This photo was part of a group photo taken of Bradley county's oldest citizens around 1900.
The following extracts were published in "Goodspeed's History of Bradley County, in 1887":
Joseph R. TAYLOR, a retired contractor and builder of Cleveland, was born in McMinn County, November 19, 1832. He is a son of Larkin C. and Martha (READ)
TAYLOR. The father was born in Burke County, N. C.
When a young man he [Larkin] came to McMinn County, where he married a native of that county. In 1837 he moved to Bradley County. He was a magistrate many years, and
by trade a blacksmith. His death occurred in 1847. Of his six children, two sons and two
daughters are living. Mrs. TAYLOR married Jaret BELL, with whom she had one child. Mr. BELL died, and his widow is still living at the age of eighty. Our subject
was the second child [Joseph Taylor]. A portion of his early life was passed on a farm, receiving a common education. After he was grown he worked nights, mornings, and Saturdays for his board, and attended school. After two years of apprenticeship at making and laying brick, he began contracting and building, in which business he was engaged about thirty-four years. The schoolhouse and a number of the best residences of Cleveland were built by him. In 1862 he volunteered as private in
Company A, Sixty-second Tennessee Infantry, Confederate Army. In the spring of 1862 he was promoted to second lieutenant. In 1864 he was captured at the
siege of Vicksburg, and held at Camp Chase, Ohio, a year. At the close of the war he was released in Virginia, and made the journey of 500 miles, afoot. He is a true
Democrat and highly esteemed citizen. In 1856 he married Miss Caladonia STRALEY, a native of North Carolina, a member of the Southern Methodist Church and mother of seven children, of whom five sons and one daughter are living.
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