Clark County Clipper, February 16, 1928

(Whiteman Forman Taylor)

Dr. W. F. Taylor died very suddenly at his home in this city last Friday at 2:30 p.m.   That morning the doctor had driven to Sitka on a professional call and had returned to his home and after the noon hour had gone out in the yard to grease and oil his car.  Mrs. Taylor saw what he was doing and called to him to come to the house.  Presently he came in and, changing the coat he was wearing for one he was in the habit of wearing about the house, he sat down in his chair to rest.  He was feeling of his right hand and arm and said they were numb, then placing his hand over his heart, he said said there was a pain there, when only a moment later his head fell forward - the end had come.

The passing of Dr. Taylor brought personal sorrow to hundreds of homes in Clark county and surrounding country.  Perhaps no other man had more intimate acquaintance in as many homes - especially the homes of the pioneer and earlier settlers of this section of the Southwest.  For almost half a century he had been serving the people of this country as a physician, and during these years close friendship had been made with those whom he served.

The funeral service was held from the Presbyterian church at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, M. G. Stevenson, funeral director, being in charge.  Rev. T. R. Mordy, pastor of the Presbyterian church preached the funeral sermon.  Interment was made in Highland Cemetery, the Masonic order having charge of the services at the cemetery.

Relatives and friends from a distance who came to attend the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Pugh of Kansas City; Ray Berry of Enid, Okla., Mr. and Mrs. Roy Holland of Anthony, Kansas; Sam Wallingford of Wichita; Earl Wallingford of Kansas City; M. W. Keller of Wichita; Mrs. Daisy Forman of Salt Lake City, Utah; F. M. Arnold of Emporia, Kansas; Dr. and Mrs. Dugan of Gate, Oklahoma.


Whiteman Forman Taylor, affectionately known to us as Dr. Taylor, was born at Washington, Kentucky January 15, 1857, and passed away at his home in Ashland, Kansas, February 10, 1928, in his 72nd year.  He was the son of Robert and Jennie Taylor, and one of a family of six children, and is survived by his brother, Charles, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and his sisters, Misses Daisy and Bessie Taylor of Hollywood, California.  His brother, John Taylor, now deceased, was engaged in the mercantile business in Ashland, in the early days with R. N. Molyneux, and will be remembered by many of our people.

He was married to Ella T. Pugh, at Vanceburg, Kentucky, July 11, 1883, Mrs. Taylor was one of a prominent Kentucky family, and her brother, Judge Pugh, a member of Congress for a number of years, made many friends on his visits to Ashland.

Dr. Taylor leaves his wife and four children, George Taylor, Mrs. Jennie Able, and Anna D. Taylor of Ashland and Mrs. Daisy Gorman, of Salt Lake City, Utah, all of whom were present at the funeral services.

He graduated with honor from the Kentucky School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, in 1881, which at that time was one of the standard and accredited medical schools of the country.  He came from a family of physicians and his grandfather was a practitioner for many years, as was a brother.  Their love of the profession rested on their sympathy of administering relief. 

Dr. Taylor entered upon his practice at Ouincy, Kentucky, after graduation, where he was at once made county physician, and continued practicing there and at Vanceburg, until he came to Kansas in October, 1884.  He located at Ashland in December following, and for more than forty three years has lived among us and practiced his profession.  He purchased lots near the present location of the Court House, where he lived in a small home for many years, and on his arrival here by way of Dodge City, there were but four other houses in Ashland.

Dr. Taylor was a real frontiersman, as his ancestors had been before him, and has been a benefactor to our community, throughout his long service.  The roads were never too bad, the nights too dark or cold, the blizzards too severe, where a human life, however humble or poor, was in the balance.  Nor did he stop to inquire as to compensation, or even personal expense.  His only thought was to give relief, and in this stress of storm, over swollen streams, and unblazed trails, now regarded as impassable, he went on his mission of love and sympathy, and gave relief in many instances, when the probability of losing his own life was equal, if not greater, than that of saving the life of his patient.

For many years he was the only physician here, and he made visits to adjoining counties, and often in Oklahoma, traveling on horseback or in a horse drawn vehicle, suffering from stress of storm and cold, as but few frontier physicians have ever done.  If relief came to the sufferer he felt compensated, and never resorted to the law or courts to collect a claim.

The community has been most fortunate in having a man of his type and skill among us all these years, and we rejoice that the sickle was not put forth until the full grain was in the ear, the fruit ripened and the harvest time came.

Dr. Taylor had no patience with pomp, parade or pretense, but judged his fellow men by their simple acts, deeds and character, and in a kindly spirit made them friends and brothers.  He was capable, conscientious and cautious in attendance on the sick and afflicted, always fearful that something may have been left undone.  In all his relations - social, business and professional, he observed the highest order of integrity, leaving an example worthy of emulation.

He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and the religious spirit came down upon him and his family through a long line of Christian ancestors.  He became a member of the masonic order in Kentucky, and through _____, a charter member of the Ashland Lodge many years ago, and in the daily walks of life, adopted their tests and standards as models of correct living.

The grave receives into its bosom a gentle form and the gates have opened to a noble spirit.  The community has lost a real benefactor and friend of the family a devoted husband and father.

Contributed by ~Shirley Brier~ October 27, 2005.


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