Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Photo of the Week: An Early Woman Voter

(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Abigail (Woods) Hoge, pictured here with her grandchildren, was honored in the early years of the womens' right to vote with the following news feature.

 Abigail (Woods) Hoge with her grandchildren
[Left-Right]: FRONT - John Hughes Crago, Leah Abigail (Crago) Waddell, Unidentified girl
BACK - Unidentified boy, Ruth Constance (Crago) Ovenshine [seated on arm of chair], Unidentified boy, Unidentified girl
"Oldest Woman Voter in Waynesburg" article, Waynesburg Republican, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 8 November 1928, page 1, column 2.

"Oldest Woman Voter in Waynesburg

Mrs. Abigail Hoge, Aged 93, Casts Her Ballot for Hoover and Curtis.

One of the oldest persons in Waynesburg and Greene county to cast a vote on Tuesday was Mrs. Abigail Woods Hoge, of North Morris street, who was 93 years of age August 9, 1928. Mrs. Hoge has voted at every primary and general election since primary and general election since women were granted the franchise. She is an ardent Republican and has always voted that ticket. When election day comes around she is not one of the “stay-at-homes.” but is eager to go to the polls and cast her ballot.

Mrs. Hoge is a daughter of Samuel and Leah Divers Woods, deceased, and was born in Waynesburg, August 9, 1835. Her mother was a native of Baltimore. She attended Waynesburg College and while she did not graduate she was a member of the class of 1853. Later she was united in marriage with George Hoge, of Center township, and they resided for a number of years near Oak Forest. There were the parents of ten children, five of whom are living. She was left a widow at the age of 52 years.

During her lifetime four wars have been waged. Two of her brothers, James and Samuel Woods, participated in the Civil war and during the World War, at the age of 83 years, she knitted 100 pairs of socks for the soldiers in France. Mrs. Hoge has remarkably good health. Her eyesight and hearing have failed somewhat, but she enjoys visiting with her family and friends. She has been a lifelong member of the Baptist church and attends the services regularly."

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[1] Item # BAKM_AN003_0003, Various Series, Margaret Leah (Waddell) Baker Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (www.GreeneConnections.com).

Monday, April 11, 2016

What's in a Name?

(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

Have you ever wondered how or why an ancestor’s name was selected? Taking the time to research this basic, profile fact – one that we so often fill in and move past – may reveal fascinating details, not about your subject, but about his or her parents. With this new baby in their arms, they chose this particular name. Was there a reason and what might we learn from it?

For example, there is a fair chance that an early US genealogy will have a George Washington so-and-so somewhere in the progeny. Celebrity politicians and military leaders were popular baby names. These moniker selections likely indicate the civic perspective of the household. Politics were hot and lively in the old days too, so knowing which party your ancestor was partial to is a revealing factor that may offer more room for research to grow. Religious leaders, often including preachers and missionaries, may reveal another weighty worldview of your great-something grandparents. Sermons and writings of popular clergy were published and circulated. They may have also toured through the area during their ministry and had a direct personal contact with your family that made an impression. Studying these specific individuals whose names were so-honored could give you relevant insight into the life and times of your ancestors. It’s a unique way to gain some rare understanding of their personal lives.

Keeping it in the family was, of course, very common too. This is something to scrutinize every family group in your tree for, including collateral lines. Depending on your ancestral origins, naming patterns could be key to unraveling the previous generation pedigrees. Surnames built into a child’s first or middle name often reveal mothers’ maiden names or other family alignments. Watch for these clues and drill into them as leads. There may be more to it than just bestowing beloved Uncle Moses’s name on the new infant, the child’s birth may coincide with Moses’s death or a significant event that brought attention to him.

To maximize the learning opportunities of any of these possibilities, search sources for complete and accurate names of all ancestors including siblings. This is why middle initials just are not enough! Knowing the whole name and assuring it is accurately evidenced from solid records is vital to gaining knowledge from the name itself.

