One of the most important role models in my life has been my paternal Grandfather, Forrest Glen Taylor. He loved to joke, brag, tell tall tales but never lied about important things. He was the most honest man and the hardest worker I have ever known. As far back as I can remember, he had terrible stomach ulcers living in constant pain. His knees became stiff and sore from arthritis but I never once heard him say a word about the pain ; all the while he worked each and every day sometimes walking with two canes.
As a child growing up next door to his farm, I saw him up seven days a week before daylight, out to the barn to milk the cows, back in for breakfast about 8:00 am and would go right back to work. He would come in at 12:00 noon for lunch, go sit in his old khaki colored mohair chair in the corner of the dining room for about a half hour. He would go immediately to sleep and jump up and right back to work. Back again, for supper and back out to tend the cows, etc. until dark. He milked each cow, about 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night.
We knew and understood that he loved us children deeply but in reality didn’t have much time to share with us. When he did, we were ecstatic. One of those times, when I was perhaps about six or seven, Grandpa took myself and my younger sister Mary in the wagon to collect field stones for a new grainnery he was planning to build.
Grandpa hitched up the old work horses to the wagon, lifted us up onto the seat, climbed up and off we went, bumpity bump to the field (He had previously blasted the field to bring the stones to the surface). Once there, he lifted us down from the wagon and we walked behind him picking up small stones ; throwing them up into the wagon.
All of a sudden Mary saw a field mouse, screamed, jumped knocking me under the wagon. The horses had just started to walk forward and one of the wheels grazed my leg, breaking it. This was the first time that I truly knew how deeply my Grandpa loved me. Grandpa scooped me up grabbed Mary’s hand ,left the horses and wagon in the field and rushed me home. He then took me to the Medford Clinic and stayed with me while the doctor’s worked on my leg.
Growing up, I saw him go through many vocational changes going from a dairy farmer to a mink rancher,a sheep rancher to growing fancy pheasants, etc. After he began mink ranching, we were able to spend more time with him in the ranch. Raising mink is very hard work, they are vicious animals and can be dangerous oif they get out of their pens. I remember Mary always walking through the ranch with her little hands clasped behind her back. I saw mink jumping up towards my grandpa’s throut when he would try to catch them!
Grandpa had always been involved in politics and held public offices as Medford Town Chairman and as a Taylor County Board Member. I remember when in 1959, J.F. K. was campaigning for President of the United States Grandpa campaigned for him. When anyone who saw this picture would ask my Grandmother which one is the President , her reply was always “the one who can afford a hat.”
After I married I didn’t see Grandpa as much as I would have liked, but he was always in my thoughts. He passed away October 11, 2000, I had just been to Medford to visit him at the nursing home, but had to teach Prime for Life the day of his funeral. This was difficult but I knew he was there with me in spirit.
Notes for FORREST GLEN TAYLOR:
Forrest, was born March 07, 1902 in Lowell, Lake Co., Indiana, and died October 11, 2000 in Medford,Taylor Co.,Wisconsin. He married OSA SMITH February 14, 1923 in Medford, Osa was the daughter of JOSEPH SMITH and MELVINA LEAP.She was born September 27, 1899 in Pulaski Co.,Indiana, and died February 20, 1981 in Medford, Taylor Co., Wisconsin.
Employed by the Medford Sawmill, Medford Creamery, Armbrust Meats, and
Medford Fur Farm Foods. He also ran the Taylor’s Hatchery in Medford for period
of time. He farmed in the Town of Medford and became a full time Mink
Rancher and helped to make Medford “Mink Capitol of the World.” After
Retirement he worked as a sales representative for McNess Company and also sold seed corn. He would help the Amish when they had medical emergencies, driving them into town to the doctor. He became a lay minister in the Methodist Church.