Joseph Edward Taylor


Deseret News, Tuesday 18 February 1913
Patriarch TAYLOR is Called Beyond
Esteemed Churchman Passes Away Peacefully at Early Hour This Morning
Led a Life of Usefulness
Was Active in Religious, Civil, and Business Affairs
Lived Here More Than 60 Years

Patriarch Joseph E. TAYLOR for 60 years a resident of Salt Lake City and one of the most widely known citizens in the State of Utah, died this morning at his home 237 East 100 South, at 2:45 o'clock. Death came after several hours of quiiet sleep, without a struggle and without evident pain.

About one month ago Patriarch Taylor was stricken with a cold, the effects of which developed a uraemic trouble and compelled him to stay in the home. During the last two weeks he has been confined to his bed. He had entirely overcome the uraemic difficulty before his death, but his strength was practically exhausted. Sunday afternoon he expressed a wish to get up and walk about his room, and Sunday evening feeling a premonition that his end was near, called the members of his family about him and gave each one a blessing after the fashion of the Patriarchs of old. Last night he slept well, until 2:45 o'clock this morning, when he awoke and asked for a drink of water, raised up in bed, took the glass in his hand, drank and then lay back on the pillow and died without a sign of distress.

Lived a Noteworthy Life

Patriarch Taylor prepared, only a short time ago, the following account of his life to be used in connection with the announcement of his death. To his own account members of the family have added some statements commending his work. The statements will be notices in the closing paragraphs.

Joseph Edward Taylor was the son of George Edward Grove Taylor and Ann Wicks. He was born Dec 11, 1830, at Horsham, Sussex, England.

In his early childhood he was taken by his parents to Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, the birth place of his Mother, where he spent his boyhood and early youth.

When he was fifteen years old the family moved to Hull, Yorkshire, England. Here by accident he first heard of Mormonism and after a careful investigation, which lasted several months, he applied for baptism and received the ordinance August 11, 1848.

October 4, 1848 he was ordained a priest and was called to do Missionary work in Lincolnshire. One year later he became an elder and continued his missionary labors until January 1, 1851, at which time he left England with nearly five hundred Saints, bound for Salt Lake City.

The voyage across the ocean was made in the sailing vessel 'Ellen'. During the above mission of two years and three months he baptized nearly two hundred persons, and assisted in the baptism of many others. He traveled to fill appointments, mostly on foot, 859 miles, preached 250 regular sermons, delivered some two hundred exhortations, held over 100 outside meetings, presided at 52 Sacrament Meetings and held 27 public religious discussions. He received in money for his support during this time $365.05, mostly given by non Latter-Day Saints.

Shortly after arriving in St. Louis he was prostrated by sickness which made it necessary for him to remain in Missouri until the following year. He arrived in Salt Lake Valley, Sept. 6, 1852.

February 17, 1852, he was ordained a Seventy, became identified with the Thirty-first quorum and was made one of its presidents. He became a High Priest Sept. 12, 1855 and was set apart to act as counselor in the Bishopric of the Eleventh Ward, serving in this capacity under Bishop John Lyttle, and Alexander McRae.

On Dec. 22, 1875, he was set apart by President Brigham Young to go on a Mission to the Josephites and other seceders from the church who were then living in Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. He was accompanied on this Mission by Elder Claudius V. Spencer. Being called home to fill another position he and his associate left Council Bluffs, April 4, 1875. During this brief mission, Elders Taylor and Spencer, baptized 36 persons, 24 of whom came to the Rocky Mountains within one year, organized three branches, blessed eight children and married one couple.

At the General Conference on the Church in April 1876, he was appointed to the office of second Counselor to Angus M. Cannon who at the same time was called to preside over the Salt Lake Stake, which Stake then extended over the entire counties of Salt Lake, Davis, Tooele, Morgan, Wasatch and Summit.

Consequently upon the death of David O. Calder in 1884 Elder Taylor became first Counselor to Angus M. Cannon and held that position until April 1904, when the final division of the Salt Lake Stake was made.

Elder Taylor's residence in Salt Lake City was continuous from the time of his arrival in 1852. In those 60 years he has followed several occupations: ranching, farming, furniture making and finally undertaking.

He held the office of City Sexton for 30 years and during the 40 years he followed his profession as undertaker he became known through his service to nearly every family in the State.

Elder Taylor has served as advisor in several businesses. He was a representative in the Second State Legislature, exhibiting sound judgement and wisdom as a law maker. He was, up to the time of his death, a member of the Board of Trustees of the L.D.S. University, to which institution he was a pillar of strength.

April 2, 1904 he became a Patriarch in the Church and has since that date given 304 blessings. Brother Taylor is the father of 22 children, 21 of whom survive him. He has 50 grandchildren and 13 great grand children now living. Two sisters also live to mourn his loss.

Duty His First Thought

"As a citizen, he has been loyal to every principle of advancement and good government. As a neighbor he was kind and generous. As a Father he spared nothing in his efforts to prepare his children to occupy positions of trust and honor in the community. His ecclesiastical record is a noble one. The fulfillment of duty was his first and permanent thought, every worldly consideration being made to yield thereto. As a writer and public speaker, his style was individual but lucid and forceful, giving evidence of ability acquired through careful study and deep thought. His understanding of the philosophy and spirit of Mormonism was indeed profound. And withall his reverence for God's anointed in the Church was unbounded. All of these qualities and virtues and services have won for him the esteem and confidence of hosts. The honor and integrity of his life will never die.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made, pending the arrival of some of his children living at great distances from Salt Lake City. In a paper prepared by him in December of last year, Patriarch Taylor expressed a desire that his funeral services be short and unostentious and that only a short time should elapse between his death and burial. He gave as a reason for an unceremonius funeral, that his life had been filled with blessings which more than repaid him for his services and that he therefore deserved no praise in addition. Definite announcemcnt will be made concerning the funeral as soon as possible.

Two sisters also live to mourn his loss.