Donna 100 Years ago – Feeley Theatre, Hazleton, PA.

20 April 1922

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna 100 years ago” reviews my grandmother’s vaudeville life. Madonna Montran, aka “Donna Montran” & “Donna Darling,” had an exciting career during the 1920s. A definite headliner, she crisscrossed the country with her many shows.

Since my previous review, Donna at the Harris Theater, Pittsburgh, PA, in March, Donna had the following venues:

    • March 12-16, 1922 – Canton, Ohio – Lyceum Theatre
    • March 14, 1922 – Massillon, Ohio[i]
    • March 27-??, 1922 – Pittsburgh, PA – Sheridan Square Theatre
    • April 3-5, 1922 – York, PA – York Opera House
    • April 6-8, 1922 – Harrisburg, PA – Majestic Theatre
    • April 13-15, 1922 – Middletown, New York – Stratton Theatre
    • April 17-19, 1922 – Lancaster, PA – Colonial Theatre

Finally, she arrived in Hazelton, PA, to play for three days at the Feeley Theater from April 20th to the 22nd.

Preshow Advertising

Advertising for the show began on April 15th with a short paragraph on page seven in the Plain Speaker, “Big Bills at Feeley Theatre.”

The Plain Speaker, Sat., Apr 15, 1922.

Donna Darling, the favorite musical comedy star in a song and dance cocktail entitles “As You Like It” will be the feature vaudeville offering with the picture the last half of the week. Miss Darling is assisted by Murray Walker and Jack Finney, and this trio presents on the highest class variety acts in vaudeville today. They have a gorgeous stage setting in three scenes all of gold drapes and with wonderful lighting effects present a magnificent spectacle.

The Standard Sentinel ran the same article on the 17th.

Donna’s Scrapbook included a clipping showing the advertising copy from the show (Trimmed by Donna).

Feeley Theatre Ad – From the Donna Darling Collection

On the bill with her were:

  • Walter Kaufman – “The Black Cloud”
  • Chapman and Ring in “A Breeze From Musical Comedy.”
  • Grant and Wallace – Those Two Fall Guys
  • Two Movies
    • “The Silent Call” movie starring Strongheart (the dog), “The Most Amazing Animal Ever Seen on Any Screen.”
    • Buster Keaton in “The Playhouse”

But, the real gem from this show’s articles is a photo of Donna, the “Famous Musical Comedy Star Now Playing at the Feeley.

Beautiful Miss Donna Darling, who appeared here two seasons ago in “Chin Chin,” is presenting an elaborate Song and Dance spectacle at the Feeley in the Current Bill.

One hundred years ago, Donna played in the vaudeville act “As You Like It” at the Feeley Theatre in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

Donna’s whereabouts are unknown for the next couple of weeks, but she appears at the Palace Theatre in Port Richmond (Staten Island), New York, on May 5th.

The Feeley Theater, Hazleton, PA[ii]

The Feeley Theatre opened in November 1916 and closed in 1976 for good. It was demolished in 1980.[iii] Today, the theatre location is a parking lot.

Specifications for the Feeley Theatre[iv]

Feeley Theatre, Hazelton, PA – Photo courtesy “Granola” via Cinema Treasures

Proscenium opening: 35×25 ft
Front to back wall: 35 ft
Between side walls: 65 ft
Apron 3 ft
Between fly girders: 40 ft
To rigging loft: 60 ft
To fly gallery: 20 ft
9 Dressing rooms


Endnotes

[i] Date and location provided by Russell Kees and not confirmed.
[ii] Hazleton is about 100 miles north-northwest of Philadelphia.
[iii] Source: Internet-Cinema Treasures, Feeley Theatre – Overview –  http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/12631
[iv] The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill theatrical and moving Guide, V. 20, 1921, page 306.

 

Donna 100 Years ago – Harris Theater, Pittsburgh, PA.

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna 100 years ago” reviews my grandmother’s vaudeville life. Madonna Montran, aka Donna Montran & Donna Darling, had an exciting career during the 1920s. A definite headliner, she crisscrossed the country with her many shows.

Since Donna’s show at the Chestnut Street Opera House in Sunbury, PA, she zig-zagged through three states. Her first stop was the Strand Theatre in Shamokin, PA, then the Place Theatre in Olean, NY. I don’t know where she played from February 16th to 18th. But then on to Wheeling, WV, and on again to New Castle, PA, and finally the Harris Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to play three days, February 27th to March 1st at the Harris Theater.

