TAYLOR, a new county in the S. S. W. part of Iowa, bordering on Missouri, has an area of about 560 square miles. The river One Hundred and Two rises in the county, and the West fork of Grand river drains the E. part. The land is said to be fertile, but not heavily timbered. Indian corn, wool, and butter are the staples. In 1850 this county produced 10,000 bushels of Indian corn; 785 of oats; 1008 pounds of wool, and 4215 of butter. County seat not yet located. Pop., 631.  (Baldwin's New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States..., 1854)

TAYLOR COUNTY  This county is situated in the southern tier of counties, about 160 miles from the Mississippi River, and about 60 miles east from the Missouri River. It is a fraction less than 24 miles square, and contains an area of about 368,640 acres. It was organized in the year 1852 with about fifty voters, consisting mostly of persons who had emigrated hither from the Southern States, supposing at the time that they were settling in the State of Missouri; the southern portion of this tier of counties being on what is known as the “Disputed Territory.” The population remained nearly stationary in numbers until the spring of 1854, when a strong current of emigration set in from the Eastern States, and in a few months the inhabitants numbered over 3,000. The great financial crisis of 1857 put almost an entire stop to emigration westward, and the agitation of local questions among the people since that time has prevented Taylor County from receiving as great a proportion of the emigration to southwestern Iowa, as its great natural resources might lead us to expect. ...The general surface of the county is rolling or undulating prairie, interspersed with woodland. The main streams of the county are the West Grand River, (every stream here large enough to drive a saw mill is called a river,) Platt River, Platt Branch, Honey Creek, East, West and Middle 102, and East Fork of the Nodaway. These streams all run in a southwesterly direction, emptying into the Missouri. From each of these streams small lateral branches extend east and west, and these again ramifying extend into every portion of the county, forming a system of drainage so perfect that not a single marsh, swamp, or scarce a stagnant pool of water can be found in the entire county. ... Good springs are not very numerous, but an abundance of pure cold water can be obtained by digging from ten to thirty feet almost anywhere on the prairie. ... The soil is from one to two feet deep, a black vegetable mould, with a slight mixture of sand, and of almost inexhaustible fertility. As evidence of this, we will state, that one mile west of Bedford there is a field which has had seventeen crops of grain in succession without the least apparent diminution in quantity. This piece of ground has had no manure on it since the sod was first broken, and was not selected because of its superior quality, but on account of its convenience to timber and water. There are thousands of acres of land in this county fully equal to this that can be bought at from $1.25 to $2.50 per acre. ... The prairies are covered with a heavy growth of very nutritious grass, upon which the farmers flocks and herds grow and fatten equal to stall fed cattle, and from which hay is made to winter them on, but little inferior to timothy, and at a trifling cost. ... Quarries of limestone have been opened in the vicinity of Bedford, from which the country is supplied with lime and stone for building purposes. Brick will also be manufactured during the coming season. Beds of stone coal have been discovered and opened in the northwest part of the county, but as yet the supply is quite limited. ... Owing to the great fertility of the soil and its light, friable nature, it is peculiarly adapted to raising all kinds of cereals, such as wheat, maize, rye, oats, barley, etc. Vegetables grow as large here, when properly cultivated, as in any other portion of the west. Most of our farmers are planting out young orchards, and a few of them are beginning to bear. Some difficulties are experienced by fruit growers from the borers, gophers, etc., but all these can be overcome by care and attention, and no doubt remains that southern Iowa will yet become a great fruit growing country. .... As before stated, the early settlers of this county were from the slave-holding States, and  came here thoroughly imbued with all the prejudices, and addicted to all the habits and customs of Southern life. They invariably settled in the timber or on the south side of some grove, building their cabin, stables, etc., in the edge of the timber, and making their farms in the prairie. Their cabins were built of logs, sometimes hewed, but in most cases laid up without hewing, and covered with boards or what the eastern people call shakes. ... The county was organized in the year 1852, and John Lowe was chosen County Judge. The judge was a Kentuckian by birth and education. A warm, frank, open-hearted man, he enjoyed the confidence of the early settlers to the fullest extent, who supposed him to be the only man in the county capable of transacting public business. He was therefore called upon to perform not only, the duties of County Judge, but also of County Clerk, County Surveyor, Treasurer and Recorder. His office was kept about three miles west of the county seat, in a small log cabin, and most of the records were kept on loose slips of paper, placed promiscuously in a common shoebox which was fastened up to one side of the room. The District Court was held at the judge's house for the first three years, Judge Bradford presiding. The Grand Jury held its deliberations in a grove, near the dwelling, and the Petit Jury in the same grove, a short distance from the other jury. (Hair's Iowa State Gazetteer..., 1865)

Total Population 1850
Total Population 1860
Free Black Population 1860
Free Black Population 1850
Presidential Election Result 1852
Presidential Election Result 1856
Presidential Election Result 1860
Presidential Election Result 1864
Unconditional Union (1864)