This feature topic is especially about local namesakes. Beyond the family circle, our ancestors were deeply bonded to friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and community leaders, whom they loved and respected just as we are so-connected to our peers today. These people too, impacted the name choices granted to newborn babes, and from these folks we also can enrich our family tree stories and understanding.

The story that follows is excerpted from research recently published in A Waynesburg College Family: The Legacy of Alfred Brashear & Margaret Kerr(Bell) Miller and used here with permission.[1] The book obviously focuses on Alfred and Margaret, who were both inspiring teachers, responsible for leading Waynesburg College. They were pivotal players in the school's extraordinarily early offering of coeducation, resulting in equal Bachelor's Degrees for women in the 1850s. There is much to be said about them, but this particular focus is on their lives at a stage when they were quite a young couple, married only two and a half years. He was not yet President of Waynesburg College, but was a recent graduate himself and now a Professor at the small school. Margaret was a teacher in and Principal of the brand new Female Department of Waynesburg College, a revolutionary and hard-fought concept that had just graduated the first three women from the school with male-equivalent Bachelor’s Degrees on 23 September 1857.[2] This program had evolved from the Female Seminary initially established, which while having been a notable advance for women's education of that era in its own right, still denied the girls access to the full curriculum and granted them lesser diplomas. Though Waynesburg College had only been established in 1849, Alfred and Margaret, with dedicated faculty colleagues, determined students, and fresh alumni, were already working hard to accomplish something amazing for education right here in Greene County, Pennsylvania, by endeavoring to offer hotly debated collegiate coeducation. It was in this atmosphere, that Margaret Kerr (Bell) Miller, bore her second child, on 28 October 1857, a daughter whom her parents gave the name Lucy Lazear Miller.

Our Namesake and Her Eponym: Lucy Lazear Miller and Lucy Lazear

LEFT - Lucy Lazear, Waynesburg College Female Seminary, Class of 1853 [3]
RIGHT: Lucy Lazear Miller, circa 1875 [4]
*An eponym, by definition, is a person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named or thought to be named. In this case, our eponym is Lucy Lazear.

**A namesake may be defined in both directions, but most commonly refers to the target person or thing that has been given the name of another. Our namesake is Lucy Lazear Miller.

All of Alfred and Margaret's children were named for people influential in their parents' lives. Family friends, relatives, religious leaders, and scholars are all on the list. Lucy Lazear Miller takes her name directly from the family's Waynesburg College roots.

Lucy Lazear, born 1835, was the daughter of a prominent Waynesburg couple, Jesse and Frances (Burbridge) Lazear. Her father was a founder of Waynesburg College and served as Greene County's United States Congressman during the Civil War.[5] (Jesse Lazear was the subject of a previous Greene Connections blog, click here to see it.) Lucy was one of Margaret's earliest students in the days of the Waynesburg College Female Seminary and the struggle for equality.

Evidence of Margaret's significant influence on her students is recorded in Lucy’s handwritten valedictory address as she spoke for the women of the Class of 1853. This eloquent teenager addressed each segment of her audience. When she came to the Waynesburg College Trustees, she cajoled, "Open the fields of Literature to the female as to the male, then the world more refined and elevated will acknowledge you as the greatest benefactors of your race." Lucy’s urge, of course, was soon to be heeded, because just four years later, a different kind of graduation ceremony would bestow the first equal degrees to Waynesburg College women. For now, Lucy accepted a lesser diploma, still a great opportunity for a female education in her day, whilst making her voice heard. Upon giving a worthy general tribute to the faculty, Lucy, asked a moment more for this specific homage:

One word more, beloved faculty, and we leave you. Bound to you all by sentiments of lasting regard, you must forgive us if our hearts yearn most fondly towards the conductress of the department where our duties have been exclusively confined. Being immediately under her care, more constantly in her presence, this partiality is natural. Greater intimacy necessarily engenders deeper affection, especially when it is the occasion for the display of those engaging qualities which adorned her department during our whole intercourse. That sisterly devotion which labored so ardently for our good — making our interests her own, that affectionate sympathy which joined in all our sorrows, that sweet gentleness which calmed every ruffled feeling of our breasts, forgave every error, and threw a mantle of charity over our weaknesses, all contributed largely to hallow our school-days — a green isle in the ocean of memory. Dear Miss Bell, as teacher and pupils, the bonds of the past are forever dissolved. Not so the tie that endears your name to our affections. This is a personal tie, unchangeable by time or distance, & stronger even than death. But preceptors, counselors, friends, — a last, a sad farewell![6]

It was not only Margaret whom Lucy knew so well. Lucy Lazear was the counterpart to her teacher's future beau. As Lucy led the ladies of the Female Seminary, Class of 1853, so did Alfred lead the Waynesburg College, Class of 1853, men on graduation day.[7] In the classrooms where the men and women combined in these early days of easing in coeducation, these two individuals were classmates and obviously friends.

Lucy (Lazear) Stephenson tombstone
"Lucy J. Stephenson
Wife of Kenner Stephenson Esq.
And Daughter of Jesse and Frances B. Lazear
Died April 6th A. D. 1856
Aged 20 Years and 6 Months
She the beloved has passed away
Her blameless life is over
And grief dost hold its mournful sway
Till in a fairer, happier day
We meet to part no more." [10]
Lucy furthered her education the following year in New England, where she met Kenner Stephenson, whom she wed on New Year's Day, 1856. On the bridal trip, during an open sleigh ride over the frozen Ohio River, Lucy caught a cold and never recovered. She died 6 April 1856, only 20 years old, with so much potential unfulfilled.[8] Margaret's student and Alfred's classmate, the Millers mourned her deeply. On New Year's Day 1857, a year to the date of her wedding, Alfred wrote in his diary:

Went to the Cemetery & visited the grave of Mrs. Lucy Stephenson who was married on last New Years Day - now over her lifeless remains stands a beautiful monument telling the beholder that youth and beauty and amiability were no safety against death.[9]

Later that year, when their second daughter was born, they named her in honor of their friend.

This story introduces us to baby Lucy Lazear Miller in the family chronology, but moreover it lets us into the personal lives, influences, and relationships of her parents. We may feel as if we know them a bit; walked with them just a little; and, captured a fragment of their personal sentiments which few records reveal.

Who are your eponym / namesake pairs and what stories might they tell?!

GreeneConnections.com is a free local history archival project. Sponsored by LOLA Energy.

[1] Candice L. Buchanan, A Waynesburg College Family: The Legacy of Alfred Brashear & Margaret Kerr (Bell) Miller (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015), 12-14, 38-39.

[2] Margaret Leonice Needham, Laura Weethee and Lydia Weethee were the first three women to receive male-equivalent Bachelor's Degrees from Waynesburg College, graduating 23 September 1857, as identified in: Waynesburg College, Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Waynesburg College for the AcademicYear Ending September 1857, 6, 17. At least one school, the renowned Oberlin College in Ohio, is proven to have graduated women with male-equivalent Bachelor's Degrees prior to 1857, Oberlin having graduated its first degreed females in 1841. In Pennsylvania, Westminster College of New Wilmington, appears to be the only school prior to Waynesburg College to graduate women equally; their first class having graduated in July 1857 just a couple of months before Waynesburg did the same in September 1857. As an additional point, though Westminster held commencement ceremonies earlier, thus giving them the credit as the first to give the degrees, Waynesburg's program of equal coeducation predates Westminster and was the first in Pennsylvania to initiate the opportunity. Excepting Oberlin and Westminster, numerous schools in the nation graduated females prior to 1857, Waynesburg included, but diplomas or degrees of a lesser value were awarded; they were not male-equivalent Bachelor's Degrees. In a letter from Dr. Paul R. Stewart (Waynesburg, PA), President of Waynesburg College 1921-1963, to Mrs. C. Tubbs, 11 January 1929; held in 2003 by Bonnie (Watts) Cook, great-granddaughter of Margaret Leonice (Needham) Still, Stewart says, "it has developed that [Margaret] was the first woman to graduate from this institution from the same course as the men and with the same degree. This is all the more important since this college was the second college in the world to grant degrees to women on the same basis as men." For additional information on early Waynesburg College female graduates see: Candice Buchanan, "The Early Coeducational Institution as Matchmaker: A Study of Romantic Attachments at Waynesburg College 1850-1875," Western Pennsylvania History, volume 91 (Fall 2008): 46-57 and Dusenberry, Waynesburg College Story, 1849-1974, 41-42, 419n. For additional information on early Oberlin College female graduates see: Robert S. Fletcher and Ernest H. Wilkins, "The Beginning of College Education for Women and of Coeducation on the College Level," Bulletin of Oberlin College, New Series 343 (20 March 1937).