 On Sunday, February 26th, 1922, the Pittsburgh Press reported the following:

HARRIS—Vaudeville

At the Harris theater this week the nine acts of popular priced vaudeville will be headed by “Donna Darling and Boys.” This offering is a revue in which Miss Darling will repeat portions of her many musical comedy successes. Another laugh act will be that ofRose and Ashton in an offering called “The Holdup.” Mark Twain’s two famous characters, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, will be portrayed by two young men in a singing and comedy offering, who are playing a repeat engagement at the earnest solicitations of numerous patrons. The Jameson Trio are funmakers of the new school type. A surprise act will be that of The Little Big Girl, making an initial appearance in Pittsburgh. Lew Hoffman is known as “The Mad Hatter.”

Along with the “article” was modest advertising for the show.

On Tuesday, February 28th, 1922, the Pittsburgh Press ran a follow-up article.

HARRIS—Vaudeville

Vaudeville at the Harris theater yesterday afternoon was headed by Miss Donna Darling and her dancing boys in an interesting offering of song and dance. The laugh hit of the bill was scored by Ross and Ashton in “The Surveyor.” Another comedy success was that of, The Big Little Girl.” Mark Twain’s famous characters Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were portrayed by two young men in a most wholesome manner. The Jameson Trio, Polli Dassi I Co., in a comedy act. Lew Hoffman, The juggling pestor, Levine and Walters sensational gymnastics and a comedy screen feature “Table Steaks” completed the bill.

One hundred years ago, Donna finished up the month of February at the Harris Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

About the Harris Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

I immediately thought Harris Theater, Pittsburgh Press Paper, the theater must be in Pittsburgh.

    1. Harris Northside Theatre opened as the William Penn Theater in 1914. It reopened as the Harris Northside Theater in 1943.[i]
    2. Harris Theatre opened in 1931, was renamed the Art Cinema in 1935, and reopened as the Harris Theatre in 1995.[ii]

Neither of them appeared to be correct, so I expanded my search. There were 25 Harris Theaters in the United States; 15 in Pennsylvania. Besides the two identified above, there were the following:

    1. Beechview (Harris) Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA – Opened in 1930.
    2. Family Theatre, Pittsburgh, opened in 1908 as the Liberty Theatre, renamed Harris-Family Theatre in 1932.
    3. Gateway Theatre, Pittsburgh, opened in 1891 and was renamed the J. P. Harris Theatre in 1942.
    4. Harris Memorial Theater, McKeesport – Opened in 1929.
    5. Harris Musee Theatre, McKeesport, PA – Exclusively films after 1905.
    6. Harris Theatre, Donora, PA – Opened as the Grand Theatre in 1911 and renamed the Harris Theatre in 1930.
    7. Harris Theatre, Dormont, PA – Opened in 1927.
    8. Harris Theatre, McKeesport, PA – Opened in 1908 and renamed Harris Theatre in 1920. – McKeesport is about 16 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and is possibly the correct theatre.
    9. Harris Theatre, Pittsburgh, opened in 1911 renamed Casino Burlesk Theatre in 1936. Possible, but appears to have switched to burlesque.
    10. Harris-Denis Theatre, Mount Lebanon, PA – Opened in 1938.
    11. Harris-Dubois Theatre, DuBois, PA – Opened in 1937.
    12. Harris-Perry Theatre opened in 1938.
    13. Nixon Theater, Pittsburgh, opened in 1913 as the Victoria Theatre, became the Sam Shubert Theater about 1920, and became the Harris Senator Theatre sometime in the 1940s.

Finally, several comments indicate that the Mount Oliver Theatre was once known as the Harris Theatre because of the owner.

The 1921 Julius Cahn—Gus Hill Theatrical Guide and Moving Picture Directory lists the Harris Theatre, managed by C. H. Preston, in Pittsburgh, but there is no information about the theatre. Finally, several of the Julius Cahn guides indicate there was a Harris Theatre in Pittsburgh, but either no info is given about the theatre, or there is mention that the theatre failed to respond to queries regarding their statistics or specifications.

