Taylor - James - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Taylor - James

James Taylor, M.D., D.D.S. was born in 1809, at Cedar Grove farm, on Paint Creek, near Bainbridge, Ross County, Ohio. The town of Bainbridge was named for Commodore Bainbridge, of the United States navy, by the grandfather of our subject, who was a near relative of the commodore. The old farm and homestead is still owned by Price Taylor, a brother of James, these brothers being two of the nine children that clustered around the family hearthstone. Joseph Taylor, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, where the Taylor family, of English extraction, was settled more than two hundred years ago. His mother, whose maiden name was Jane Irwin, was born in Virginia, of Scotch-Irish stock, and was married to Joseph Taylor in 1797. In 1801 the young pair, with the husband's father, William Taylor, removed to Ross County, being among the first settlers of the county. Here James Taylor was reared. At the age of seventeen James had chosen medicine as his future profession. In 1826 Dr. John Harris settled in Bainbridge and among the students that sought his instruction the subject of this sketch was soon numbered. After a year of close application to study on the part of his scholar, Dr. Harris turned his own special attention towards the study and practice of dentistry. The works of Koeker, Bell, Fitch and Hunter were procured and eagerly read by both the doctor and his student. The teacher and pupil, being now in partnership, visited various neighboring towns, among others Greenfield, twelve miles distant, where Dr. C. A. Harris, a brother of the former, was then practicing medicine. This Dr. Harris, afterward of Baltimore, was soon induced to devote himself also to dental science, and with his industry, integrity and professional pride, proved a great acquisition to the profession. After two years Dr. John Harris removed permanently to Chillicothe, and Mr. Taylor went to Hillsboro', placing himself under the tuition of Dr. Kirby, a noted and eminent physician of that town. His dental practice, however, by which he supported himself meanwhile, so interfered with his medical studies that he did not enter the medical school of Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, until the autumn of 1830. After having passed through the difficult course of study in this school, from which he subsequently received the degree of M. D., he returned to Ohio. His first office was opened in Bainbridge. His brother Joseph having studied dentistry with him previously, had spent the winter of 1830 profitably in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and induced James to return to that place with him the subsequent winter. The latter settled at Port Gibson and in Natchez. Thus for several years he spent his winters in the South and his summers in the North. In 1834 Dr. Taylor decided to give up the practice of medicine, although he was very successful therein, and devote himself wholly to dentistry. After assuming the practice of dentistry alone, Dr. Taylor continued his winter visits south until, in 1838, he had accumulated about $6000, which he invested in the dry-goods business in Bainbridge, placing his youngest brother, Irwin, in charge of the store. His eyes threatening to fail him, shortly after, he feared that he would be compelled to relinquish his profession; and, selling out his store, he removed with his brother Irwin to Crawfordsville, Indiana, taking with him a stock of goods. But here he soon found himself again in full practice, visiting Lafayette, Covington and neighboring towns. In 1841, his merchandise not proving successful, Dr. Taylor closed up his business and visited his old field of labor in the South, while his brother went to Maysville, Kentucky, to study dentistry with another brother, Joseph, who had several years before settled there. Still longing for a permanent settlement, however, in 1842 Dr. James Taylor bought of Dr. Rostaing, in Cincinnati, his house, office, instruments, fixtures, etc., and enlisted in his chosen profession in this young city, then numbering about 60,000 inhabitants. Meanwhile a fourth brother, Edward, who had also studied medicine and then dentistry, and who had pursued the same career of vibration between the North and South, and was settled in a successful practice in Louisville, Kentucky, was now induced to join his brother in Cincinnati. The health of Edward, however, failing after some years, Dr. Joseph Taylor, of Maysville, took his place, while the former retired to Cleveland and engaged in horticultural pursuits there until his death, in 1867. The two remaining brothers extended their practice among the best families of the community, and became well known in the profession. In 1844 Dr. Taylor first advocated the necessity of a dental school for Cincinnati. After discussion of the subject with Drs. J. W. Cook and M. Rogers, they concluded to apply to the Legislature for a charter. After some opposition the charter was obtained, and in 1845 the college was organized, Dr. Taylor being assigned to the chair of Practical Dentistry and Pharmacy. This Ohio College of Dental Surgery was the secondof the kind in this country. After three years a new assignment of chairs was made, and that of the Institutes of Dental Science was allotted to Dr. Taylor, which he occupied for sixteen or eighteen years, when he voluntarily retired with the honor of Emeritus Professor. He has continued every session since to deliver a few lectures to the classes. An association of dental surgeons owns the college, Dr. Taylor being a large stockholder, and as President of the Board he confers the degrees at the annual commencements upon the members of the graduating class. He was chosen President of the National Convention of Dentists, which met in Boston in 1856. Dr. Taylor with his brothers were also among the originators of the Mississippi Valley Association of Dental Surgeons, which is the oldest and one of the most efficient societies in the United States. In 1838 Dr. Taylor married R. Maria Applegate, of Monongahela. City, Pennsylvania, a most estimable lady, which happy union was severed by her death, in 1858. He was subsequently married to Belle P. McMaster, of Cincinnati, a talented and accomplished lady, beloved by all who knew her, but who died in 1873.

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