[3] Photograph of Lucy (Lazear) Stephenson, Waynesburg College, Class of 1853; reproduction, no photographer listed; item # WAYN_AN001_1853_0005, Graduate-Alumni Series, Waynesburg University Paul R. Stewart Museum Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (www.GreeneConnections.com).

[4] Tintype photograph believed to be of Lucy Lazear (Miller) Beach, circa 1875, based on handwritten inscription on back of photograph which reads, "Lucy Miller / Waynesburgh, Penna."; original, no photographer listed; item # MERR-AN004-0001-0110, Miller-Simpson Album Series, Robert Silas & Eva Mae (Christie) Merrick Collection Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (www.GreeneConnections.com). The Miller-Simpson Album Series photographs are in a cabinet card size photograph album originally owned by Lida C. (Miller) Simpson - wife of Dr. Theodore Parker Simpson, daughter of Alfred Brashear Miller & Margaret Kerr Bell. Lida was a graduate of Waynesburg College, Class of 1876; the album includes many of her classmates, as well as family and friends. The album was passed from Lida C. (Miller) Simpson and her husband, Dr. Theodore Parker Simpson, to their daughter Kate McBeth (Simpson) Merrick and her husband, Silas Clarence Merrick, to their only son, Robert Silas Merrick, and his wife, Eva Mae (Christie) Merrick, to their grandson, Peter Merrick.

[5] Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 - Present (bioguide.congress.gov : viewed 27 February 2004), Jesse Lazear bio.

[6] Lucy Lazear, "Valedictory Address," handwritten document, Waynesburg College Female Seminary, Class of 1853; archived at the Waynesburg University Paul R. Stewart Museum (Miller Hall, 51 W. College St.; Waynesburg, Pennsylvania 15370). Lucy (Lazear) Stephenson was the valedictorian of the women graduating from the Waynesburg College Female Seminary. A transcript of the original ten handwritten pages was created by Waynesburg University's History 295 class led by Dr. Elesha Coffman, 30 January 2009. Students participating, in order of pages, were: Marisa Hodge, Breanne Tomi, Ricky Keys, Amber Churney, Sara Schieb, Chelsey Clark, David Burch, Seth Farley, Tyler Emmerson, and Laura Garcia. Transcript and digital scans of original document sent via Elesha Coffman, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, to Candice Buchanan, email, 17 April 2009, "Valedictory address," Waynesburg College Alumni; privately held by Buchanan, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2014.

[7] Waynesburg College, Annual Catalogue of Waynesburg College and Female Seminary for the Academic Year Ending September, 1853, photocopy reproduction only; cover and title page missing (N.p.: n.p., 1853), list of "Male Students For The Year Ending September, 1853," Senior Class. Archived at the Waynesburg University Museum (Miller Hall, 51 W. College St.; Waynesburg, Pennsylvania 15370).

