James Ellsworth TAYLOR, state’s attorney of Putnam county since 1888 and a resident of Hennepin, was born in Ross township, Jefferson county, Ohio, April 28, 1862. The family is of Irish lineage, his great-grandfather having come from Ireland to the new world. The grandfather, John TAYLOR, was born in Pennsylvania, August 8, 1804, and died in Jefferson county, Ohio, February 28, 1891. He married Jane HENDERSON, whose birth occurred in Ohio, May 8, 1818, and her death in 1899. Their son, Richard W. TAYLOR, was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, January 30, 1838, and is now living near Martin's Ferry, in Belmont county, Ohio. He married Harriet J. McCUTCHEON, who was born in Steubenville, Ohio, May 17, 1839, and died in Jefferson county, February 4, 1906. Richard W. TAYLOR is one of eleven children of the grandfather's family who are still living in Jefferson county, Ohio, and those of the household who have passed away were also residents of that county. For many years the grandfather lived upon the farm where his death occurred and Richard W. TAYLOR has always followed the occupation of farming. In his family were eight children but only three are now living: William W., who resides at Martin's Ferry, was engaged in teaching school for twenty-two years but on account of his health has accepted a position as mail-carrier. Robert M. TAYLOR is in the employ of the superintendent of the lighting system of the Panhandle Railroad from Columbus, Ohio, to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
James E. TAYLOR remained upon a farm in Jefferson county, Ohio, to the age of fifteen years, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Belmont county, that state. He attended the public schools until he had attained the age of nineteen, after which he pursued a preparatory teacher's course at Mount Pleasant, Ohio, and was graduated January 14, 1884. He afterward engaged in teaching for a year in Belmont county and in the spring of 1885 he came to Illinois, where for four months he worked on a farm near Mount Palatine, Putnam county. In the fall of that year he accepted the position of teacher at Mount Palatine, where he remained for three years, and when his time was not taken up with the duties of the schoolroom, he studied law under W. H. CASSON, then state's attorney, being admitted to the bar September 18, 1888. In November of the same year lie was elected state's attorney for the county and has continuously filled the position to the present time proof incontrovertible of his ability and fidelity. He has also been a member of the village board and of the school board and has acted as secretary of the latter since December 29, 1894. In April, 1906, he was appointed master in chancery, so that he is now filling the three different positions.
On the 4th of April, 1889, Mr. TAYLOR was married to Miss Josephine HENNING, a native of Putnam county and a daughter of John HENNING, who is living in the village of Hennepin. Mr. and Mrs. TAYLOR have two children: George Harold, fifteen years of age; and James Ellsworth, a youth of four years.
Mr. TAYLOR has always been a stalwart supporter of republican principles. Although not a member he regularly attends the services and is a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has been a member of the Odd Fellows since 1888 and has taken the encampment and military degrees, while in 1899 he was elected grand conductor of the grand lodge of Illinois.
Extracted June 2011 by Norma Hass from
Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties