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Thomas B. and Francis R. Taylor papers


Held at: Old York Road Historical Society [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Old York Road Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Francis R. Taylor (1884-1947) was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and banker with an interest in history who was active in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). A member of Abington Monthly Meeting and founding member of Cheltenham Monthly Meeting (Pennsylvania), he was a minister and clerk within the Religious Society of Friends. Francis was also involved with several Quaker educational institutions and researched Quaker historical figures including William Savery (Philadelphia tanner and Quaker minister, lived 1750-1804). He founded the Cheltenham National Bank and was treasurer of Savery Realty Corporation. Francis married Elizabeth Richie in 1911 and soon after, around 1916, purchased the property nicknamed "Brooklawn" in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Francis' father, Thomas B. Taylor (1852-1911), was a Philadelphia attorney and conveyancer.

This collection consists of files retrieved from the attic of Francis R. Taylor's home, “Brooklawn,” many years after the family left it. The series appear incomplete. Also included are records of Thomas B. Taylor (1852-1911), father of Francis, and a Philadelphia attorney and conveyancer.

Thomas B. Taylor’s "Scratchers," 1880-1914 (22 volumes, broken series) record work done at his office. These and his letterpress volumes, 1882-1909 (8 volumes, broken series) document his work as the lawyer representing various estates, managing various properties and as a member of several land associations in Philadelphia and Kansas. Frequently recorded work includes: Pocono Manor Association, George Abbott and Abbott Aldernay Dairies, Grange Farm, John B. Mayer, Johnson Trust, Emily E. Pettit, Benjamin R. Smith, Vaux Estate.

Francis Taylor’s correspondence files, 1922-1944 (broken series), consist primarily of carbon copies of letters sent, with some incoming letters, concerning his speaking at Quaker Meeting and other activities with the Friends, his interest in various Quaker educational institutions which he or his children attended (among which were Westtown Friends School and Haverford College), his biography of William Savery, household matters, investments and other personal business.

Among the other files, there is material relating to: "Brooklawn," purchase and improvements, 1916-1918, to property at Ryers Ave. and Old Soldiers Rd.; Fire Insurance, 1918-1925, documenting his efforts to open an insurance company for Friends; United Security Life Insurance and Trust Company, 1920-1923, while Taylor served as a trustee; Prohibition Constitutionality, 1933-1934, with correspondence with Rev. William Shaefe Chase and legal papers relating to a case challenging the constitutionality of the Pennsylvania Act to elect delegates to a convention to act on the 21st Amendment; Cheltenham Police Pension Fund, 1934-1939, of which he was a director; Restaurant Wage Board of the Department of Labor and Industry for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1938-1939, appointed to recommend a minimum wage for women and minors but dismissed with a change of administration in Harrisburg; and Elizabeth S. Taylor insurance, real estate, and other investments, 1911-1927.

There are also receipted bills, 1926-1945 (broken series), and other personal and professional financial papers, including operating statements for Taylor’s law practice.

The files are organized according to file numbers as they appeared on the original folders.

Box 1 Correspondence, 1922-1923, 1926-1927, 1930-1935

Box 2 Correspondence, 1937-1939, 1943-1944 Receipted bills, 1926-1927, 1931-1935

Box 3 Receipted bills, 1937-1939, 1943-1945 Bank statements and cancelled checks, 1922, 1932, 1936 Old York Road & Tabor tax receipts, 1888-1920 Miscellaneous bank and other organizations financial statements Personal/professional miscellany Financial miscellany

Box 4 Brooklawn, 1917-1925 Cheltenham Lease, 215 Ryers Ave., 1911-1917 United Security Life and Trust Company, 1920-1923 Income Tax, 1917-1924 Personal Statements, 1909-1929 (file read “1927-1929” and includes operating statements for law office) Operating Statements, 1929-1931 Philadelphia Suburban Gas & Electric Co., 1926-1927, regarding Walnut Tree damage Political, 1926, 1931-1936 (sparse) Juniata Park Lots, 1922-1946 (primarily real estate tax receipts) Tax Appeal, 1929 Tax Appeal, 1932

Box 5 Cheltenham Police Pension Fund, 1934-1941 William Penn Fire Insurance Company and other fire insurance, 1918-1944 Parrish Farm/Taylor & Harrar, 1939-1941 Arlington Ave./Taylor & Harrar, 1935-1941 Roosevelt Court Program, 1937 Metropolitan Edison Company, 1938, 1944 (2 items) Wage Board, 1938-39 Lafayette College Conference, 1940 Boy Scouts, 1940 Elizabeth S. Taylor 1911-1919, 1923-1927 following folder are not numbered Elizabeth S. Taylor insurance receipts, 1948-1955

Box 6 Prohibition Constitutionality Blueprints, 1937-1940, for houses with loans from Cheltenham National Bank (Taylor as President), and for Arther Klein/Burholme Terrace development

Box 7 Title Insurance Statements, 1919-1926 (Taylor as Solicitor)

Thomas B. Taylor Scratchers (stored off-site): 1880-1892, 1894-1914

Thomas B. Taylor Letterpress Books (stored off-site): 1882-1884, 1892-1904, 1906-1909

Gift of Roy Hollinger, circa 1992.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR), using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society. The HCI-PSAR project was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was done in the HCI-PSAR project.

Old York Road Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society.
This preliminary finding aid was created by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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