[8] Waynesburg University (Waynesburg, Pennsylvania), matriculation cards, Lucy Ann (Lazear) Stephenson, Class of 1853. Dr. Paul Rich "Prexy" Stewart, President of Waynesburg College 1921-1963, as part of his effort to preserve the college’s history, created the Matriculation Cards prior to 1934 - the date stamped on the earliest cards. Cards were completed by graduates or by family members of graduates who had already passed away. The information included is very detailed for most students providing valuable genealogical information as well as insight into the life of each graduate. Lucy’s card includes a handwritten account of her education, marriage, and last illness. The source of the information is not named; however, a likely candidate is Lucy's brother James B. Lazear who lived to 1931, age 92, and donated school memorabilia to Waynesburg College during Stewart's presidency.

[9] Alfred Brashear Miller, "Diary," (manuscript, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 1856-1866), 1 January 1857 entry; archived at Waynesburg University, Office of the President (Miller Hall, 51 W. College St.; Waynesburg, Pennsylvania 15370), 2014. Obtained via auction, 2013.

[10] Green Mount Cemetery (Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania), Lucy J. Stephenson tombstone, section B, lot 10; personally read and photographed by Candice Buchanan, 10 January 2003.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Photo of the Week: Zach Taylor, Hanged for Murder, 9 April 1890

Zach. Taylor - Hanged 9 April 1890 (1)
(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Zacharias Taylor was hanged 9 April 1890 at the Greene County Courthouse in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, for the murder of William McCausland. Zach was the second man hanged for murder in the county's history. The first was his brother-in-law and accomplice, George W. Clark, who was hanged for the same murder, earlier in the year, on 26 February 1890. As the first man to face this fate, George often is the focus of reflections on this terrible event in our local history. Accordingly, this ongoing research is taking a closer look at Zach.

Right now, court records and extensive newspaper coverage, including interviews with Zach and letters he wrote from jail, are being transcribed and posted to the Greene Connections Family Tree profiles for Zach and his immediate family. It is vital that anyone who chooses to embark upon family history research, remembers that genealogy requires an open mind. Ancestors were only human. We never know what we will discover. These articles reveal some of the upsides to finding controversy in the ancestral branches. Among the specifics of the crime and its repercussions, are also biographical details of Zach's family members, including his parents, stepmother, siblings, wife, and children. Additionally, the drilled-in focus on Zach's own life allows us to learn much more about him than we would ever find for most of our ancestors from the same era. Due to the fact that Zach's wife was George W. Clark's sister, research opportunities between the families doubles due to the intense media regarding each man.

Zach's photo itself is a result of his crime and sentence to hang. Both he and George Clark sat for these studio photos during their jail time in Waynesburg. Their names were actually printed on the cabinet card photographs identifying them clearly - very unlike most of the nineteenth century images handed down to us. This original, professional photograph was taken by Rogers, Photo, Waynesburg, Pa. The picture was donated to the Greene County Courthouse by Larkin and Mary Jane Grimes Dellinger, 22 April 2005. It has been displayed and maintained by Thomas Headlee, retired Register and Recorder, who provided the opportunity to scan the photograph for the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project.

Whether or not your ancestor was directly involved as victim or defendant in such an event, you may still discover that your family members played other roles. In the news articles transcribed so far for Zach's profile, numerous people are identified as lawyers, jurors, witnesses, sheriff + deputies, and so on. Some of these individuals are even included with pictures and biographical sketches throughout the news coverage.

To learn more about Zach, his family, the murder he was hanged for, and others who became involved in the proceedings, here are a couple quick references:

  1. Visit his Greene Connections Family Tree Profile. Viewing the tree is FREE. If you are not an Ancestry member, just email greeneconnections@yahoo.com to request an invite to the tree. No subscription is required. (Please note that the tree is under construction. Thousands of records, photos, and profiles are gradually being added as volunteer time permits).
  2. An excellent summation of the trials and executions is presented in Dr. G. Wayne Smith's History of Greene County,Pennsylvania, volume 1, pages 57-65. These books are available at the Cornerstone Genealogical Society and area libraries.

