Hugh Taylor was born in Quebec on 28 November 1874 to Thomas Dixon Taylor and his wife Lucy E. Bourchier. Thomas Taylor, of Ottawa, was a civil engineer, who predeceased his son; Hugh’s brother, Lieutenant Colonel Plunkett (wife Florence) Taylor of Ottawa, was a manager of the Bank of Ottawa. His nephew Edward Plunkett (E.P.) Taylor was a renowned Ottawa businessman, thoroughbred horse breeder and racer. Hugh Taylor received his formal education in Kingston, Ont. In 1896, he moved west to British Columbia first settling in the Kootenay region where he was engaged in the construction of the Crow’s Nest Railway and then later went on to Vancouver. In 1901, Mr. Taylor worked as a packer with a Mr. Singlehurst, who was operating a mining property near Kitselas (a little village used as a port of call for riverboats which used to exist just before the Skeena Canyon). Hugh Taylor had the distinction of loading and safely delivering to the mine, an immense steel drum of great weight – a task which was considered impossible at the time. In 1902, he became Secretary to T.J. Phelan, who was District Superintendent of the Dominion Yukon Telegraph Line which had its headquarters in Ashcroft, BC. The following spring, he married Miss Hermina “Minnie” Wessel of Saturna Island, BC and came north with his bride, taking their honeymoon trip on horseback all the way from Ashcroft to Hazelton in order to continue his work on the Telegraph Line. Together, Hugh and Minnie had eight children: Ellen, Violet, Lucy, Dixon, Arthur, Tom, Virginia and Hugh Jr. After arriving in Hazelton, he became associated with Chas. Barrett & Co. and was in charge of their mule train. In the fall of 1903, he went to First Cabin (at the end of the wagon road) to work as a lineman with the Dominion Yukon Telegraph Line, where he remained for several years. Mr. Taylor also staked one of the first farms in the Kispiox Valley and spent a number of years there with his family. He later became an telegraph operator at Kispiox as well as its postmaster, and owner/operator of a local store and ranch. During the boom days, he ran a stagecoach between Hazelton and the Kispiox Valley and to points north up to First Cabin. In 1914 the Taylors moved to Hazelton, where Hugh Taylor took a deep interest in sports and was known for successfully defending goal for the Hazelton men’s hockey team. Later, the Taylor family moved on to Fort Fraser where Mr. Taylor again worked as a telegraph operator. In 1917, upon his appointment to the position of Assistant District Engineer of the Provincial Public Works Department, the Taylors moved to the department’s headquarters in Prince George. Four years later during the course of his duties on an out of town trip to Vanderhoof Mr. Taylor became ill; he was escorted back to Prince George, where he passed away a few days later on 5 November 1921.
Functions, occupations and activities
Hugh Taylor worked as a packer, a lineman with the Dominion Yukon Telegraph Line, a farmer, a telegraph operator, a postmaster, a store owner, a rancher, a stagecoach operator and Assistant District Engineer of the Provincial Public Works Department.