William S. Taylor, attorney, state legislator, and planter, was born in Georgia in 1795 and lived in Fayette County, Alabama, and Tippah County, Mississippi, before moving to Texas in May 1847. He fought in the Seminole Wars in Florida in 1817–19 and was a captain in 1836. In 1841 he was appointed brigadier general of the Alabama State Militia. Taylor served in the state legislatures of Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas, where he became speaker of the House. He was first elected to the Texas legislature in 1855 as a representative of Cherokee and Anderson counties. He was reelected in 1857 and was chosen as speaker when the legislature convened on November 2, 1857. He served until December 26, when illness prevented his attending. He formally resigned because of illness on January 18, 1858. He died on July 22, 1858, and was buried in Larissa, Texas. His portrait hangs in the speaker's committee room at the Capitol. Taylor and his wife, Elizabeth, had fifteen children, one of whom, William S. Taylor, Jr., fought in the battle of San Jacinto.