Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Horace Dickinson Taylor Family Collection: MSS.0053

Descriptive Summary

Creator Taylor family
Title: Horace Dickinson Taylor Family Collection
Dates: 1848-1898
Identification: MSS.0053
Quantity: 1.0 Linear feet, 1 box
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Historical Note

"At the age of 17 Horace Dickinson Taylor left his native Massachusetts with his brother, Edward, after the sudden death of their parents. They settled in Independence, Texas, in 1838, and in 1848 the Taylor brothers moved to Houston where they established a cotton business. Horace became sole owner of the business in 1850 and soon thereafter bought a warehouse near a steamboat landing on Buffalo Bayou. From this strategic location he could roll cotton down to boats waiting below and within a short time developed a thriving cotton brokerage enterprise. Horace married Emily Baker in 1852. They reared three sons and two daughters here on their 3.5 acre wooded homesite. Taylor became one of the city's influential citizens, serving as alderman in 1861-1862, mayor in 1866, and as an elder of the First Presbyterian Church. Buffalo Bayou, neglected during the Civil War, was dredged during Taylor's term as mayor, effectively re-establishing commerce to the Gulf. The bayou soon became the lifeline of Houston businesses, allowing the city to successfully compete with Galveston for trade. Taylor, who was one of the founders of the Board of Trade and Cotton Exchange in 1874, continued in the cotton business until his death in 1890."

Source: Nienke, William, Sam Morrow. "Texas Historical Marker - Horace Dickinson Taylor." Texas Historical Markers, accessed on September 16, 2013. http://www.9key.com/markers/marker_detail.asp?atlas_number=5201010787#

Scope and Contents

The Taylor family collection consists of correspondence to and from Horace Dickinson Taylor and his family between 1848 and 1898. The letters concern daily life in the nineteenth century. There is, however, a noticeable gap in the correspondence during the Civil War period. A brief history, written in 1965 by a descendant, is also included.



The collection is arranged chronologically according to outgoing correspondence.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Horace Dickinson Taylor Family Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Hyde, Julia Taylor
Moore, Cora Taylor
Robertson, Lily Taylor
Taylor, Alfred
Taylor, Ellen
Taylor, Martha
Cotton industry, Texas
Cotton trade--Texas--Houston
Family histories--Texas

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Horace Dickinson Taylor Family Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mrs. David Red.

Processing Information

Processed by Laura Speck, February 6, 1979.

Detailed Description of the Collection



Box Folder
1 1 Horace Dickinson Taylor: Outgoing Correspondence
2 Alfred Taylor: Outgoing Correspondence
3 Ellen Taylor: Outgoing Correspondence
4 Cora Taylor Moore: Outgoing Correspondence
5 Martha Taylor: Outgoing Correspondence
6 Alfred Taylor: Outgoing Correspondence
7 Julia Taylor Hyde: Outgoing Correspondence
8 Lily Taylor Robinson: Outgoing Correspondence
9 Miscellaneous Correspondence: James H. Taylor, Julia Whilden McIver
10 Miscellaneous Correspondence: H.D. Taylor, Mary Ann Moseley Taylor, Henry Wyllys Taylor
General note
Originals are missing.
11 Correspondence: Date and correspondent unknown



Box Folder
1 12 Miscellaneous Documents: Bill of Cost, Constables Sale, Contract, Bills of Receipt
13 Miscellaneous: Index, Family History, Clippings