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Taylor, James (1860–1939)

The death occurred to-day of Mr. James Taylor, one of the best-known pastoralists in Queensland. He would have been 79 years of age on Tuesday next.

Mr. Taylor took a keen interest in public affairs, but his closest connections were with racing on the Downs and the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland. Many institutions had benefited financially through his gifts.

At the time of his death he was chairman of the Toowoomba Board of the Queensland Trustees, Limited, president of the Darling Downs and South-western District Racing Association, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, trustee of the Toowoomba racecourse, and president of the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland, and a trustee of the society (elected 1915).

Mr. Taylor, born in Toowoomba in 1860, was the first child baptised in St. Matthew's Church of England, Drayton, in which his father (the late Mr. James Taylor, M.L.C.), and mother, were married.

He attended Ipswich Grammar School, but left when the Toowoomba Grammar School was opened in 1876. He was a skilled horseman and an amateur rider of more than ordinary ability. At shows he was a regular competitor in hunting events.

When the present show pavilion — the James Taylor pavilion — was taken over from the Railway Department, Mr. Taylor handed a substantial cheque to the society. Subsequently, when the society was in difficulties he made a donation of £5000.

Mr. Taylor played polo with ability, and for many years was captain of the Toowoomba Polo Club. He was elected president of the Toowoomba Turf Club in 1909, and remained in that position until 1928 when he retired.

A number of racehorses were owned by Mr. Taylor, outstanding performer being Togo, which won the A.J.C. Doncaster at Randwick in 1908. Togo won the Queensland Derby in 1906, and several times was champion blood horse at the Royal Agricultural Society's show.

He was one of the oldest members of the Queensland Club, Brisbane, and a foundation member of the Downs Club, Toowoomba.

The Taylor family were adherents of the Church of England, and the Sarah Taylor Memorial Hall is a gift from the estate. Mr. Taylor married a Miss Stretten, of New South Wales, who died some years ago. There was no family.

Mr. Taylor spent the greater part of his lifetime at Clifford House. In 1859 his father bought Cecil Plains, a station on the Darling Downs, and one of the first pastoral runs in Queensland. The property remained in the hands of the Taylor family until it was purchased for closer settlement by the Queensland Government for £242,000.

Original publication

Citation details

'Taylor, James (1860–1939)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/taylor-james-14123/text25127, accessed 23 July 2018.

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