Among the honored pioneers and citizens of Cloud county is Oscar R. Taggart, who came overland to Kansas in 1867, and in company with the late Judge Carnahan and William H. Anderson, "bached" near Lake Sibley, where Mr. Taggart bought a settler's relinquishment and homestead land in Sibley township.
His farm being near the embryo town of Sibley, Mr. Taggart worked hard to secure for it the county seat, but after failing, he transferred his interests to Concordia, expecting to make his home there instead.
Mr. Taggart was a member of the state militia, organized for the protection of settlers, and participated in several skirmishes with the Indians. He was one of the guards on duty when the Adkins boy was killed. They had scoured the surrounding country and were just returning to camp when the firing was heard. After the Indian uprisings were quelled Mr. Taggart settled down on his farm. For two or three years the expenses were greater than the profits, as the markets were so far distant transportation to and fro consumed the income.
He still retains the old homestead, which is one of the many fine farms in Sibley township, with good buildings, orchards, etc. He owns a forty-acre tract in section 30, one-half mile northwest of Concordia, on the Republican river. This is wooded land and Mr. Taggart expects to clear the ground, and believing that it is well adapted to horticulture, will transform it into a fruit farm. In 1898 Mr. Taggart bought five acres of ground in the Hagaman addition, erected a comfortable cottage on the corner of Cedar street and Greeley avenue in 1901 and expects to make Concordia his permanent home. Mr. Taggart has traveled over various parts of the United States; journeyed overland through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California, spending eighteen months in his sightseeing expedition, and, while he was pleased with the scenes and possibilities of those states, he was quite content to continue in Kansas, saying, "this is good enough for me."
Mr. Taggart is a native of Naples, New York, born in April, 1849. He is a son of James and Mary J. (Harris) Taggart, both of New England origin. His father followed various pursuits, such as hotel keeping, saw milling and fanning. Prior to their residence in Cloud county, the Taggarts lived in Michigan ten years. The father came to Kansas one year later than his son and lived in the vicinity of Concordia until his death in 1896. The mother lived in the home of her son until her death in 1900.
Our subject received his early education in the common schools of Michigan, followed by a three-years' literary course in Colon Seminary, St. Joseph county, Michigan. At the age of nineteen he began farming and later engaged in the grain business.
Mr. Taggart was married January 1, 1870, to Emma Collins, a daughter of William Collins, who settled in Cloud county in 1866, and a sister of William and John Collins, who were massacred, along with the Cassel party, as related in the account of Indian raids. Mrs. Taggart's father was of English birth. Her mother's paternal grandfather was born in Ireland; her maternal ancestors were English. She was a native of Maine, and while visiting England met and married William Collins in the city of London. They emigrated to America and settled in Illinois, where they resided until coming to Kansas in 1866.
To Mr. and Mrs. Taggart three children have been born, but one of whom is living, Mattie, the wife of Henry Neal, a farmer near Hunter, Oklahoma; they are the parents of three children, Mabel, Oscar and Fay. Willie, their only son, was deceased at the age of one year. Carrie, their youngest child, was deceased at the age of thirteen.
Politically Mr. Taggart is a Democrat and socially is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Dramatic Order Knights of Khorasan and the Benevolent Order of Elks.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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