The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Albert Clifton Tayler--the Footfitter
Now downtown Medford's oldest business, succeeded by Kidd's and Norris Shoes.

Baltimore, Maryland:
William Taylor, 52, oyster packer, born England
Amelia. Taylor, 43, born England
Josephine Taylor, 20, born Canada
Julia Taylor, 16, born Canada
Charles Taylor, 12, born Canada
Albert Taylor, 10, born Canada
William Taylor, 11, born Canada
Anna Spoks, 20, domestic, born Maryland
U.S. Census, enumerated June 24, 1870

    The very mention of such delicate food suggests an appetite, but such is a part of the numerous delicacies which the extensive dealers, Messrs. Charles Hillman & Co., No. 40 State Street, trade in. They are the agents of the celebrated "Monumental" brand of oysters,which are received direct from Mr. W. Taylor, the prominent packer of Baltimore. This brand of oysters are most favorably regarded by epicures for their richness of flavor and their uniform plumpness and size. For domestic use they are liberally patronized, as no other oyster excels them in the satisfaction they give, or the deservedly popular reputation they enjoy with those who are lovers of good oysters.
"Delicacies of the Season--Bivalves, Salmon, Lobsters, Etc.," Commercial Advertiser, Chicago, Illinois, February 7, 1878, page 8

495 East Baltimore Street, Chicago:
William Taylor, 60, oyster packer, born England, parents born England
Mary A. Taylor, 54, born England, parents born England
Charles Taylor, 23, clerk in store, born England, parents born England
Albert Taylor, 20, clerk in store, born England, parents born England
William Taylor, 17, born England, parents born England
Sarah Airey, 33, daughter, born England, parents born England
Florance Airey, 9, granddaughter, born Maryland, father born Maryland
Ella Snee, 18, servant
Kate Sylvester, 30, servant
U.S. Census, enumerated June 2, 1880

    A. C. Tayler and wife last week returned from Chicago, and will reside permanently at Medford in the future.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 19, 1891, page 3

    A. C. Tayler has opened a shoe shop in Medford, opposite the post office.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1891, page 2

    Boots and shoes anatomically built by A. C. Tayler. Repairing promptly attended to. Carries in stock ladies', men's and infants' correct shape shoes. Personal attention given to fitting the foot. Opposite post office.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, June 24, 1892, page 3

    $1.25 will buy a Ladies' Solid Leather Shoe at Tayler's shoe store, opposite post office.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, September 9, 1892 et seq., page 3

    Tayler, the Medford shoe man, is having J. B. Griffin tan a fine Angora goatskin for him, with the fur on, for a rug. Griffin can do those jobs up in a style most pleasing--if anyone should ask you.
"Flashes from Phoenix," Medford Mail, March 17, 1893, page 2

    D. S. Youngs, the second hand store man, is all broke up, but he is not nearly so bad broke as the shoe house which has been building his shoes for the past several years. The house has closed its doors and D.S. knows not from whence cometh his next foot gear. Tayler and Damon are figuring on doubling up on lasts and concocting all manner of schemes whereby the necessary amount of leather may be gotten.
"City Local Whirl," Medford Mail, April 28, 1893, page 3

    If you want a pair of boots or shoes that will exactly suit you as to price, quality and fit, go to Tayler, The Foot-fitter, Medford, Oregon. If you can't get suited there, you may as well give it up and go barefoot or wear moccasins the balance of your life.
Talent News, June 1, 1893, page 4

    Tayler, the foot fitter and shoe doctor, finds his present quarters too small. On the 1st of March, '94, he will move his stock of shoes, etc., to the store next to Wilkinson's meat market.
Medford Mail, February 16, 1894, page 3

