60 – John H. Taylor

1: Mr. Taylor, how long have yo lived here in Independence?
Since 1851, except hat for some years since that time I have been away.

2: Well how far or how long back would your memory extend as to locations?
Well I would to 1851.

3: Do you recognize the map which I now hand you marked exhibit “A.S.O.” as indicating any boundaries around Independence?
Yes sir.

4: You recognize that map?
yes sir, and I recognize the property that is indicated on that map. I recognize the property on that map.

5: Do you recognize the property within the blue lines there?
Yes sir.

6: How far back do you recognize any of that property as being enclosed?
Well soon after I came here I presume. At that time I was a boy living down here in the neighborhood of that property, and while I was there Mr. Woodson oved over some where in this neighborhood.

7: He moved down there you say some where?
Yes sir.

8: Was it inside or outside of the blue lines?
Well it was about Pleasant street. I presume he moved in here some where.

9: That is not inside these blue lines?
No sir, I presume it must have been along in here some where where his house was.

10: What can you say with reference to the enclosure of the property lying within the blue lines?
As to whether it was enclosed?

11: Yes sir?
Well as I remember it there was a road across here or a street across here, and I think this was all vacant property until Woodson and Maxwell’s addition was laid off here.

12: You think that this which is colored pink, and that part there enclosed by the blue lines was vacant property until that time?
Yes sir, all this was vacant property?

13: Now you say all that was vacant property?
Yes sir.

14: What do you call “all this”?
That from Walnut street up north to the Westport road. It was what we called the temple lot, and the Westpord road was what we called the western line of it. It was the western line, of the Woodson pasture, and I have forgotten what kind of a fence was along there but I know there was something along here.

15: Along Walnut street west?
Yes sir.

16: Running from the Westport road through here?
Yes sir.

17: Running east through here (indicating point on plat)
Yes sir.

18: Do you know anything about that addition?
Yes sir, I have a recollection of the time that was laid off.

19: Was that on the south of the addition ever enclosed?
Yes sir.

20: That was north, and this was Woodson’s pasture, and Woodson lived over there?
Yes sir.

21: Was Woodson’s pasture within these blue lines as indicated here on this plat?
There was a fence here between his house and the pasture, and there was a house in here. It might take all that up there, but I don’t know about that.

22: And where was that with reference to Walnut street, did Walnut street adjoin it on the inside?
Walnut street as well as I remember it ran down to the pasture.

23: On the north?
Yes sir.

24: Was that within the blue lines?
Yes sir.

25: And what boarders the pasture, if anything, on the west?
A stone wall I think.

26: What on the east?
On the east there was a kind of a fence separated it from his lot.

27: Would this fence correspond with the blue line on the east?
Yes sir. I think this street extended right along here.

28: Well on the south side did it?
Well it is my recollection on that there was a rail fence down along through here.

29: Well it is not a fact that before they opened Walnut street that fence extended through to the Westport road?
Yes sir, but I don’t remember distinctly that that was extended through there. I think it was, but I am not positive.

30: Now do you know of any one who exercised any acts of ownership over any of this property here in Woodson’s and Maxwell’s addition which is designated on this map here by the pink or blue as you would call it, part of this plat. Do you know of any acts of ownership that was exercised by any one over this part of the plat, and acts of ownership that was exercised by any one over any part of Woodson and Maxwell’s addition prior to the war?
Well, my recollection is that there was a little house or two in there. Nor that in my recolleciton and I am pretty postitive that there was a little house or two in there. That was all open ground through here I think. In fact I know this was open vacant ground through here, for I had a run away with a horse one day, and her run in there, and I checked him on this piece of ground and I remember that it was vacant and open ground at that time.

31: Now on what place or about what place would you place that house of which you were speaking?
Well I can’t say, but it was in there some place,-it is my recollection that there was more than one house down there.

32: At what time was that?
Well that was before the war.

33: Well how long before the war was it?
Well probably along about four or five or six years before the war.

34: Are you speaking of a time prior to or subsequent to the time of the laying off of Woodson’s and Maxwell’s addition?
It was laid off after the time I am speaking of.

35: Are you sure of that?
Well that is my recollection. I could not say as to the years.

36: The time you are speaking of extends back to about 1855, or does it extend back of that?
Well I can’t say, you know, for I can’t remember, but I would say that it at lest extends back to that. I was on that place there with Woodson when I was a boy, for we were the same age about, and I used to pass by there when I would be going out to Rock Creek with the boys swimming. We would pass by there on that road, and it was probably along from 1852 on up. We used to go out on that road to Rock Creek to swim, and I think it was from 1852 on up.

37: Were you well acquainted with Colonel Woodson?
Yes sir.

38: Do you know the property we are speaking about?
Yes sir.

39: You have known it ever since you have been here, – is that what you stated?

40: When was the first time you ever heard him speak anything about the temple lot?
I don’t know.

41: Did you ever hear him speak of it?
Of the temple lots?

42: Yes sir?
I don’t know that I ever heard him speak specially about it.

43: Did you ever hear him talk about it as being the temple lot or property?
No sir.

44: You are positive as to that?
No sir, I don’t know as I ever heard him say any thing about it in that way.

45: Did you ever hear him say any thing about how he happened to call one of the streets there adjoining it, Temple street?
No sir, but I suppose that was done on account of its being called the temple property.

46: How long have you known of its being called the temple property?
Well ever since I came here.

47: How much was there of it that was called the temple property?
Well I don’t know how much here was of it, but it was that open space in there that is now called the temple lot. I don’t know how much there was of it.

48: Was that all that was called the temple property or lot?
Yes sir, I think so, but I understood that originally there was a good deal more than that of it.

49: It is the vacant ground that lies within the blue lines and outside of the part that is enclosed, – ?
I expect so. I know the highest ground there is called the temple lot, but it is enclosed now.

50: Did any body ever ask you to point it out to them?
No sir, I don’t know that any body ever asked me to point it out to them, but I have probably done so while driving along through the streets when I would come to it and had a stranger with me I would probably point it out as the temple lot.

51: Every body in the neighborhood knew it was the temple property, did they not?
Well I can’t say that every body in the neighborhood knew it, but it was generally known as that?

52: That is what it was generally called?
Yes sir, and if any body would speak of it they would generally speak of it as the temple lot.

53: Ever since you can remember it has been called that?
Yes sir, Woodson and Maxwell’s addition was laid off there after that, and a part of it was still called the temple lot.

54: And still they continued, that is the people continued to call it the temple lot even after that addition was laid off there?
Yes sir. Some people might not have done so, but I think that that high ground has been called the temple lot by almost everybody here, for that is the place where the Mormon people expected the temple and the gathering to be.

55: Who did?
Well it was just by common consent amongst the people talking that they called it the temple lot.

56: What people?
I mean the people living here.

57: When you used the word “they” whom do you mean?
I mean the people living here.

58: Here in independence?
Yes sir.

59: Why was it called it, why was it called that?
Well it was understood that the Mormons claimed the ground and they expected to finally return here and build a grand temple on that ground, and that place would be the place of the ascension on the last day.

60: That was the kind of a story that was current?
Yes sir.

61: That is all?