Memories of Saugatuck, Michigan : 1830-1930
Author: Heath, May Francis
Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Grand Rapids, Mich: 1930
REV. J. RICE
J. Rice Taylor was born in Cambria, Niagara
County, New York,
Oct. 3. 1818. He was early found in the Episcopal church
institutions at Gambier, Ohio,
first in the Grammar school, then in Kenyon college, graduating in 1842, a
classmate of President Hayes. He pursued his theological studies at the General
Seminary in New York city
and in 1845 went back to Ohio, his first
charge being at Milan
where he married Miss Henrietta Leonard of Gambier.
In 1858 he came to
Allegan where he gathered together a congregation which worshipped in the court
house until a church was built. In 1863 he became rector of the parish at
Tecumseh but a year later he entered upon the service of the Christian
Commission, subsequently serving as chaplain of the 123rd Colored Infantry.
Following a short rectorship in Cleveland,
Ohio, he returned to Michigan
to do missionary work jn Allegan and Ottawa counties, making
his home in Saugatuck. This was in 1869. Through his efforts
the Episcopal churches at both Holland
and Saugatuck were erected, Colonel Stockbridge, then living in Saugatuck,
aiding him most loyally.
During the many years of
his ministry Mr. Taylor held cures in Ohio, Kentucky, Vermont and New Jersey as well as in Michigan. He passed away in June, 1900, at
his home in Saugatuck, the funeral services being held in All
Saints church, the casket resting within the chancel beneath the window which
is a memorial to his mother. Two sons and two daughters survived him, Alfred
B., the Saugatuck banker; now deceased; Rev. William V.of
Bridgeport, Pa.; Elizabeth L. and Anne M. of Venice, California.
His was a beautiful
character, pure and loving. His face reflected the gentle spirit within. It was
a "benediction", so many who knew him said. Mr. Taylor loved
Saugatuck from the moment he set eyes upon it way back in 1859 when he came
down in a canoe from Allegan with a friend, and was .never satisfied in his
latter years to be long away from the sight of its woods and waters and the
sand dunes across the river.