    There was a lively runaway Tuesday, and for about a minute and a half it looked like there might be some serious results therefrom. A. E. Wood was engaged in unloading wood from a boxcar near the depot when his team became frightened at some small boys playing on top of the cars. The team started to run, and before Mr. Wood could reach them they were going zip flyee--like the Chinaman describes a toboggan slide--down Seventh Street, and if they didn't make good time it was no fault of theirs. As a matter of fact, they "just flew." They ran onto the north sidewalk near Mr. Tayler's shoe store, and in passing under the awning the wagon caught the posts and before you could mention it the awning lay flat on the sidewalk. When the wagon pole struck the next awning post, the horses and wagon piled up in a promiscuous heap and the runaway didn't run away any farther. The wagon was badly broken, but the team was uninjured.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, June 30, 1893, page 3

    The first shipment of Tayler's foot-fitting shoe--made on his anatomical last. Every pair stamped "Tayler's Foot Fitters." Take no other.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, November 10, 1893, page 3

    There is no branch of business which requires a higher degree of enterprise and business capacity than the boot and shoe trade; and in this connection we desire to call attention to the excellent establishment of A. C. Tayler, the shoe fitter. He carries a choice and select stock of boots, shoes and slippers for men's, women's and children's wear, of all styles and grades, from the costly handmade goods to the coarser qualities, and at prices that are world-beaters. Mr. Tayler makes a specialty of custom-made goods, and being an expert mechanic he has gained an enviable and wide reputation for this class of goods. All kinds of repairing is promptly attended to at moderate prices. The business was established two years ago, by Mr. Tayler, and he has built a good business by steady adherence to work coupled with the class of goods sold.
"Medford Businessmen," Medford Mail, December 1, 1893, page 1

    It is a little late to make mention of the fact, but it's a good live item, as the parents will attest, hence we will proceed to say that there was born on January 15, 1894, a little "shoe-fitter" at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Tayler. The recent arrival--of just an even month ago--is of the male sex and has registered for an unlimited stay with Mr. Tayler, the foot clothier.
"New Arrivals," Medford Mail, February 16, 1894, page 3

    A. C. Tayler, between now and Monday, will move his shoe-fitting shop to the Damon building, near Mr. Lawton's harness shop. His increased business demands more room, hence the move. We understand he has purchased the property, the consideration being something like $1400.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, March 2, 1894, page 3

    Hamilton & Palm have moved into the building recently vacated by Tayler, the shoe man.
"Saturday's Fire," Medford Mail, March 9, 1894, page 2

    Tayler, the foot-fitter, moved to his new quarters Monday.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, March 9, 1894, page 3

Fixed Up Slicker than Anybody.
Tayler's foot-fitting establishment is one of the slickest places in this man's town. He has removed several partitions, rearranged the general interior, and artistically papered and painted the walls--and all things thereabouts are new, neat and in appearance decidedly cheerful and businesslike.

"News of the City," Medford Mail, March 30, 1894, page 3

    A. C. Tayler:--"Gospel services are being held in my store every Sunday evening, conducted by S. D. Biden, and to which all are invited."

"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, April 20, 1894, page 2

    A. C. Tayler:--"There is something in children's shoes that is original with yours truly. It is a child's shoe with rawhide toe and heel protector. It is a notion of my own, and the house I buy of put them in at only a slight additional cost. They will protect the toe and heel from wearing through. They are 'wear resisters,' all right."

"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, June 22, 1894, page 2

Medford Mail, December 21, 1894

    "'Up to date' shoes at 'up to date' prices. Every pair warranted not to rip for two months. Look for the signs of foot and boot, also footprints on the sidewalk."
"Tayler, the Shoemaker and FootFitter" ad, Medford Mail, December 21, 1894

    Frank Wilson has rented half of the building occupied by A. C. Tayler, the foot fitter. Mr. Tayler is having the building rearranged inside, and Mr. Wilson is building one of the very best [illegible].
The Monitor-Miner, Medford, July 16, 1896, page 3

    A. C. Tayler, the footfitter, is having the interior of his shoe store building remodeled this week, and as soon as it is finished Frank Wilson will remove his bakery thereto and occupy one-half of the building. Frank is having made a solid stone oven which will be second to none in the state--and will fit up his room in the best manner possible. By turning out a superior quality of his product and attending strictly to business, Frank has built up a large trade since coming to Medford--and no one is more deserving of the success that he has met with than he.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, July 17, 1896, page 7

A Letter from London.
    EDITORS MAIL:--If not mistaken I believe I promised our friend and fellow townsman, Mr. York, a line or two in connection with our treatment by the Great Northern Railroad. I can sum it up in a very few words: They did all they agreed to. Also that we found it a very pleasant route; cool, and very little dust clear through to St. Paul. Tourist sleeper very comfortable, and colored porter respectful and obliging. Our journey all the way through to London has been nothing but pleasure, our babies behaving remarkably well. Of course they have seen a great deal to surprise their young intellects. The first was at Medford--as they had never been on the cars before; next when we took them around Portland on the electric cars. Gracie could not understand their going so fast without horses; also the animals in the park, especially the monkeys, were a great source of amusement.
    We put in ten days in Chicago very pleasantly, visiting with friends and relatives, taking in the wonderful improvements that have been going on during the last few years. There is very little left to mark the site of the world's fair--buildings mostly charred remain with a few sculptures and monuments crumbling to pieces. The park commissioners, however, are very busy remodeling it into a beautiful park.
    Leaving Chicago Thursday night, we arrived in New York Saturday at about 8 a.m., via the Grand Trunk Railroad--scenery very green and beautiful with a good view of Niagara Falls. The next thing was to identify our baggage, have it labeled and put aboard the good ship Umbria (Cunard line). After getting comfortably settled in our staterooms we had our first dinner on board, then we all went up on deck to find that we were being towed out of New York Harbor. Coney Island and Sandy Hook were soon out of sight--then nothing but water for about six days; beautiful weather and very smooth sea. We got through with Mrs. Tayler and Gracie missing only one breakfast, at all other times four meals a day. Arriving in London our friends (who, by the way, have not changed much) were at the depot to give us a hearty welcome, which we have been enjoying ever since. The old place looks cheerful and green.
    With kind regards to you and all our friends in the valley until we meet again,
Medford Mail, September 25, 1896, page 4

    We call our readers' attention to two new ads this week--J. G. Van Dyke & Co. and A. C. Tayler, the foot fitter. The former firm is talking very positively and plainly about their dollar-a-pair shoe--you could not avoid seeing their ad if you desired to. A. C. Tayler has just returned from a visit to England and while absent made a close study of the "latest in shoes," and is going to give the people of Jackson County the benefit of his newly acquired knowledge.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, February 12, 1897, page 7

Started in the retail and custom boot and shoe business in the fall of 1891, and has had a steady patronage ever since. He makes a specialty of only handling solid, reliable footwear made by the best shoemakers that this up-to-date country affords. Being a practical shoemaker, he only buys the best boots and shoes at the lowest prices, the result of which is that he has made many solid customers from the surrounding towns. Having also learned the last-making business in London, it fully qualifies him to choose boots and shoes made on foot-fitting principles. If shoes were properly fitted, corns and bunions would be unknown. Having had several years experience with Streeters Bros. of Chicago, one of the largest retail boot and shoe houses in the world, justly celebrated for handling foot-fitting boots and shoes, gives him an inside knowledge which would be hard to get in any other way, of the manufacturers who are making the best shoes at the lowest cost. Hence he is able to give to the public the benefits of his experience, which means a good shoe at the price of a shoddy one. Owning his own place of business and no partner to divide the profits with, he is able to compete with all comers.
"Our Business and Professional People Briefly Mentioned," Medford Mail. Series starts May 28, 1897, page 3

    Mrs. Tayler, wife of A. C. Tayler of Medford, died rather suddenly on Sunday evening. She had been ill for some time but was recovering and had been pronounced out of danger when she was taken suddenly worse and died shortly thereafter. Deceased was a native of Gosport, England, and was in her 31st year. She leaves several small children.