Below is one example of the articles being studied. The text demonstrates how valuable this information is for both understanding our community history and gleaning genealogical facts. As in all research, no one source should ever stand alone. As this article is compared and contrasted with the other sources being collected, a comprehensive tree is coming together for Zacharias Taylor that benefits his extended family. Simultaneously, of course, we gain an understanding of the events surrounding the murder of William McCausland and the impact on our community.

"To The Scaffold" article, Waynesburg Republican, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 10 April 1890. Newspaper microfilm available at the Cornerstone Genealogical Society, Waynesburg, Pa. Transcription by Candice Buchanan.

"To The Scaffold.

Taylor Meets His Fate Calmly and With Perfect Resignation.

He Firmly Asserts His Innocence, And Forgives Those Whom He Declares Have Rendered Him Injustice. The McCausland Crime Expiated.

At 11:11 the drop fell and Zach. Taylor was launched into eternity.

Precisely at 11:01 a.m. Taylor accompanied by Rev. Maxwell, Sheriff Goodwin, Dr. Ullom, Deputy Randolph Goodwin and Ed. Goodwin and watchman James Allison came from the jail and slowly took their places upon the scaffold. Taylor's arms were pinioned. A short prayer was offered by Rev. Maxwell, after which Taylor repeated the Lord's prayer. Sheriff Goodwin then asked Taylor if he had anything to say and he spoke 1 minute as follows:


'I am an innocent man of the murder of which I am charged. I never saw the man in my life, never knew there was such a man until after he was murdered. God knows this. I want all of you men to take note of this.' After the prayer he pinioned himself. Before the noose was adjusted he said 'Farewell. I want you all to meet me in heaven.' He then kissed and bade all on the scaffold good bye. 'I don't hold ill will against anyone. If I was guilty I couldn't stand here as I am.' He did not make a perceptible struggle after he fell. Dr. Ullom held his pulse and noted his heart beats and pronounced him dead at 11:22.

Taylor's Last Night.

Tuesday evening Taylor was visited by his attorneys who remained until 8:30. After that he spent the time conversing with Rev. Maxwell and his watchmen. Taylor's little boy arrived yesterday and spent the night with his father. The boy became tired and was placed on the cot in the cell. When the boy fell asleep Zach. went into his cell and throwing himself over the boy prayed that the Lord might protect his family. He did not retire until 3 a.m. and slept soundly until 6. He then arose and ate a hearty breakfast consisting of a slice of bread, two eggs, piece of cake, piece of pie and a cup of coffee. He felt well and said: 'I am ready to meet my God.'

James Allison and Ed. Goodwin were the [paper is folded or torn here and cannot be read] Lewis Anderson and Ed. Adamson assumed the watch till morning.

Monday evening Taylor spent talking, laughing and reading. He retired at midnight saying to the guards that 'he had two letters to write tomorrow.' To Allison he said: Good night, Jim.' He soon fell asleep and slept soundly, merely moving his arm, a half hour later. Slight noises did not waken him. At 4 o'clock he wakened and ate some crackers and drank some water. He then fell asleep and slept soundly until 7, when he arose, washed, and ate a hearty breakfast. He wanted the guards Messrs. James Allison and Lewis Anderson, to stay near him. A cot was brought inside of the inclosure and placed near the door of Taylor's cell which was left open. On this, one of the guards slept while the other kept watch, alternately. Taylor was in good spirits Tuesday and would converse readily with visitors who stood at the door. He was still proud of the nerve he was exhibiting and would hold up his arm and say: 'Does that tremble?'

Taylor stood at the window and watched the workmen making ready for his execution, on Tuesday, remarking later, that, 'It did not affect him a particle, no more than to see workmen building a house.' Tuesday night he showed his suit which he was to wear when executed to his attorney, Capt. Donley, and spoke about the adjusting of the rope, with perfect coolness and indifference.

Undisturbed To The Last.

Taylor's Impending Doom Is Passed Lightly By, As A Trivial Thing.