So, I’m not confident regarding which Harris Theatre Donna played at 100 years ago today.


Endnotes

[i] Internet: Cinema Treasures – Harris Northside Theatre – http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/64368

[ii] Internet: Cinema Treasures – Harris Theatre – http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/5481

Donna 100 Years ago – 6 Feb 1922

The Chestnut Street Opera House, Sunbury, PA

100 years ago
Donna Montran
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna 100 years ago” is my reporting items relating to my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and Donna Darling). Hers was the exciting world of 1920s vaudeville. She crisscrossed the country with her many shows.

This week, I rely upon a previous Darling Darling Collection posting from 2018 (Part 25). In it, I learned that Donna played at the Chestnut Street Opera House in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, for three days, February 6th, 7th, & 8th, 1922.

 “Donna Darling & Boys” played at the Strand Theater in Ithaca, NY, the week before, had Sunday off and then traveled the 140 miles south to Sunbury, PA. Travel to Sunbury was probably difficult. There were no direct trains between the two cities. Only the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad[i] and Pennsylvania Railroad[ii] (later part of Penn Central) serviced Sunbury, and neither went to Ithaca in the 1920s. She, and the troupe, probably changed trains at Pittston or Wilkes Berre.

Sunbury was growing in the 1920s. Settled in 1772 and made a borough in 1797, Sunbury was incorporated as a city in 1920. Its population had grown from 14,000 in 1910 to nearly 16,000 in 1920.[iii] Since then, its population has slowly declined to just over 9,000 today (2019 est.).

The Chestnut Street Opera House was a small theatre with a seating capacity of only 971.[iv] There were two newspapers in Sunbury at the time, “The Sunbury” and the “Sunbury Daily Item.” Newspapers.com has a limited number of the “Sunbury Daily Item,” however, it is missing papers from 4 February until 18 February 1922. Likewise, Chronicling America, Genealogy Bank, Newspaper Archives, and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Archive have no newspapers from February 1922.

So, if it weren’t for Donna’s Scrapbook collection, I wouldn’t know she was ever in Sunbury.

After three days in Sunbury, the cast and props headed the 19 miles along the Pennsylvania Railroad to Shamokin, PA, and the Strand Theater, for another three-night show (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).

One hundred years ago, February 6th through 8th, 1922, my grandmother was the headliner in her vaudeville act, “Miss Donna Darling.” She played at the Chestnut Street Opera House in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.


Endnotes

[i] The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad went into bankruptcy in the 1970s and its operations merged into Conrail in 1976. (Source: Wikipedia-Reading Company)

[ii] Later Part of the Penn Central Railroad. (Source: Wikipedia-Pennsylvania Railroad)

[iii] US Census Records for 1910 & 1920.

[iv] The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide … v.18 1919

Ancestor Sketch – Marie Louise Polk

Bradley-Hingston Project
Bradley-Taylor-Polk Line
By Don Taylor

Overview

Marie Louise Polk was born in Jan 1864 in Arkansas to John Widener Polk and Anna Eliza Kean. She had four siblings[i], Anna, Magdalen, John, and Mary. On 17 January 1887, when she was 23, she married William S Taylor, the son of Jacob H Taylor and Rebecca L Pittman, in a ceremony by J. J. Kennedy at St. Joseph Church in Jackson, Missouri. She died on 18 July 1903 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at 39 years of age.

Bradley-Hingston Project – Ancestor #BH-11

Grandparents

    • Grandmother: Magdalen Polk Taylor(1890-1970)
    • 1st Great-grandmother: Marie Louisa Polk (1864-1903)
    • 2nd Great-grandfather: John Widener Polk (1820-1902) [ii]
    • 3rd Great-grandfather: Robert Tyler Polk (____-____)

Life Events

Different records record Marie with several first names, Maria, Marie, and Mary. Also, some records indicate her middle name as Louisa and some Louise. I have selected Marie Louise as preferred.

Birth

Marie Louise Polk was born in January 1864 in Arkansas. That is shortly after the fall of Little Rock to the Union and before establishing a new Union government. Marie’s father was called “Colonel” in several documents. Also, her siblings were born in several states, suggesting regular moving as might be expected of a military officer. I’ll know more when I research Col. John Widener Polk in further detail.

Children of  and John Widener and Anna Eliza (Kean) Polk

Name Born Where born
Magdalen Tasker c. 1859 Maryland
Anna c. 1861 Missouri
Marie Louise Jan 1864 Arkansas
John c. 1866 Tennessee
Mary c. 1868 Missouri

1870 Census

For the John Polk family, the 1870 Census reflects one of the few times I’ve seen a family enumerated twice in the Census but very different locations.

Independence, Jackson, Missouri Wea, Miami, Kansas
John Polk, Age 52, born in Indiana John Polk, Age 50, born in Kentucky
Anna Polk, age 34, born in Kentucky Anna E Polk, Age 34, born Kentucky
Tascar Polk, age 11, born in Missouri Tascar Polk, age 12, born in Missouri
Anna Polk, age 9, born in Missouri Anna Polk, age 9, born in Missouri
Maria Polk, age 6, Born in Arkansas Maria Polk, age 6, born in Arkansas
John Polk, age 4, born in Tennessee John Polk, age 4, born in Tennessee
Mary Polk, age 2, born in Missouri Mary Polk, age 2, born in Missouri

The enumeration date for the Missouri location was 28 June 1870.
The enumeration date for the Kansas location was 20 June 1870

The differences between the two census locations are minimal. John’s age is two years different, and his birth location shifts between Indiana and Kentucky. The only other difference is that Tascar is a year older, eight days between the two Censuses. I suspect that John provided the information for one of the censuses and Anna provided for the second one.

1880 Census

In 1880, Marie lived with her sister, Madeline, and her husband, A. C. Buell, in Washington DC. The sixteen-year-old is attending school. With them are Mr. Buell’s two children, Rudolph and Augusta, ages 1 and 0, respectively. Also living with the family are two servants. Also of interest is that the Census taker reported that Madeline’s parents were born in LA and KY, while her sister’s parents were reported as being born in LA and MO. This confuses the birth locations of their parents, particularly their father.

Marriage

Marie Louise Polk married William S Taylor in a ceremony by J. J. Kennedy at St. Joseph Church in Jackson County, Missouri, on 17 January 1887. After their marriage, they located to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Children of William S Taylor and Marie Louise Polk

Name Born Married Died
Dorothy 2 January 1888, P George A Rankin 1977 VA
John Polk July 1889, NY N/A (died at 20) 1909 VA
Magdalen Polk 31 December 1890, NJ Arthur Wilson Bradley 1970 VA

1900 Census

Marie was enumerated in two different Census locations, Philadelphia, PA, and Cape May, NJ.

Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Cape May, Cape May, New Jersey
William Taylor, age 43, born in Dec 1856 in Penn. William Taylor, age 40, born Dec 1859 in PA
Maria Taylor, age 35, Born Jan 1865, Penn. Maria Taylor, age 36, born Jan 1864, Arkansas
Dorothy, age 12, Born Jan 1888, Penn. Dorothy, age 12, born Jan 1888, Pennsylvania
John, age 10, born Jul 1889, New York John, age 10, born Jul 1889, New York
Madaline, age 9, born Dec 1890, New Jersey Madaline, age 9, born Dec 1890, New Jersey

Again, the difference between the two censuses is discrepancies in the ages of William and Maria and where Maria was born. In New Jersey, they have a border, 80-year-old John W. Polk. Marie’s father, John Widener Polk, was born about 1820 in either Indiana, Tennessee, or Kentucky. This census says he was born in Kentucky, so it fits that the “boarder” was really William’s father-in-law.

The Philadelphia enumeration indicates that the entire family were boarders, someplace on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. Living with them was a 30-year-old Servant, Margaret Raby.

Death/Burial, etc.

Marie Louise (Polk) Taylor died on 18 July 1903; she was 39 years old. She was interred at Westminster Cemetery[iii] (Bala Cynwyd Community) in Lower Merion, Montgomery County, PA.


Events by Location

  • Arkansas        1864 (Birth)
  • District of Columbia, Washington – 1880
  • Kansas, Miami, Wea  – 1870[iv]
  • Missouri, Jackson, Independence – 1870, 1887 (Marriage)
  • New Jersey, Cape May, Cape May – 1900[v]
  • Pennsylvania, Montgomery, Lower Merion – 1903 (Burial)
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Philadelphia – 1900, 1903 (Death)

Further Research

In 1880, Marie was living with her brother-in-law A. C. Buell in Washington, DC. Mr. Buell is a journalist. Research to see if he is a celebrity or otherwise famous.