"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, July 1, 1897, page 3

    Harvey Hall has jumped the Anaconda mine in Williams Creek district, owned by A. C. Tayler, A. A. Davis of Medford and others, because assessment work on it was not done in 1897. This is not right.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 24, 1898, page 3

To Wearers of Fine Shoes.
    A. C. Tayler of Medford, the foot fitter, has just received five lines of high- grade, up-to-date walking and dress shoes for girls, including the shell cordovan, Zulu calf and Curacao kid made by Stacy Adams Co., the famous shoemakers of Brockton, Mass. Call and see him.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 23, 1898, page 3

    The fair association has introduced a new feature for the last day of the district fair near Medford, awarding premiums as follows: G. L. Davis will give a prize of five dollars in groceries to the best-looking baby; Deuel & Sevens, $2.50 in goods to the same best-looking baby, A. C. Tayler, pair of fine shoes to the handsomest lady; D. H. Miller, one-half dozen tablespoons to the handsomest lady. Both the above are intended as first and second prizes. The association will also give a prize to the homeliest man.

"Local Notes,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 5, 1898, page 3

    A. C. Tayler, the well-known boot and shoe dealer, was married on May 3d at Oakland, Calif., to Miss Irena Wangerin of that city. The many friends of Mr. T. in this section are extending congratulations and best wishes, in which The Times heartily joins.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 15, 1899, page 3

    Mrs. J. D. Wangerin has returned from a visit to her daughter, Mrs. A. C. Tayler, in Medford, Or.
"Personal and Social," Oakland Tribune, June 26, 1899, page 5

    All kinds of sick shoes and boots doctored by Tayler, the Footfitter, Medford.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1899, page 3

West Medford:
Albert C. Tayler, shoe maker & dealer, 38, born July 1861 in England, parents born in England
Irma Tayler, 21, married 1 year, born December 1878 in California, father born Wisconsin, mother Germany
Grace E. Tayler, 7, born June 1872 in Oregon, parents born in England
Frederick A. Tayler, 4, born August 1895 in Oregon, parents born in England
U.S. Census, enumerated June 9, 1900

    A resolution was introduced and adopted ordering the following property owners on Seventh Street to build cement sidewalks in front of same: Palm and Bodge, Big Bend Milling Company, A. C. Tayler, I. J. Phipps and Mrs. A. R. Phipps.

"City Council Proceedings,"
Medford Mail, February 22, 1901, page 2

    The work of putting in cement sidewalks on Seventh Street, as requested by a recent city ordinance, was commenced this week.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, May 3, 1901, page 6

    Contractor Priddy is at work this week putting in a new cement walk at the corner of 7th and B streets.
Medford Enquirer, May 4, 1901, page 5

    Already many complimentary remarks are being made on the improved appearance of Medford streets and sidewalks. As soon as the construction of the cement walks now under way are completed Medford will certainly be entitled to the credit of being strictly up-to-date in the matter of sidewalks. That such improvements will be noticed by transients and commented upon is certain, and it is also certain to attract favorable attention to the city, as a city with metropolitan ideas.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 10, 1901, page 7

    S. Childers & Sons commenced putting down a cement walk in front of the Big Bend Milling Co.'s property, on Seventh Street, Monday.

Medford Mail, May 17, 1901, page 3

    Mrs. J. D. Wangerin, who has been visiting her daughter, Mrs. A. C. Tayler, for some time, left Monday for her home in Oakland, Calif.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 24, 1901, page 6

    Mrs. J. D. Wangerin, who has been visiting several months with her daughter, Mrs. A. C. Tayler, returned to her home in Oakland, Cal. Monday.

