Rufus Taylor

This year I am going through an alphabet of news items taken from The Emancipator newspaper, published  between 1917 and 1920 in Montgomery, Alabama.  All of the news items were found on Newspapers.com. Each item is transcribed directly below the clipping.   Click on any image to enlarge.

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Rufus Taylor was related to my grandmother’s uncle, Victor Tulane. He was a friend of my grandparents and worked in the Tulane Grocery store, which was managed by my grandmother Fannie Turner Graham for many years before she married.

“Mr. Rufus Taylor of Montgomery, is back at his old post in the Tulane Grocery, after a pleasant vacation spent in Chicago and other points in the North.”

Lowndes Adams and Rufus Taylor

Rufus Taylor was born January 19, 1886 in Wetumpka, Elmore County, Alabama.  His father was Jordan Taylor, he worked as a porter in a grocery store. His mother was Fannie Shelton Taylor. Both of them attended school as children and were literate. Fannie died just two years after Rufus was born. His father remarried in 1893. No other children were born and Rufus grew up an only child.

Rufus moved to Montgomery in 1910 to work for his cousin Victor Tulane. I tried to figure out if Rufus and Victor were nephew and uncle or cousins. In fact I spent hours this afternoon tracing Rufus’ mother and grandmother. I could not find a direct relationship, however in the 1870 and 1880 census Fannie Shelton and her mother were living right down the street from Victor Tulane’s white father and in the midst of his relatives. I surmise that either the mother’s were both enslaved by the Tulane family and that perhaps  they or their children were related through that family.

Rufus lived with Victor Tulane’s family for ten years and worked in Tulane’s Groceries, first as a clerk and then as a salesman.  My grandmother Fannie managed the store before her marriage and referred to him in letters she wrote to her future husband Mershell in Detroit.

In 1920 he married Nan Nesbitt Jones. She had been married before and brought her three year old son, Albert to the marriage. Like most of the women I have been writing about, Nan worked before she married Rufus. She taught school. In 1930, they were living in their own home. They did not own a radio. Thirteen year old Albert was in school. Nan’s brother, Nathan Nesbit was living with them, as was John W. Dickerson, a lodger who was an insurance agent.

Rufus and Nan did not have any children. He died on July 27, 1937 at the age of 51. He is buried in the Wetumpka City Cemetery, next to his mother.

 

Unknown woman, Rufus Taylor, his wife Nan

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I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records, Military Records and Marriage Records. The news items were found on Newspapers.com. The photographs are from my personal collection, or that of family members.

11 thoughts on “Rufus Taylor”

  1. That picture of the Unknown woman and Nan with Rufus in the middle cracks me up. The two women are so close together that I cannot even see a body for Rufus behind them. Rufus and Lowndes look ready for a night on the prowl.

  2. Definitely good looking and gazing at us directly. It is terrific that you are documenting and remembering so many who did not have their own children too survive them.

  3. A very attractive young man! Isn’t it great that you can find so much in a local newspaper? Though it must have been a quiet town if a guy from the local grocery store made the papers when he came home. 😉

    1. The grocery store was an important business in the black community in Montgomery. Rufus was a salesman for the store by that time, which was a good job at that time and place.

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