Heedless of his fate was Zach. Taylor to the end. He spent his last days and hours chatting and eating and sleeping just as he would have done in ordinary, everyday life. To those who visited the jail during the past week he talked freely of little incidents that had transpired while he was a free man. It had been generally said that, after George Clark's execution, Taylor would weaken. This came to the ears of the prisoner and he seemed to take a cool pride in living down the prediction. To those who were familiar with him he would sometimes ask the question: 'How do the people think I am bearing up?' When told that it was the general opinion that he was bearing up well, his countenance wore an expression of grim satisfaction. He would then say: 'I think I am bearing up better than George Clark did.'

On Friday morning the writer visited the jail and as Warden Anderson opened the door Taylor and his wife were making a circuit of the room together. They approached with a steady gait, Taylor in advance of his wife and as he shook hands he was asked how he was enjoying himself: 'Oh, very well,' said he, 'some people are afraid to die, but I am not. Everybody has to die and I think there is no need of worrying one's self about it. Some people think it takes nerve to die, but it doesn't. There will be another innocent man murdered here, as they did murder one innocent man, George Clark. I know that.'

The Final Parting.

Elizabeth Ann (Clark) Taylor
* wife of Zacharias Taylor
* sister of George W. Clark.
Her photo comes from Waynesburg Democrat coverage
of the hanging on 11 April 1890. [2]
On Monday morning Taylor's wife who had remained with her husband nearly three weeks, bade him a final farewell and took her sorrowful departure home, there to make ready for the reception of her husband who was to return again - not living but dead. She was deeply affected at the parting. John Taylor, Zach's brother had arrived with a team from Masontown on Sabbath and he took Mrs. Taylor away. The condemned man seemed much less affected than his wife when her final leave was taken, and instead of this leaving him very much broken spirited, as some predicted, his manner throughout Monday was the same as it had been before.

Rev. Jas. A. Maxwell, arrived from Chester, Pa., on Saturday evening. He came by the prisoner's request. He spent much time with Taylor after his arrival and talked with him upon spiritual matters. Monday he prayed and talked with the prisoner most of the day. He presented the way toward spiritual grace in a very plain, yet tender manner, showing to the condemned man that if he were guilty, redemption could only be had by a confession of his sin to God and man; while if innocent, he had simply to ask the grace of God and put his trust in the Savior.

Expressed Readiness To Die.

The prisoner manifested a willingness to meet his God, and stated that he was prepared to go. A bible and a volume of Moody's Talks and Sermons lay upon a table near his cell. Taylor had five years ago become a member of the old Dunkard church, at Masontown. We visited Taylor Monday evening and he completed [paper is folded or torn here and cannot be read] this issue, an interruption having been made, by visitors, while it was being taken down, first. We found him sitting with Rev. Maxwell at the table, the latter being engaged in writing some farewell words which the prisoner desired to be read at his funeral. During the evening, Taylor talked pleasantly and with apparent unconcern, occasionally puffing at a cigar which he held in his hand. He spoke freely of his execution and gave directions as to certain details in conducting his funeral. His wife has moved from the house which they formerly occupied and he regretted that he could not tell Rev. Maxwell the location of her present home, from which his funeral is to take place. He desired certain ones to attend his execution and said they could leave if they desired before the drop fell.

Zachiras Taylor [sic] and Elizabeth Ann Taylor tombstone
Masontown Cemetery
Masontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania [3]
The body will be conveyed to Masontown on Wednesday. Jasper Rice and John Taylor arrived Tuesday to take care of and convey the remains away. The construction of the board partitions and floor for additional standing room was commenced Tuesday, but the scaffold was not erected until Wednesday morning. Taylor's health and appetite remained good up to the day of the execution, and he slept well.

Zach Taylor

An Interesting Sketch - His Complete Family History.

