Taylor, Ennis Ward (1839–1908)

By: Stephanie P. Niemeyer

Type: Biography

Published: April 23, 2011

Updated: December 28, 2020

Ennis Ward Taylor, businessman and Confederate infantry officer, was born on September 15, 1839, in Greenville, Alabama, to Dr. M. B. K. Taylor and Sarah Elizabeth McDaniel. He and his family came to Texas in 1846 and settled in Jefferson where they worked as farmers. As a young man, Ennis worked for J. C. Preston and Company, a druggist in Jefferson, until 1855 when he began to study pharmacy at the U. S. Dispensatory. After a year and a half of study, he found work at a new drugstore founded by Dr. R. W. Walker. On February 1, 1859, Taylor married Fannie Fisher in Jefferson. He went into business with Dr. H. Witherspoon in 1860. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Taylor sold his share of the business and joined the Confederate Army. By May 13, 1862, he was a member of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry and was elected a lieutenant colonel of the regiment.

The Nineteenth Texas Infantry was part of Walker's Texas Division and served the Trans-Mississippi Department. Taylor fought in the June 7, 1863, battle of Milliken's Bend in Madison Parish, Louisiana; the April 8, 1864, battle of Mansfield, Louisiana; and the April 30, 1864, battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas. At Jenkins' Ferry, Taylor was promoted to colonel. After Jenkins' Ferry, the regiment was ordered to return to Texas where they remained until the end of the war.

Taylor returned to Jefferson where he became a prosperous businessman retaining interests in the drug business and also investing in farms, banks, and the new East Line and Red River Railroad that went through Jefferson. He served as the mayor of Jefferson during this time. He was instrumental in the building of a railroad from Seligman, Missouri, to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and invested in the building of the town of Eureka Springs. He transformed that community into a center for health and lauded the curative properties of the local springs. His claim was: "…cures all blood diseases, even eradicates cancer." His next business venture was to construct and manage the Wichita Valley Railroad.

In 1888 Taylor and his family moved to Fort Worth. He became a leader in business and philanthropy there and joined Confederate veterans associations that aided widows and orphans of soldiers. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was a Mason and a Shriner. Taylor died on April 3, 1908, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth.

James A. Mundie, Jr., with Bruce S. Allardice, Dean E. Letzring, and John H. Luckey, Texas Burial Sites of Civil War Notables: A Biographical and Pictorial Field Guide (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill College Press, 2002). Buckley B. Paddock, ed., A Twentieth Century History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis, 1906).Texans in the Civil War: 19th Texas Infantry (http://www.angelfire.com/tx/RandysTexas/page56.html), accessed April 13, 2011.

Time Periods:
  • Civil War
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Stephanie P. Niemeyer, “Taylor, Ennis Ward,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/taylor-ennis-ward.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 23, 2011
December 28, 2020

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: