MR. LEE TAYLOR
Born February 28, 1837 | Died December 13, 1917
Confederate Soldier | First Elected Mayor of Joplin | Mine Owner
His Second to last home was located in the Murphysburg Historic Residential District at 5th and Byers Avenue
In an era of interpreting how we view or romanticize Joplin’s historical facts related to the American Civil War, and with the understanding that Joplin and Missouri were split politically and morally between the Union and Confederacy, HMP’s philosophy is to look at historical facts with a neutral eye. In this spirit, HMP does not honor the war, but rather honors the history that shaped our nation, state, and city, plus those who gave of themselves
Civil War hostilities and blood shed started early in Jasper and Newton Counties with brother against brother – Missouri against Kansas – slave owners against non-slave owners and abolitionists – neighbor against neighbor. Significant battles occurred at the Sherwood/Rader Farm northwest of present day Joplin, in Jasper County.
The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 to May 9, 1865) was also known in northern states as the War of the Rebellion and Great Rebellion. In southern states the war was often times referred to as the War of Northern Aggression, War Between the States, and War for Southern Independence.
One of Joplin’s early settlers after the war was Mr. Lee Taylor. He was born in Manchester, England on February 28, 1837 and eventually settled in Arkansas. He entered the Civil War in Washington County (Fayetteville) Arkansas as a Sergeant in the Army of the Confederacy, 34th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, Company A, Brook’s Regiment, Fagan’s Brigade. His rank out was Second Lieutenant.
Many men, and most likely Mr. Taylor, enlisted in the militia for what they were told would be “local protection” duty. But after the draft was imposed by the Confederacy, the militia ended up fighting throughout Arkansas and points south as a member of the Confederate Army.
According to Jim Scott, Murphysburg homeowner and Mr. Taylor’s great grandson, in 1901 Mr. Taylor became a U. S. Citizen. He submitted proof of being married to Mildred Mellisa Wilson, an American citizen, and “…renounced all allegiance and fidelity to Victoria, the queen of Great Britain.”
United Confederate Veterans – Mr. Taylor was a member of Jasper County’s Camp No. 522 of the United Confederate Veterans, which was a society organized on May 22, 1894, with forty charter members. At one time, the camp had 174 ex-Confederate army veterans on its rolls. They raised money so that former soldiers could live out their lives at Confederate homes, specifically the “Home at Higginsville.” Members erected a monument at the Confederate cemetery in Springfield, Mo. and a monument at Palmyra and Neosho, and held annual picnics and reunions. “…at gatherings the members have lived over the old days that tried men’s souls and have, in memory, sat around the camp fire and recounted the pleasures and the sorrows, the hardships and the recreations of the soldier’s life.” The Society was part of the state organization.
Front Engraving: 1902 | In Memory of Confederate Dead | Side Engraving: James England, Maker Neosho Mo.
Top Flag: Third National Flag | aka the “Blood Stained Banner” | adopted March 4, 1865 | Bottom Flag: Missouri State Guard flag during the Civil War
CURRENT HISTORIC SITES
One of the monuments still stand in the Neosho I. O. O. F. (a.k.a. Odd Fellows) Cemetery. Look for “The Grey Soldier” statue with the engraving that reads In Memory of Confederate Dead. Jasper County’s Camp No. 522 contributed $100 toward the monument, which adjusted for inflation is $2,810 in 2018.
The “Home at Higginsville” or Confederate Soldiers Home of Missouri provided comfort and refuge to 1,600 Civil War veterans and their families for nearly 60 years, closing in 1950. Today, visitors can visit the restored chapel and the Confederate cemetery, as well as three other historic buildings. The Camp contributed $1000 toward the building, which adjusted for inflation represents $28,100 in 2018. They also contributed $775 toward its maintenance.
The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.)—a faternal organization of veterans of the Civil War Union Army—also had a prescence in Joplin and Jasper County. Many early prominent Joplin leaders were members of various G.A.R. posts, one of which was Mr. C. J. G. Workizer. Interestingly, both GAR and UCV members served together for a common purpose such as board members that initiated the charter request so that Joplin could become a city.
James D. Scott Family Archives, History of Jasper County, Missouri and its people; Volumes 1 and 2, 1912, Joel T. Livingston; Pages 346, 347
https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/317304/odd-fellows-cemetery/photo; web page captured on November 14, 2018
I.O.O.F. – Odd Fellows Cemetery, 901 E. South Street, Neosho, Missouri, 417-451-7128. Richard Brewer, 417-850 -6030
Confederate Memorial State Historic Site, Missouri State Parks; https://mostateparks.com/park/confederate-memorial-state-historic-site; web page captured on November 14, 2018
The History of Jasper County, Missouri, History of Carthage and Joplin, other towns and townships, 1883; Des Moines, Iowa: Mills & Company; Joel T. Livingston. Pages 602, 603