which they open to his mind. He made a deliberate choice between a professional and business career, on the threshold of manhood, and he has carried into the former all the culture, as a rule, to be predicated of the latter. Horticulture, music and entomology have also been favorite occupations of his leisure; an in all of those elegant divisions of knowledge he is proficient to an unusual degree. At the same time no man is more diligant, honorable and wise in the business of his life. Mr. Taylor is partner in the furniture and upholstery firm of T. Brooks & Co., corner of Sands and Fulton streets, one of the largest and most trustworthy in either city, and he has ever touched the most prosaic part of his business with the enthusiasm of his nature and the fine artistic qualities of his spirit. He is a member of the Central Congregational Church, of which Rev. Henry Martyn Scudder, D. D., is the pastor, has been an active leader and helper in all the activities of that great parish, and a bright integer in its social life. Mr. Taylor lives at 86 Cambridge place; his home is a charming and happy one. He has ordinarily been well, but he has never been a strong man. Slight of frame, and of delicate organization his temperament is nervous, active and energetic, out of proportion to the constitution of the man. During the latter part of the Summer, he suffered from lassitude and a wasting of strength. He sought refreshment in travel, but returned unable to leave his house. There can be no doubt that his injury by his own act was the direct product of a depression of spirit which affected the overthrow of the will and the temporary insanity of the entire mind. A Christian gentelman, a happy husband and father, in the prime of life, with prosperities surrounding him and with much that is elegant and elevated in art and science ministering unto him, his act in the affecting circumstances of it leaves no room for doubt that suffering induced an irresponsibility and pervasive despondency of mind that threatens to end a life with much that is inestimable in it to those to whom it has been devoted, and much that is of value and promise to the business, social and religious forces of the city.
- ↑ Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States), p. 4, 4 Oct 1875.
E. P. Taylor's Suicide
His Death Yesterday -- The Circumstances of the Shooting as Elicited by the Coroner.
Mr. E. P. Taylor of the firm of T. Brooks & Co., upholsterers, corner of Fulton and Sands streets, who, on Sunday, the 26th inst., shot himself while temporarily aberrated, died yesterday at his residence No. 86 Cambridge place. The bullet entered his brain and had not been extracted.
This morning Coroner Simms held an inquest over the body.
Mrs. Frances P. Taylor, said: I am the wife of the deceased; on the morning of September 26, about nine o'clock, I was downstairs and was suddenly startled by the report of a pistol; I went upstairs and found my husband lying on the floor in the bedroom; on the floor beside him lay a pistol with one barrel discharged; he was unconscious and remained so to the day of his death, which took place October 3, at four o'clock, A.M.; for some time previous to the occurrence of his shooting himself, he had been very despondent. His depression of spirits, in my opinion, was due to ill health, general debility and nervous exhaustion. He had never previously threatened any harm to himself or to any one else. No person was in the room with him at the time of the shooting.
- ↑ Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States. Greenwood Cemetery records.
in online index as Edward P. Taylor, 10/6/1875.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Dwight, Benjamin W. The History of the Descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass, p. 471.
at 2623: "Edward Payson Taylor, b. Sept. 27, 1827, m. July 7, 1851, Frances Pearce Holt, b. at Jersey City, N.J., Aug. 16, 1827 (dau. of Charles Holt, b. at Hudson, N.Y., Nov. 9, 1805, and Jane Pearce, b. at Truro, Eng., June, 22, 1808), a member of a large cabinet-ware house in New York. His family resides in Brooklyn."
- Brooklyn City Directory, 1859, Primary quality.
image available at Brooklyn Genealogy Info Pages, lists Taylor, Edward P. bookkeeper, h. Ryerson pl. n. Gates av. Note that Ryerson place was later renamed to Trotter St and later Cambridge Pl, and 86 Cambridge pl, where he was later known to live, was near the corner of Gates Ave.
- Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. (Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States), p. 2, 12 May 1879.
Celebrating 25 Years of the Central Congregational Church. In the second column, a paragraph reads "THE SECOND PASTOR OF THE CHURCH, Rev. J. Clement French, D.D., then spoke of the condition of the school when he assumed the pastorate of the church in Spring of 1857. At that time, Mr. John L. Merrill was the Superintendant and he had been succeeded by a large number of gentlemen, some of whom, Mr. Edward P. Taylor and Father Holt, had long since gone to receive their reward in heaven."