Zach. Taylor - he always put it on paper Zacharias Taylor, who with his accomplice George Clark paid the penalty of the law, for the murder of William McCausland, was 38 years of age last August. He was of spare build, thin face and rather small head. His eyes were restless, but when talking to anyone in a friendly way they would brighten up and he seemed to forget his surroundings. His father, James Taylor, was born in England, and served three years in the British army, and at the expiration of his term of enlistment he re-enlisted for another three years, but deserted afterward and shipped on a sailing vessel. He followed the ocean life for some time, but landed in America and lived in Western Maryland. He served in the late war. He was thrice married, being last wedded to a widow named Helmick, who survives him and resides with her son, Mr. Helmick, near Masontown. She is the stepmother of the man who died on the scaffold, and it is said she has been deeply grieved over his sad end, and wrote Zach a very affectionate and sympathetic letter. By the second marriage there were eleven children born. Zach was the third child. When he was nine years old his father removed to near Masontown, Fayette county, Pa., where he died about 20 years since. Zach's mother died five years before.

Zach was married Jan. 10, 1875, to Elizabeth Clark, daughter of Zaddock Clark. 'My wedding was to have taken place on Thursday, January ninth,' said he a few evenings ago, 'but it was put off until Friday, the tenth.' That made us think of the superstitious saying, 'That bad luck attends the performing of any important act on Friday' - then it is said, that 'to postpone one's wedding day is unlucky.' His wedding was put off because the minister couldn't come on the day appointed. They were married at Jacob Harbaugh's near Areford's store, in Cumberland township, and Taylor said that Sylvanus Areford was present. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John McClintock. Mrs. Taylor is 38 years of age.

Six children have been born of that marriage. Two are dead. Of those living the eldest is a daughter, Annie Jane. She is fourteen years of age. Ah! how a father's pride is shown for his daughter. 'She is as nice a girl as walks, if I do say it myself,' said her father on Monday eve. The second child is a boy, William aged ten. The third child is a boy, Minor Edgar, and is eight years old. Rosa Belle will be four in May. The children have all visited their father during his confinement in jail.

Taylor had never traveled much. He said he had 'hardly been out of the smoke of Masontown.' He had lived in and near Masontown since his marriage. Before his marriage he was a deck hand on a steamer that plied the Monongahela. He first worked on the Elisha Bennett, which went to wreck several years ago. He also followed river life, for some time after his marriage. He was employed on the Geneva, the John Snowdon, the Adam Jacobs and the Blaine. He came off the Geneva in '85 and lay with fever nearly all summer. On recovering, he tried the river again, but was compelled to give up that kind of work. After that he engaged in 'selling liquor on the sly' as a source of livelihood. He remarked: 'I didn't sell it for nothing. I would get from fifty to seventy-five cents for a pint and paid $2 a gallon. With what water I added to it, I would have some profit.'

He has two brothers and one sister living, John Taylor resides at Masontown while Jesse, the youngest of the family lives near Smithfield, Somerset county, Pa. A sister lives in Maryland, while a half-brother George Taylor lives near Masontown."

[Transcriber's Note: This article is followed in the same newspaper issue by an article titled, "Taylor Talks," in which Zach provides his account of the day the awful crime occurred. Because they are too lengthy to list in full here, this and additional items found on further dates and in other newspapers are being posted to Zach's profile in the Greene Connections Tree.]

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[1] Item # GCCH-AN001-0001, Local History Series, Greene County Courthouse Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (www.GreeneConnections.com).

Photograph of Elizabeth Ann (Clark) (Taylor) Campbell [1857-1900] - wife of (1) Zacharias Taylor and (2) John Campbell, daughter of Zaddock Clark. The picture was included with "Hanging of Taylor!" article, Waynesburg Democrat, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 11 April 1890, page 1, columns 2-9. Item # PUBL-AN004-0002, Miscellaneous Newspaper Items Series, Publications Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (www.GreeneConnections.com).

[3] Masontown Cemetery (Masontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania), Zachiras Taylor and Elizabeth Ann Taylor tombstone; personally read by Candice Buchanan, 8 August 2009. "TAYLOR // Father / Zachiras / 1854 - 1890 // Mother / Elizabeth Ann / 1857 - 1900."