Mystery Place: Farm's former owner probably fought in Civil War

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Ginny Hall | May 29, 2015

The farm of Jas. Taylor is located on the northeast corner of Section 13 in the town of Richmond. That is also on the northeast corner of the intersection of County Highway P and Taylor Road.

The 1857 plat map shows the owner's name as J. Taylor. In 1873 the plat book designates it as Jas. Taylor. This continues until the 1921 plat book when the owner is listed as J. Taylor Est.  

It is possible that James Taylor served in the Civil War. Albert Beckwith's “History of Walworth County” shows four James Taylors in the listing of soldiers. James Taylor served in the 28th Infantry, Co. D.  James B. Taylor served in the same infantry, Co. E. The history shows that James H. Taylor served in the 12th Infantry, Co. A., while James P. Taylor served in the Ninth Battery, Light Artillery. If I had to make a guess I would go with James B., because Co. E was from Richmond.  

Walworth County was divided into 17 districts; each one had a company. At that time there were 17 townships, including the town of Elkhorn. Richmond was Company E with James Cotter as its captain. Geo. James and Jacob M. Fish were the lieutenants. There were 138 in that company.

The 1930 through 1948 plat books show the owner of this property as C.H. Taylor.   Beckwith lists a Cyrus H. Taylor as serving as associate town supervisor in 1887 and  as the town chairman from 1902 to 1904.

In 1961, the owner is listed as Grace Taylor Walker, who continues ownership through the 1966 plat book. Grace was a teacher and I'm told she taught Charles Papcke and Howard Cook. These are two well-known former residents in the town of Sugar Creek.

In 1970 through 1980, the owners are shown as Willard and Lois Olson. He was known as Col. Olsen, a popular auctioneer. From 1982 through 2006, the owner was Lois Olson.

In 2008, the owners are listed as Dale and Gale Folkers Trust. Gale is the daughter of Willard and Lois Olson. That ownership continues to this day.  

The house on the property was built in 1852, according to Beverly Bush Wassam, who is a renter there.
Ginny Hall, a historian from Delavan, is author of the “Walking around ...” and “Meandering ... ” books, which highlight the history of Walworth County communities.

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