"Society: Medford," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, May 26, 1901, page 14

A. C. Tayler ad, November 29, 1901 Medford Mail
November 29, 1901 Medford Mail

A. C. Tayler ad, May 22, 1902 Democratic Times
May 22, 1902 Democratic Times

    M. S. Biden, the scientific shoe constructor, may be found with Tayler, the foot-fitter, again.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 12, 1902, page 2

    Mrs. A. C. Tayler has gone to Oakland, Cal., to visit relatives.
"Medford," Valley Record, Ashland, June 19, 1902, page 3

    A. C. Tayler left Saturday for San Francisco to make a brief visit with relatives there, and to meet Mrs. Tayler, who has been with her parents for the past month. Mr. and Mrs. Tayler will arrive home on Wednesday of next week. During Mr. Tayler's absence M. S. Biden has charge of the shoe store.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 11, 1902, page 6

    A. C. Tayler is quite seriously ill with typhoid fever. Dr. Pickel is in attendance.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 7

    A. C. Tayler, the foot fitter, who has been so sick, is able to leave his bed and will be at his place of business before long.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 30, 1902, page 3

    A. C. Tayler has so far recovered from his recent severe illness as to be able to be at his place of business again.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 31, 1902, page 7

    A. C. Tayler, who has had a severe spell of typhoid fever, is at his place of business again.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 6, 1902, page 2

At the Exhibit Building.
    At the Medford exhibit building farmer A. C. Tayler has two specimens of agricultural products, which show the change that has come over him of late. Last spring he carved upon the outer skin of a growing squash--this was just after he had deserted the shoe shop for the farm--the legend "Tayler the Footfitter.'' The squash grew to enormous proportions and is now on exhibition as aforesaid and upon the rind the words carved by Mr. Tayler show plainly. At the time he plucked the squash from its parent vine he also excavated from the soil a mighty beet. Upon this latter he carved the words, "Tayler, the Hayseed." These two inscriptions show that Mr. Tayler has gone to the soil--forward, not back--and is proud of his calling.
Medford Mail, September 8, 1905, page 1

    C. M. Kidd, a gentleman who has been in the employ of A. C. Tayler, the foot fitter, has purchased Mr. Tayler's stock of goods and is now in possession of same.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 3, 1908, page 11

    A. C. Tayler, who recently sold out his stock of shoes on Seventh Street, has taken up ranching again on Bear Creek, two miles north of Medford.

"Social and Personal," Medford Daily Tribune, January 6, 1908, page 4

    "The Foot-Fitter. Follow the feet on our sidewalk."
C. M. Kidd ad, Southern Oregonian, April 11, 1908

FOR SALE--Eight-room house, closets, pantry, summer kitchen, bathroom; 4 acres of land; Fish Lake Ditch runs through middle; 1¾ miles from Medford post office on Central Point road; part down, long time on balance. Apply to A. C. Tayler, 2¼ miles north of Medford, Central Point road.

Medford Daily Tribune, October 16, 1908, page 4

    It is reported that A. C. Tayler and J. Phipps will erect a brick business building 50x140 on their property at East Seventh Street.
"Social and Personal," Medford Daily Tribune, March 13, 1909, page 4

Phipps-Tayler Block Has Very Attractive Front
    Everybody is admiring the splendid brick front which is being put in for Messrs. Phipps and Tayler in their new building on East Main Street. The brick used are white in color with outer surface glazed, and the plain ones used, that is, those not of special ornamental finish, cost $100 per thousand, while those used in the ornamental finish cost $150 per thousand.
    This is a big price to be paid for material, but the beautiful, stately and individual effect produced more than compensates for the additional cost. The fact that two members of the Medford Brick Company, Messrs. O. D. Nagle and G. T. O'Brien, are mechanics capable of handling and properly putting into place material so costly is, or ought to be, a source of much satisfaction to every citizen of Medford.
Medford Mail, September 24, 1909, page 5

    "William Streeter, a millionaire retired shoe merchant of Chicago, is visiting A. C. Tayler on his ranch south of Medford. Mr. Tayler was formerly a salesman in the employ of Mr. Streeter. William Streeter's store was known as the largest shoe store, retail, in Chicago and one of the largest in the world."
"Personal Items," Medford Mail Tribune weekly, October 6, 1910, page 5

