James H. TAGGART, who has been a prominent factor in agricultural and commercial circles in central Illinois, has resided in Wenona since the spring of 1895 and was formerly connected with the grain trade. He was born in St. Clairsville, Belmont county, Ohio, September 9, 1839, his parents being John and Nancy (ROBERTS) TAGGART, the former also a native of Belmont county, while the latter was born in Canada and was reared in the faith of the Society of Friends or Quakers. The paternal grandfather, James TAGGART, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and the family was established in Ohio at an early day. The ancestors in America came originally from Ireland. The great-grandfather, John TAGGART, was born in the north of Ireland and became the founder of the family in the new world. Rev. William TAGGART was a minister of the United Presbyterian church and for sixty-two years engaged in preaching the gospel. He attended a theological seminary in New York, journeying from St. Clairsville, Ohio, to the Empire state on horseback in order to pursue his studies there. He was a most highly educated man for his day, a deep thinker, logical reasoner, and he lived to be eighty-four years of age. He was one of a family of four brothers, the others being James, Joseph and Isaac TAGGART, all of whom followed the occupation of farming.
In the maternal line Mr. TAGGART of this review is descended from Welch ancestry, tracing the line back to Ezekiel ROBERTS, who was born in Wales and came to this country when a boy. He was a farmer by occupation and for a few years lived in Canada, but afterward settled in Ohio, and his son John came to Henry about 1847.
John TAGGART, father of our subject, was a farmer by occupation and spent his entire life in Belmont county, Ohio, where his wife also lived from the time of the emigration from Canada until her demise. They were the parents of four sons and three daughters, namely: Joseph R., who for forty-five years was a resident of Marshall county, but now lives in Petersburg, Florida; Atwell M., deceased; James H., of this review; Mary A., the wife of Hugh MORRISON, of St. Clairsville, Ohio; Lydia A., the wife of James DARROW, of Bellaire, Ohio ; Wilson S., who resides at Long Beach, California; and Agnes D., who died in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In taking up the personal history of James H. TAGGART we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in this portion of Illinois. He was reared in Belmont county, Ohio, and was educated in the district schools. In January, 1864, accompanied by his wife, he journeyed westward, thinking to enjoy better business opportunities in this portion of the country, and located in Lacon, Illinois, where he conducted a woodyard until the fall of 1868. He then settled on a farm three miles west of Wenona, where he remained for three years, and on the expiration of that period he Removed to Putnam county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming until 1882. He then became a resident of Long Point, Livingston county, Illinois, where he engaged in the grain, lumber and live stock business, continuing therein until 1893. During the two succeeding years he was not connected with any business enterprise, but in the spring of 1895 again engaged in the grain trade, this time at Wenona, where he has since resided. He rebuilt the elevator which is now owned by his son, H. M. TAGGART, and is equipped with all modern conveniences. Mr. TAGGART owns a half section of land two. miles from Wenona and his has been a most active business life, in which his close application and keen discernment have been salient features.
On the 3d of December, 1863, was celebrated the marriage of James H. TAGGART and Miss Josephine L. MURDAUGH, a native of Ohio, by whom he has four children: Luella, the wife of T. C. COLEHOUR, a resident of Toluca, Illinois ; Maud R., the wife of Oscar WHEELER, who resides at Long Point, Illinois; Harry M.; and Fred L. Mr. and Mrs. TAGGART are members of the Presbyterian church and he has been active in the upbuilding of this section of the country, endorsing and co-operating in many measures which have had direct bearing upon the welfare and improvement of this part of the state. Moreover, his business interests have largely been of a character that have contributed to general progress and he belongs to that class of representative American men who, while advancing individual interests, also promote the public prosperity. Wherever known his name is a synonym for business probity and energy and for progressive citizenship.
Extracted 12 June 2011 by Norma Hass from
Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties