Source: Biographical History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Chicago: Lewis, 1891: p 502
James A. Taylor, one of the best known pioneers of the county and a resident of Washington Twp, has been a resident of this county 40 years. He was born in Montgomery County, Indiana Feb 24, 1831 a son of Pleasant Taylor, native of Tenn and old pioneer of this county. His father Burzil Taylor was a soldier in the War of 1812. Pleasant Taylor was married in Montgomery County Indiana to Jane Allison a daughter of James Allison who was born in PA. They had five children: James A, our subject; Mary E. Gordon of OK; Thomas and Pleasant, deceased and William H of Silver Creek Township, Pottawattamie County. They lived in Indiana until about 1840, when they moved to Missouri then to Ill and in 1843 to Iowa and lived in Wappello County until 1850 then came to Pott. Co and bought a Mormon claim in Silver Creek Township being the first "Gentile" in the vicinity. Some years later he sold out and came to Washington Township and bought the place where he now lives. His wife died in June 1868. Several years after her death he married Sidney Webb with whom he still lives. James A. Taylor our subject was about 20 years old when he came to this county. His education was obtained in the log school houses of that period. In 1858 he took charge of a saw and grist mill on Siler Creek for two years. He subsequently purchased 120 acres of land and at once commenced its improvement. He now has a well improved farm of 400 acres one of the best in Washington Twp. In 1885 he erected a good house which cost $1500. It is built in modern style and is well furnished throughout. A grove of 55 acres and orchard near by makes his home an attractive one. Both general farming and stock raising are carried on here. Mr. Taylor was married in Pottawattamie Co in 1859 to Miss Maria E. Piles who was born in Guernsey Co OH in 1839. Her father, James Piles was born in Ohio in 1804 and died in that state at age 50. Her mother, Margaret English Piles was born in PA in 1810 and died in this county at age 47. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have had 9 children: Mary E, wife of G.W. Hamilton and resident of Washington Twp; William M; Henry P who married Dec 4, 1889 Ada M. Cole, a teacher of Pottawattamie County and is a resident also of Washington Township, Isaac, John, Martha Ellen (died 1882), Alice M, Ira J. and Margaret J. Mr. Taylor is a Democrat in politics. He has served the public as Twp. Trustee and as a member of the School Board. He, Henry and John are associated with Masonic Order Coral Lodge 430 at Carson. He and his wife, Henry and wife, John and Alice are all member of OES. Mr. Taylor is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. As a fireside companion Mr. Taylor is jovial and cordial. He is well informed on all general topics and is a good story teller. He is regarded as one of the popular and worthy citizens of Pottawattamie County.