FOR SALE--Extra fancy alfalfa hay $18.00 per ton in shock. A. C. Tayler, Pacific Highway, halfway between Medford and Central Point. "Scales." Phone 86-M2. Ready to haul Monday, Sept. 2nd.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 30, 1918, page 5

FOR SALE OR EXCHANGE--For Medford property, one seven-room house, hot and cold water, electric lights, large barn, two lots containing two acres of land, about two blocks east of Central Point School. Phone 86-M2. A. C. Tayler, owner.

Medford Mail Tribune, September 7, 1918, page 5

    Sergeant Fred. A. Tayler, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Tayler, is expected home this week from Camp Fremont, Cal., to visit his father, who has been seriously ill.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 26, 1919, page 2

A. C. Tayler Death Certificate

    TAYLER--News of the death of A. C. Tayler, whose home was on the Pacific Highway between Medford and Central Point, at the Mountain View sanitarium at Portland, Tuesday evening, reached the city this morning. The remains will arrive in Medford tomorrow morning accompanied by Mr. Tayler's widow and daughter Grace, who were at his bedside at the time of death.
    The funeral notice will appear later.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 4, 1920, page 2

    The remains of the late A. C. Tayler arrived here this forenoon accompanied by the widow and daughter, Miss Grace Tayler, who were met at the depot by a party of relatives and friends.
"Local Briefs,"
Medford Mail Tribune, February 5, 1920, page 2

    TAYLER--Funeral services will be held over the late A. C. Tayler in the Weeks & McGowan chapel Saturday morning, Feb. 7, at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Millard officiating. The interment will be in the I.O.O.F. cemetery. The remains arrived in the city yesterday morning from Portland, where he passed away in a sanitarium Feb. 4th, 1920, at the age of 58 years, six months and 21 days.
    Mr. Tayler was born in London, England, July 14, 1861. In July 1887 he was married in Chicago, Ill. to Lelia Biden, who passed way in June 1897, leaving three children, two of whom are now living. On May 3, 1899 he was married at Oakland, Cal. to Irma Wangerin. To this union three children were born, Margaret, Ruth and Josephine, who with his widow and Grace and Fred are left to mourn his loss.
    Mr. Tayler was in the shoe business in Medford over twenty years, and was well known throughout the valley. He was a man of sterling qualities. His friends were shocked to hear of his demise, and his cheery smile will be missed by all who knew him.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 6, 1920, page 7

    The lawn fete for the benefit of the home demonstration work which was to have been held at the home of A. C. Tayler, two miles west of Central Point, tonight has been postponed until a later date.
"Local Briefs,"
Medford Mail Tribune, June 17, 1920, page 2

    Mrs. A. C. Tayler and daughters, Ruth and Josephine, left last evening to spend their vacation at San Francisco and other California points.

"Local Briefs,"
Medford Mail Tribune, August 16, 1920, page 2

Kidd's for Shoes
    Can you imagine the modern miss being so modest that she had to take home her high boots to try on? But that was really the custom when C. M. Kidd started Kidd's Shoe Store in 1910, according to Harvey J. Field, manager and partner. Everyone wore high cloth-topped buttoned shoes, with long narrow toes that never cost more than $5. The next style was the knob toe, and then laced shoes came in for a while. The only low shoes that were ever worn were for formal evening wear, and they had extremely high French heels about the size of a dime. Heavy wool hose started the oxford fad, and now 95 percent of women's shoes are oxfords and 75 percent of the men's.
    Galoshes were entirely unknown until four years ago, but as Mr. Field says, they are considered the most sensible footwear that has appeared for years. Kidd's have just added a new line, the "varsity shoe," which has been so popular in the East for years.
"Brief History of Old-Time Medford Firms Given," Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1930, page 8

Last revised June 20, 2022