MS 428
Taylor Family
Papers, 1867-1885, n.d.

Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

Descriptive summary


Taylor Family




1867-1885, n.d.


0.21 linear ft.  (1 half-document box)

collection number:

MS 428


Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information


Open for research

publication rights:

Consult Head, Special Collections Department

preferred citation:

Taylor Family Papers, MS 428, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.


Biographical note
In the decade following the Civil War, members of Ellen Taylor's family started to travel west, some of them settling in Iowa.  Her brother, Zachariah, moved to Iowa and in 1869 bought 40 acres of land in Warren County.  She also had cousins, William H. and Maria C. McKinney, move to Iowa.  In 1876, William was constable of his township near Liberty Center, Iowa.


Collection description

This collection (1867-1885, n.d.) includes 16 letters written to the Taylor family from friends and family in Iowa and West Virginia.  The majority of these letters are to Ellen (or Ella) Taylor of Masontown, Preston County, West Virginia.  The letters came from: Zachariah Taylor, her brother, who moved to Iowa; Maria C. McKinney, her cousin; William H. McKinney, possibly her cousin, who lived in Liberty Center, Iowa; Mary and Seth Taylor, her cousins, of Masontown, West Virginia; and Mary Graham, a friend.

Zachariah Taylor, Ellen's brother, moved to Iowa in approximately 1869 and initially settled near Monroe in Jasper County.  Zachariah wrote about the trip to Iowa, the farmers he worked for, the food in Iowa, and how he spent his holidays.  In 1869 he bought 40 acres of land in Warren County, Iowa.  Zachariah also wrote to his mother, Delilah Taylor, who lived in Reedsville, Preston County, West Virginia.

Maria C. McKinney, Ellen's cousin, mentioned several interesting events that took place in her new community.  She talked about a church revival that had been going on for months and was taking place nearby.  She described the clothing styles that people wore at the time.  In 1876, Maria and her family were living near Liberty Center, Iowa, which is reported to Ellen in a letter from William H. McKinney who was constable of the township.

Other letters include one from Vance Graham to Tom (Taylor?) telling him about working on a farm outside of Marietta, Ohio.  The letter from Mary E. and Seth Taylor of Masontown, West Virginia, describes illnesses they suffered and other family matters.  Mary Graham wrote to Ellen about her family.



The collection is listed in alphabetical order.


 Container list

Box Folder Title Dates
1 1 Letter (1) from Vance Graham to Tom 1881
1 2 Letters (4) from Maria C. McKinney to Ellen Taylor 1867-1870, n.d.
1 3 Letters (3) from others (Mary and Seth Taylor, Mary Graham, and William H. McKinney) to Ellen Taylor 1881-1885
1 4 Letters (8) from Zachariah Taylor to Ellen and Delilah Taylor 1869-1876, n.d.


Descriptive summary   |  Administrative information  |  Biographical/Historical note
Collection description  |  Organization  |  Description of series/container list

Iowa State University Library, Ames, IA 50011