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Taylor is a small town in Lafayette County. Comprised of just over four square miles in the northern Mississippi, Taylor is the only place name that William Faulkner didn’t change in his novels. The town’s namesake, John Taylor came to the area with his wife in 1832, settling north of the Yocona River on land that he purchased from the Chickasaws, and building a mill there. His wife gave birth to the first of the eight children they would have in Taylor. Before long, they were joined by other European-American settlers. A few large plantations were developed in the area, but mostly there were small farms worked by the owners and their families. The settlement was referred to as Yocona Station. Soon, there was a school, a church, and a cemetery. Stage Coach Road, linking Taylor to Oxford and Memphis, was the first main roadway. Between 1856 and 1858, the Mississippi Central Railroad was built, including a depot, which brought businesses to town. In 1862, the town was occupied by General Grant’s army. More than ten thousand Union soldiers occupied local plantations and farms, taking everything that was worth taking, and burning several homes. After the war, the Taylors built a two-story house along the railroad for travelers to rest and eat. The town was incorporated as Taylor’s Depot in 1873, and its name was shortened in 1907. In 1910, a fire destroyed nearly all of the homes and stores in the town center, beginning a decline. A boll weevil plague wiped out its cotton crops in 1914, forcing several sharecroppers to move north for work in the factories. By 1970, the town’s population had decreased to 92, less than the 100 necessary to remain incorporated, and its charter was revoked in 1972. The following year, the legislature was persuaded to reduce the required population to 92, and its charter was restored. Today, the town enjoys a reputation as an artist’s community. In 2010, a werewolf movie,Night of the Loup Garou, was set in Taylor.

 

 

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