In 1880, Marie attended school in Washington DC; research into what school she attended.


Sources

  • 1870 Census, NARA, 1870 – John Polk – Independence, Jackson, Missouri. “United States Census, 1870”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M46C-FPQ : 29 May 2021), John Polk, 1870. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/sources/L14S-D8F.
  • 1870 Census, NARA, 1870 – John W Polk – Wea, Miami, Kansa. “United States Census, 1870”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCJR-V7F : 28 May 2021), John W Polk, 1870. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCJR-V7F?id=L14S-D8F.
  • 1880 Census, NARA, 1880 – A C Buell – Washington, DC. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6C7-W1Y : 19 February 2021), A C Buell, Washington, Washington, District of Columbia, United States; citing enumeration district ED 24, sheet 28A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,122.
  • 1900 Census, 1900 Census – William S Tayler, Jr – New Jersey, Cape May, Middletownship, Angelsea borough, Wildwood borough, Avalon Borough. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9NR-RYH : accessed 23 August 2018), William S Tayler Jr., Middle Township Angelsea borough, Wildwood borough, Avalon Borough, Rio Grande Village, Cape May, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 107, sheet 12A, family 308, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,960.
  • 1900 Census, 1900 Census – William S Taylor, et al. – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 9, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0159; FHL microfilm: 1241455. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/2442/records/25439613/.
  • Find a Grave Memorial, Find a Grave, Magdalen T. Bradley (1890-1970). Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 25 August 2018), memorial page for Magdalen T. Bradley (31 December 1890–24 November 1970), Find A Grave Memorial no. 182390190, citing Lawnview Cemetery, Rockledge, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by DAO (contributor 47943782). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/182390190.
  • Find a Grave Memorial, Find a Grave, Marie Polk Taylor – Memorial 94300773. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/94300773/marie-taylor : accessed 29 October 2021), memorial page for Marie Polk Taylor (1863–1903), Find a Grave Memorial ID 94300773, citing Westminster Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Shiva (contributor 47163650). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/94300773/marie-taylor.
  • Jackson County, Missouri, US Marriage Records, 1826-2014, Jackson County, MO – Official Website, William Taylor & Marie Polk – 17 January 1887. https://www.jacksongov.org/.
  • 1887-01-23 – Page 9 – Taylor-Polk (Marriage). https://www.newspapers.com/image/650264514., Kansas City Times, Kansas City, Missouri, online images (newspapers.com).
  • Missouri, US, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 (Maine State Archives), Ancestry.Com, Marriage – William S Taylor & Marie Louise Polk. Missouri State Archives; Jefferson City, MO, USA; Missouri Marriage Records [Microfilm]. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/6649223:1171.
  • Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. – 1903-07-21, Page 7 – Maria Louisa Polk Taylor – Death. Newspapers.Com. https://www.newspapers.com/image/168750648.,
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 (Philadelphia City Archives), Ancestry.Com, Marie Polk Taylor – Died 18 July 1903. Ancestry.com. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • Virginia, Death Certificates, 1912-1987, Various, Virginia, U.S., Death Records, 1912-2014 for Dorothy Rankin. 1977 > 13000-13499 – State File Number 77-913324 (Image 325 of 500). https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9278/images/43006_162028006073_0186-00325.
  • Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014 (Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Department of Health), Ancestry.Com, Magdalen T. Bradley.

Endnotes

[i] I have confirmed four siblings. Several other researchers indicate she had many more siblings, however, I have not confirmed them. I expect I will when I research Maria’s parents John Widener and Anna (Kean) Polk.

[ii] I have not researched the ancestors of Maria Louise Polk and any date here about them is speculative.

[iii] I have requested a photo of her marker/memorial via Find-a-Grave.

[iv] Marie was enumerated in both Kansas and Missouri during the 1870 Census.

[v] Marie was enumerated in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania during the 1900 Census.

William Taylor & the 1880 Census

Census Sunday
Bradley-Taylor
By Don Taylor

Introduction

In my Bradley-Hingston Project, I’ve been researching William S. Taylor (1856-1928). For my genealogical “first pass” research for an ancestor, I attempt to find vital records, birth, death, and marriages. I also try to find the individual in all of the available Census records during their life.  In William Taylor’s case, I have not successfully found him in either the 1880 or the 1910 Censuses.

