The SAR Magazine

FALL 2013

The SAR MAGAZINE is the official quarterly publication of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published quarterly.

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Page 21 of 47

Who Was Stephen Taylor? County, Mass., when, six years later, he went from "the 83" and enlisted in the 1st Massachusetts Regiment "for three ne of the awards given on recognition night at years or the duration." He served as an enlisted man in Congress is the Minnesota Society Stephen Taylor three different regiments of Gen. George Washington's Award, honoring the compatriot who, by his Continental Army, taking a British rifle ball in the battle of research and writings, has made a distinguished Yorktown that left him partially blind. He was honorably contribution to the preservation of the history of the discharged as a private on Dec. 27, 1783. American Revolutionary era and its patriots. But just who He returned to Sheffield and then to Seneca, N.Y., where was Stephen Taylor? he raised four children and a stepson with his wife, Abigail, According to Minnesota Curiosities, a travel guide by Russ who became bedridden and died at 36. He applied for a Ringsak with Denise Remick, Stephen Taylor was born in veteran's pension in 1821, stating his occupation as a farmer New York State on March 21, 1757. He was with Ethan and listing his assets as "5 old chairs + 1 old table, an old Allen's Green Mountain Boys on May 10, 1773, when, on a desk, an old looking glass, 2 pr. old curtains, pots and pans, narrow strip of land between Lake George and Lake 4 old pails, 4 old barrels, dishes, a churn, an ax, an old Champlain in New York, they forced the British to chest, 4 old books, a cow, 2 pigs, 3 fowl and a teakettle." surrender Fort Ticonderoga. It was a surprise attack and the Together, they were worth exactly $51.89. The government critical first victory in the War of Independence. granted him a monthly pension of $8. Taylor was listed as a resident of Sheffield in Berkshire He moved to the Minnesota Territory with 11 other Taylors in 1854 at the age of 97. The locals remembered him as a large and robust man, temperate, and never known to be sick. He qualified for 160 acres; the grant was approved March 10, 1856. He died in June of the following year and was buried at Money Creek Cemetery, a landed private at the age of 100. The family moved away and his grave remained unmarked until Memorial Day in 1880, when the caretaker of the cemetery, Capt. Mathew Marvin, with his own money erected a stone inscribed with a brief biography. In 1933, with the assistance of the Wenonah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the remains were moved to a memorial in Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona. The memorial is a 10-by-25-foot stone replica of Fort Ticonderoga, four raised walls with towers at the four corners. A marker with a metal plate set over the grave is inscribed: "A courageous soldier, member of Ethan Allen's Immortal band of 83 who took part in the surprise attack on the British Garrison at Ticonderoga and the only Revolutionary War soldier known to be buried in the state of Minnesota." I first became aware of Taylor quite by chance at the 1998 SAR Congress. In a conversation with an SAR member from Minnesota, my wife, Theresa, and I revealed that we were planning a riverboat cruise departing from Minneapolis-St. Paul later in the year. This led to an invitation to meet with some Minnesota compatriots for lunch in Minneapolis the day before our departure. At this lunch we were told that Winona, Minn., one of the scheduled ports of call, was the small river town where Taylor was buried. Furthermore, they would arrange for us to be met by longtime SAR member in Winona, Paul John Ostendorf, who would take us to see the locally famous gravesite. We were met as planned by Compatriot Ostendorf, who took us to the cemetery to see the much-vaunted Top right, PG Bruce Wilcox (2007-08) with grave. Ostendorf, who lived in Winona and taught Compatriot Paul John Ostendorf at the college there, told us that an SAR grave marker had memorial and gravesite of Stephen Taylor been placed there many years before by thenin Winona, Minn. The memorial for Taylor, Historian General Arthur Luther. We were truly above, is a 10-by-25-foot stone replica of Fort impressed at the sight of a replica of Fort Ticonderoga Ticonderoga, where Taylor fought with Ethan in this small river town in Minnesota. It is truly a Allen's Green Mountain Boys in a surprise treasure that everyone in the MNSSAR can be proud attack that led to a British surrender. of and stands to preserve one important element of the history of the American Revolution. By President General Bruce A. Wilcox (2007-08) O 22 SAR MAGAZINE

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