William was born on 29 December 1856 in Taylorsville[i], Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to Jacob H. and Rebecca L. (Pittman) Taylor. He appears in the 1860 and 1870 Censuses living with his parents as expected. During the 1870 Census, the 13-year-old William was attending school, as were all his school-age siblings, which means he could likely read and write.

In 1887, William married Maria Louisa Polk at St. Joseph Church in Jackson County, Missouri. That he was in Missouri is significant because it shows that William traveled across the country sometime between 1870 and 1887. He located back in the Philadelphia area with Maria by 1900, showing considerable mobility.

Review of the 1880 Census

A Search of Family Search for William Taylor, born in Pennsylvania in 1857, yielded 14 results.

  • William H. Taylor lived in Westport, Clinton, PA, with his mother, Sarah A. Taylor. Wrong mother.
  • William C. Taylor lived in Spring City, Chester, PA, with his Father, Samuel A. Taylor. Wrong father
  • William Taylor lived in Indiana, PA, with his mother, Margret Taylor. Wrong mother.
  • William M. Taylor was living in Saltsburg, Indiana County, PA. Race Mulatto. Wrong Race.
  • William Taylor was living in Dauphin County, PA, with his brother-in-law Armstead Lee. Armstead’s wife was named Mary. William did not have a sister named Mary, so this can’t be the correct William.
  • William Taylor lived in Philadelphia, PA, with his wife Elizabeth and son William (under 1). William’s parents were born in Ireland. Wrong birthplace for Parents.
  • William Taylor was living in Wayne County, PA, with his mother, Zilpha. Wrong mother.
  • William Taylor was living in Lewisburg, Union County, PA. Race Black.
  • William Taylor was living in Philadelphia, PA, with his parents William and Elizabeth. Wrong parents.
  • William Taylor was living in Philadelphia, PA, with his mother, Elmire Taylor. Wrong mother.
  • William A. Taylor lived in Philadelphia, PA, with his parents Samuel W. and Mary A. Taylor. Wrong parents.
  • William Taylor was living in Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri. His race is black. Also, his parents were both born in Virginia. The wrong person.
  • There was a (first name blank) Taylor living in Beaufort, South Carolina. A closer look at the census reveals that this person was black.
  • Finally, a William Taylor lived in Philadelphia, PA, as a boarder at 34 Lancaster, Philadelphia. Single, His occupation was “P.R.R Co’s Men.” Over 20 men were boarding there, all of whom were P.R.R. Co’s Men.[ii] (I presume “P.R.R” to be the Pennsylvania Railroad.[iii])
William Taylor in the 1880 Census – Philadelphia, PA – ED 485, Page 4 – via Family Search

This appears to be the only William Taylor that could be the William Taylor I am looking for. This determination conflicts with several other researchers; however, I am quite certain this is the correct William Taylor. Additionally, it provides a simple explanation about how William could have gone west to meet Maria, who was from Arkansas, marry her in Missouri, and remove to Philadelphia by 1900. He worked for the Railroad.

This look at the 1880 Census shed light that there were four other 23-year-old William Taylor’s living in the Philadelphia area.

    1. William A. Taylor, son of Samuel W. and Mary A. Taylor.
    2. William Taylor, son of William and Elizabeth Taylor.
    3. William Taylor, son of Elmire Taylor.
    4. William Taylor, son of Irish immigrants and married to Elizabeth with a son William.

It will be crucial to distinguish my William Taylor from these other William Taylors as I continue my William Taylor research.

Conclusion

In 1880, William Taylor lived in Philadelphia, PA, and boarded at 34 Lancaster. He lived and worked with many other employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad. 


Endnotes:

[i] Taylorsville is now Washington Crossing, an unincorporated village in Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. (About 30 miles north of Philadelphia and 8 miles upstream of Trenton.

[ii] Family Search “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWJ5-XPR: 13 November 2020), Wm. Taylor in the household of J. L. Worrell, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, British Colonial America; citing enumeration district ED 485, sheet 33B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,182.

[iii] The Pennsylvania Railroad operated was established in 1846 and operated until 1968.